An unsolved Evanston homicide case from over 20 years ago will be featured this weekend on a Chicago television program.

In the early morning hours of April 23, 1992, 25-year-old Deeondra Dawson was murdered in her apartment at 634 Sherman Ave.

She was stabbed and bludgeoned by an assailant she apparently knew who left her 4-year-old son unharmed.

The child was left alone in the apartment with his mother’s dead body for several hours before the crime scene was discovered by police.

The show, Crime Stoppers Case Files: Chicago, airs at 11 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, on WPWR, channel 50.

Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says police hope making the public aware of this cold case will generate new leads that may assist detectives in solving this crime.

Police ask that anyone with information on the case call Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 535-STOP or the Evanston Police Department Detective Bureau at (847) 866-5040.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. An unsolved murder in Evanston? Not surprising

    Cold case could build it's entire season of episodes around unsolved murders in Evanston courtesy of our phlegmatic police force.  

    I can't wait to see the episode and see if the EPD hides behind the "snitch culture" excuse to explain their incompetence.

    1. What makes you think this is solely an Evanston problem?

      Are you aware that nationwide only 60% of murders are solved? And that in urban areas the numbers are generally less than 50%?  Or that in Chicago over 80% of murders in recent years have gone unsolved?

      Nationwide the likelihood of getting away with murder is much higher than it was a decade or two ago.  And ask police chiefs in virtually any city why this is and they will tell you: lack of witness cooperation.

      EPD isn't without flaws, but to suggest that they are inept in comparison to other communities is ridiculous.

    2. Thank you EPD and Chief Eddington

      Phlegmatic: Showing slow and solid temperment.

       I prefer my police officers phlegmatic over highly anxious, thanks.

      If we want to point a finger, point it at yourself or at our community so tied in ideology of urban utopia that we are soft on crime.

      A community so bent on race that we allow our city officials to apologize to people who meet the description of criminals AND RUN  from the police instead of standing by the judgement of our police.

      Reality shows about policing only desensitize us civilians as to the real dangers and difficulties that the police face everyday. When is the last time you held a gun and put yourself in the middle of a family feud like the Bamberg and Blackwell families? 

      Until that day, neither you nor I should complain about our police.

      Chief Eddington has a hard job, and he does it well. As do all our police.







  2. I support the Evanston Police

    I've never had any issues with the Evanston Police.  Everytime I needed them they have been great. Granted it never has been related to murder but they are certainly not inept. 

    1. Support EPD

      Agreed!!! Have Always been able to depend on EPD in a big way!! Grateful for them and proud of them!

  3. Police need proof

    It probably doesn't apply to this case, but in the murders that have occurred more recently, whose to say the police don't know who committed them?  Let us not forget that the police need proof beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e. a witness, video, physical evidence, etc…).  Without a substantial amount of proof, the killer walks as Bamberg did in the Marcus Davis homicide.  The police can't put someone away just because they know they did it.  By the way, I believe NORTAF investigates homicides in Evanston, not EPD.

  4. You’re right…Evanston’s no utopia

    “A community so bent on race that we allow our city officials to apologize to people who meet the description of criminals AND RUN  from the police instead of standing by the judgement of our police.”

    In response to Jen’s comment:

    Our Aldermen and city officials continue to make race an issue in Evanston as evidenced by their unconscionable decision not to legally force the cleanup of at least two gasoline storage tanks that have leaked contaminants into the soil at 1801-05 Church St. Evanston Now’s article on the subject states the City of Evanston has known, at least since 2000, the state fire marshall issued a violation notice to Chevron  for improperly abandoned and leaking storage tanks on the site. Yet until they were looking to develop low income housing on the site, they did nothing which allowed the contaminants to migrate off-site in the east/southeast direction impacting Church Street, Darrow Avenue and possibly the commercial property to the east, Strange Lofts. These properties are in the 5th ward which race bent or not we all know the ward is predominately African-American. Are you so naïve to think this toxic unhealthy environment would exist, say in the 6th ward, for 12 years? Ineffective representation of the 5th ward is probably some of the reason nothing has been done but do you really think race doesn’t play a role, as well?

    “When is the last time you held a gun and put yourself in the middle of a family feud like the Bamberg and Blackwell families? “

    In response to Jen’s comment:

    Do you personally know the Bamberg or Blackwell families and do you personally know of a family feud that exists between them? If you do, my hat is off to you and I thank you for sharing. However, like most of us if you don’t, it is inappropriate for you to speculate a feud exists based on what you read in the news. Secondly, if gun laws were such that allowed citizens to conceal and carry guns I couldn’t say for sure whether or not I would put myself in the middle of a feud. However, what I can say is that trained police carry guns and wear bullet proof vests to carry out their duties as law enforcement officers. And yes, most, not all, minorities do not trust our police and most, not all, white people do. Those differences is reason enough to say with conviction that our community is bent on race. And until people like you try to understand why those differences exist, we will continue to enjoy “drive-by” diversity, at best, here in Evanston.

