Crime

Three Years Later: The Killer in Rogers Park Still Remains at Large

Zack Miller | The PhoenixThree years ago, two men were killed in Rogers Park worrying the local community and Loyola students and faculty.

This month marks the three-year anniversary of two unsolved murders committed near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus back in 2018. Years later, the case has gone cold with the killer still missing.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) still has no leads and the case remains unsolved, CPD said in an email to The Phoenix. 

Two men were killed in the murders; 73-year-old Douglass Watts, who was found dead Sept. 30, 2018, while walking his dog about 1.5 miles away from campus and 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz was found shot dead Oct. 1, 2018 near Loyola Park about a mile away from campus, The Phoenix reported.

The offender was described by witnesses to be a Black male, with a thin build and wearing dark clothing, according to a 2018 CPD community crime alert.

After the murders were committed, CPD released footage showing the suspected murderer walking down the street just about an hour before killing Watts. Additional footage showed the suspect running down an alleyway minutes after Watts was shot and killed, The Phoenix reported. 

Just a couple of months after the two murders, a reward was posted by CPD for $150,000 — the highest reward ever raised by community members in Chicago — in an attempt to get any information they could about the homicides, The Phoenix reported.

After the killing spree, a Facebook account called “Roam RoPo” was created on Sept. 29, 2018 by a former Loyola student. The page has over 3,000 followers and was created as a space for students to look for ways home and hear crime updates, The Phoenix reported. The owner of the Facebook account didn’t respond to requests for comment.

During this time, Campus Safety Commander Tim Cunningham said Campus Safety operated under a “directive patrol,” meaning officers were directed depending on what the crimes were at that time and they were aware of the killer and his crimes. 

The one thing that struck Cunningham about these killings was the number of rumors that spread about it by the student body, he told The Phoenix.

“It was disheartening to see how people would pick up fake news and run with it like it was real,” Cunningham said. “If someone saw somebody who looked even remotely like the killer, they would say it was him and it wasn’t just at Loyola, it was through the entire area.”

Senior anthropology and political science major Emma Falk said during this time, she heard small rumors about each of the killings.

Falk said being on campus during this time was “a little freaky” and left many students on edge. 

“We were definitely a little more on edge, but people handled it with humor on campus,” Falk, 21, said. “We had to cancel our rugby event because we practiced at Loyola Park where one of the killings was. It was scary that they couldn’t catch him, but I wouldn’t say it was something that was always on my mind.”

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