It was a shocking mass murder in a south suburban department store which left five women dead and another seriously wounded.
Two weeks from Friday marks ten years since a killer walked into the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park.
Police say the case is still an active investigation and they are optimistic about catching the gunman.
A walk in-closet at the Tinley Park Police Station is ground zero for the investigation into the murders of five women at a Lane Bryant Outlet store nearly ten years ago. Inside, there are binders regarding each of the victims and information from more than five thousand tips. They're still arriving, about six per month.
Detective Ray Violetto is the lone detective still working the case full time.
“I will admit that even when I’m on vacation and I’m out of state, I'm always looking at people, trying to evaluate how would they fit into my case here, Is there a possibility? Whether I’m in Florida, Colorado, in Michigan, anywhere that I would be, this case follows me,” Violetto said.
Police say a robber ordered the store manager, a part-time employee and four customers into a rear room, gagged them with tape and then shot them execution style. One of the women survived. She helped police create a sketch, later enhanced so it was three dimensional. Snippets of the killer’s voice can be heard on a 911 call posted on the village's website.
The Lane Bryant outlet store where the crime occurred never opened again. At the Brookside Marketplace shopping center, it's now been replaced by a T-J Maxx.
The five murder victims, however, will never be replaced. Rhoda mcfarland of Joliet, Jennifer Bishop of South Bend, Sarah Szafranski of Oak Forest, Connie Woolfolk of Flossmoor, and Hudek Chiuso of Frankfort were all killed. The survivor has never been publicly named. Police still believe that advances in technology, like DNA analysis, or a new tip, will lead them to the killer.
“This is an unusual case. There's not a playbook for the murder of five women in a store on a Saturday morning,” said Tinley Park police chief Steve Neubauer.
Police are hoping that news coverage surrounding the 10th anniversary might provide some new tips for their investigation.