AN OPEN LETTER TO NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY:
This isn’t just in Chicago. It’s not just in Illinois. It’s not just in the US. It’s everywhere.
A violent crime problem has been “overlooked” for the last 45 years by city, state and Federal government, not just in the US, but around the world. Repeated efforts to bring it out into the open have been continually sidetracked in the General Assembly and in the Chicago City Council. Every so often, someone is taken hostage, driven to an ATM, forced to make a withdrawal, executed and the body hidden so the killer can clean out the bank account with the card. Every once in a while, a murder provokes political action, a committee is formed and the police recommend tracking forced withdrawals. Every time, that recommendation fails. That makes it easier for the criminal to get away with his next murder.
The families of the victims almost always withdraw so that they can grieve in private, so they don’t make a fuss. After a few days, everyone forgets the problem. So the problem never gets exposed. Having integrated the murders and the wrongful death lawsuits into the business model, the banks continue with business as usual and just deduct the litigation cost from overhead.
In Illinois, the police have been recommending tracking this crime pattern for decades, but the General Assembly has blocked every attempt to fix the problem. Normally, crime patterns are tracked by the numbers used in the crime statutes. Forced ATM withdrawals get lumped in with robbery because there is no crime code section for “forced-ATM-withdrawal.” House Bill 3914 (2011), would have solved this problem. It passed the General Assembly unanimously but was killed in a Senate subcommittee on the spurious grounds that it was not CLEAR compliant and the punishment was too harsh, (a class 1 felony vs a class 2 felony). So police still can’t connect Crime A in City A to Crime B in City B, compare evidence, solve the case and make an arrest before Crime C in City C. In short, the General Assembly has been looking the other way while people are murdered. The lack of a crime code section also keeps the public blind about the extent of the problem. This blind spot isn’t just in Illinois, not just in the US, but in every country around the world as well. If you’re the head of marketing at Chase Bank, how many of these murders each year is good news?
A backdoor method of researching the body count is possible though. A Freedom of Information Act Request to the Rockford PD showed that over 5 years, there were 3 murders out of 102 that involved the suspect using the victim’s ATM card. Statewide, that’s roughly 21 murders in 2013. The Chicago PD and the Illinois State Police refused to comply with similar requests.
There’ve been efforts in the past to solve this problem by mandating a reverse emergency PIN system for ATM users. In January 2004, the system was made mandatory. In August, without notifying the original witnesses, a follow on bill, HB4652, was passed that gutted the original bill. The official justification for the follow on bill was that it would give tort immunity to banks for using the system. In fact, what the law did was grant tort immunity to banks that don’t use the system. That’s not a typo. The law discourages even the voluntary use of the system. In other words, the State of Illinois gave Doyle Parker, Robert Armfield, Lyn Weis, Mark Evans, James Keniski, Carol Andrews, Wilber Harden, Natasha Cleary and her two young children a chance to call for help, then snatched it out of their hands. God only knows how many others could have been saved. If it had been available, serial killers like Gary Michael Hilton; John “The Grim Sleeper Ewell; and Illinois’ favorite son, Bruce Mendenhall would probably have been caught sooner.
IT IS A MAXIM OF THE LAW AND THE BIBLE THAT “SILENCE GIVES CONSENT.” PAT QUINN, LISA MADIGAN AND RAHM EMMANUEL HAVE BEEN REMAINING SILENT ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS. WITHIN 72 HOURS OF GIVING THE ORDER, THEY COULD FULLY INFORM THE PUBLIC.
NO ONE HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO OUTBID THE BANKING INDUSTRY ON THIS, BUT IF ENOUGH PEOPLE START TALKING ABOUT HOW AND WHY THIS PROBLEM WAS COVERED UP FOR SO LONG, MAYBE THAT WILL FIX IT.
This should raise a lot of questions. For answers, go to http://www.atmsafetypin.com