BY CHASE DIFELICIANTONIO
Homicide Watch Chicago
A balloon sways in the wind. An empty liquor bottle rests on the pavement. Flowers wilt in the January snow. These are the memorials for some of Chicago’s murder victims.
The memorials are temporary places where grieving family and friends can share words and photos to celebrate the victim’s life.
Some memorials are erected at the scene of a crime, while others are built outside the victim’s home, but all are reminders of lives taken by violence.
Tramian Barnes allegedly fatally shot 19-year-old Alex Anderson in January in the Portage Park neighborhood. After being shot, Anderson stumbled home and said, “Tre Shot me.” Anderson died the next day and became the 15th homicide victim of 2014.
Photo from Alex Anderson memorial / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio
A memorial for Anderson featuring candles and liquor bottles was created near a snowy sidewalk outside his home.
Photos from Alex Anderson memorial / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio
Ronald Hayes, 17, was fatally shot in February while shoveling snow by his Near West Side home, family said. His mother, Cathy Booker, wore her son’s Banner West Academy school ID around her neck as she recalled his love for basketball and his teenage appetite for tacos and Italian beef.
Booker shows Hayes’ school ID / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio
Hayes’ memorial was created where he was gunned down and featured stuffed animals and flowers struggling to survive in the February snow. A single blue balloon swayed silhouetted against the sky — an exclamation point marking the city’s 31st homicide of 2014.
Photos from Ronald memorial / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio
Javan Boyd, 28, was working his night job as a livery driver when at least two gunmen fatally shot him just blocks from U.S. Cellular Field in February. His aunt, Trina Boyd, said he was a hard working man who loved to play basketball and spend time with his 11-year-old daughter.
The memorials often look colorful from a distance, but up close nicknames and expressions of love are written in black ink on a blank white board.
Photos from Javan Boyd memorial / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio
Alexander Scott allegedly fatally shot 25-year-old Eric Woods at his West Garfield Park home in late February during a domestic dispute.
Eric Woods / Family Photo
Mourners stood in front of the home and wrote “forever you live thru” and “you live through us” on a message board posted outside. A trail of blood spattered the stairs and sidewalk in front of the home and red roses had been scattered across the scene.
Photos from Eric Woods memorial / Photo by Chase DiFeliciantonio