Family of teen murdered outside a Chicago church trying to turn their pain into purpose

Terrell Bosley was murdered outside a Chicago church 15 years ago, and still no killer has been caught. His family now spends their days helping others who are struggling with the horror of Chicago's gun violence.

"This is ‘Purpose over Pain,’ and our goal is to get justice for all of our kids," said Terrell's mom, Pamela Bosley.

So far this year in Chicago, more than 250 children have been shot, and 32 have died. Pamela Bosley does what she can to help the survivors. She said that she sometimes gets tens calls a week about another child being gunned down. Sometimes parents call for help trying to figure out how to bury their kids, how to pay for funerals, to talk about whether they should just cremate because they don't have the money.

She faces these horrifying conversations because someone has to.

"I buried my own child, but now I’m trying to help that next mom get out the bed and make it," Pamela Bosley said.

Chicago's deadly shootings happen primarily in low-income neighborhoods, and mostly the victims are Black men. Pamela Bosley remains on the front lines at anti-violence rallies, praying with grieving mothers and offering resources to help families cope.


Terrell Bosley, 18, was killed outside the Lights of Zion Church at 116th and Halsted in West Pullman in 2006. Terrell was a gifted bass player, a drummer, a singer, a lover of gospel music. His goal was to travel the world as a professional musician. He had just graduated from high school and was helping a friend grab some drums when he was gunned down.

The Bosleys said that the strongest lead they got about Terrell's murder was a social media message years ago. That lead turned into a dead end when Chicago Police told them they could not locate or contact or the social media user. The case remains active.

After Terrell died, his father, Tom Bosley, left his job in corporate banking and now mentors at-risk youth. He said the education has failed many young people.

"I have individuals, [ages] 21, 22, that can’t read and they graduated from Chicago Public Schools," Tom Bosley said.

Terrell’s younger brother Tre is also on the front lines. He met with then-President Barack Obama in 2016 to talk about Chicago crime. He now works with youth groups and legislators, fighting for common-sense gun laws and safer communities.

"I wanna make him proud, to know that we’re still keeping your name alive," Tre Bosley said. "I'm still trying to create the change that you would want in the world."