    1. Please help me understand

      Shirley – from your perspective, can you please explain why "most, not all, minorities do not trust our police and most, not all, white people do?"

      Evanston needs frank and open dialogue.

      Thank you.




    2. Two separate issues

      Why the city didn't force clean-up of toxic waste? I have no idea.  This is terrible!  I can understand why you are so enraged.    Would this happen in the 6th ward?  If one looks at how the residents of the northern wards responded to the possibility of ATT putting in high towers by the north fire station, or the potential closing of the north branch, or selling of Chandler, my guess is that no, it wouldn't.    An oil spill without consequence would not have flown by without protests.  Is this because of the color of the skin of people in the north wards?  Or is it because the people in the north wards (myself included) get fired up, round up the neighbors, and put in the manpower to keep our community strong?  The people in the 8th ward do this too. I disagree with some of what they are doing financially with tax dolalrs, but can respect the passion that they have to make Evanston better.  If this is not happening in the 5th ward, better leadership may be necessary.

      As for the family feud- I have spoken with enough Evanston police officers, both current and past, to know that this feud goes way back and the recent murder spree this year is largely connected to these two families, whether immediate or extended, at least in the opinion of the officers.   

      Why do you feel that most minorities don't trust the police? 


  5. Clearly, more courageous conversations on race are needed


    It’s true that residents of the 6th ward speak out on issues involving their ward and Alderman Rainey works hard to spend our hard earned tax dollars to improve Howard St.. However, I am sorry, when it comes to environmental hazards that may affect the health or well being of any resident EVERY leader on the council as well as the city payroll should be concerned and should act responsibly to eradicate the problem rather then ignore it because the residents of the affected area do not know about it or don’t attend council meetings to voice their concerns. And you know what,  rallying to keep high towers out, the north library branch and Chandler were important to 6th ward residents as are the bars on Howard St. to Alderman Rainey but are any of them more important than gasoline storage tanks leaking contaminants in the 5th ward? So yes, I do think race plays a role in who and what gets Evanston’s resources.

    On the subject of trusting or not trusting the Evanston police I can tell you that I engage in conversation with minorities of all ages and all walks of life often enough to know, not feel, that many do not trust the police. Many black people experience racism and discrimination or personally know someone who has experienced racism or discrimination at the hands of the police. One example is when black people talk about driving while black they are referring to the frequency in which black males are stopped by the police for no apparent reason other than looking out of place, which gets interpreted as “being black”. Another example is a young black male canvassing north Evanston weeks before an election and being stopped because he was a young black male in north Evanston. In this case this young man also lived in north Evanston. Do you think any young white males are or would ever be stopped while canvassing a predominately black neighborhood?  Racism  has a chilling and potentially scarring affect on a person’s psych and can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth.  I do not expect white people to automatically be aware of these racist’s  practices because they nor their children have experienced them. I can say the unwillingness of many white people to even acknowledge these practices exist or that any of the Evanston police would ever behave in such a deplorable manner hurts and only adds insult to the injury.

    1. Couageous conversations and character.

      You are right that every council member and every citizen should care about toxic contamination.  I did not mean to imply that they shouldn't. I think everyone just has their own issues, whether small ( in comparison to oil spill) or big, and people by nature look out for their own area first and foremost.  That doesn't make it right, but it would be helpful if people in the vicinity of the oil spoke up loudly enough to make everyone lift their head from their own life path.    

      I know that many African Americans feel that they are stopped unfairly.  The question in my mind is what % of crimes are actually committed by each race and is there a reason behind stopping individuals?   If there is a crime rate difference by race, the courageous conversation to have is why.  If there is not, then the EPD might explain why they are doing this, as I would also like to know.  

        If the goal of policing  is to keep our streets safe, should they be pre-emptively  stopping people who meet crime profiles? Should race factor in to these profiles at all?  Does questioning people who look "suspicious" reduce crime?   What is considered suspicious by EPD and why?    I don't know, but I think having a discussion about policing can not be isolated from the end goal, which is safety for everyone, of all colors, religions, and genders.  

        Personally, I'd like to see the focus of Evanston discussions to be shifted to content of character instead of color of skin.   Character,  as in actually caring that your neighbors have been polluted by oil, or that your government was going to just build over it with houses for the poor.   Considering this appears to be lacking right now from residents in all wards,  it might be a common ground for us both.  

      1. conversations and character

        Well said…. dido… This/these are my same questions…. Someone please tell me…

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