Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Mysterious Murders & Disappearances in Chicago Lawn

Kenshon Ward (top left), Shante Bohanan (top right), Joanna Wright (bottom left) and Marlo Gulley (bottom right) were all residents of the same neighborhood in the south side of Chicago, Illinois.  Kenshon (21) and Shante (20) were dating, while Joanna (33) and Marlo (26) were friends. All four of them knew each other, which makes the following tragic chain of events all the more mysterious:

On July 13th, 2016, Kenshon was tragically murdered in Marquette Park, located in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. He had been shot multiple times. A few people, including Shante, witnessed the shooting but did not see the shooter’s face. Nobody has ever been arrested in connection with Kenshon’s death and his killer remains at large. Additionally, there are very few details available about the investigation.

Eleven days later, on July 24th, 2016, Shante mysteriously vanished. She was last seen near a home in the Marquette Park area. When she failed to return home, her parents reported her missing. Just a few days later, police received an anonymous tip that there was a dead body in a “condemned” garage, located near where Shante was last seen. When police followed up, they found Shante’s body in a garbage can inside the garage. An autopsy apparently could not make a ruling on her cause of death.

A few months went by without any mainstream news on Kenshon and Shante’s cases. Then, on December 18th, 2016, Joanna Wright was taking a walk near her home in Marquette Park when she was kidnapped by a group of unidentified men in the broad daylight. A person who witnessed the event immediately called the police. The witness said that three men grabbed Joanna and started dragging her towards a vehicle. She tried to scream and fight them off, but they were still able to force her into the car and drive away. The car was described as a blue newer-model Mazda with an Ohio license plate.

After the initial reports about the kidnapping, mainstream news about Joanna’s case became scarce. However, community activists continued to share their thoughts. Many believed that Kenshon and Shante’s deaths were related, and they also did not think it was a coincidence that Joanna had been violently kidnapped from the very same neighborhood. Despite this, news about all three cases seemed to fade away due to the lack of updates in the investigations. Still, the residents of Marquette Park remained fearful that there were violent offenders on the loose in their community.

Then, on October 26th, 2017, yet another Marquette Park resident went missing: 26 year-old Marlo Gulley. He was last seen near the house where Shante was last seen before she was reported missing—located on the same street where Joanna was kidnapped. Marlo was reported missing by his girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child, after he failed to show up to their sonogram appointment. A search turned up no clues, and he still remains missing today.

While it has never been confirmed that any of these cases are related to one another, possible links are being investigated. It is quite notable that all four victims knew each other, and that Kenshon and Shante were found dead in the same neighborhood from which Joanna and Marlo vanished. Chicago Police are investigating each case. If you have any information that could lead to answers in any of the cases, please contact the Chicago Police Department at 312-747-8380.

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