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August 13, 2008 - Joe Gorman
``They livin' fast and dyin' hard. It's just so sad.' Woman who would not give her name standing outside a homicide scene at Cain and Hylda Wednesday
Those who stood outside and watched as police and coroner's investigators worked a homicide scene at the corner of Hylda and Cain on the South Side Wednesday did not have much to say.
Without knowing what was going on, an observer right away could tell it was grim. There was no laughing, hardly any talking except on cell phones and people were chaining cigarettes from butt to tip as they watched.
Sequestered away beside a police car, almost like they were put in a corner, were about a half dozen people who were family of the victim. Some of them were sobbing, literally quaking with grief, while others just stared at the home with hard eyes.
The stare was not just from the family. Several people, mostly young men, had that same, hard stare as if they were looking to get even, which made this scene different from others who usually have sort of carnival/freak show atmosphere.
One person was concerned about a woman who was seated in the front of a cruiser who was going to the police station for further questioning. One of the officers tried to reassure him by saying, ``if she was in trouble, she would not be sitting next to me in the front seat.'
I tried to talk to about a dozen people, but was met with resistance. No one could say for sure if the home was vacant or if someone had just moved in and there was some confusion about the identity of the victim.
That was unusual. Normally, some people will rail about how bad the neighborhood is or what a nice, decent person the victim was. Even in some of the most hardened neighborhoods in the city you can get that.
What really made an impression was the children, especially those who watched when they put the body on a stretcher and wheeled it into a van. I've seen that several times and it never looks like a person. Bundled up in some white sheet, it looks like a package that got squashed before delivery.
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