Suspected Serial Killer Charged in 3 Women's Deaths

Police: Victims led "high risk" lifestyles

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Michael Johnson is charged in the murders of three women found strangled in abandoned buildings.

    An accused serial killer arrested after DNA linked him to three South Side strangulations since 2008 was found after one of his victims survived the attack, the Sun-Times reported.

    Michael Johnson, 24, of the 100 block of East 120th Place, was charged Saturday with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, according to a statement from police News Affairs.

    Johnson -- who police have called the No. 1 suspect in the strangulations of three women -- was arrested Thursday outside his home, police said.

    Johnson was identified after he choked a woman unconscious in an abandoned building earlier this year and left her for dead, police source told the Sun-Times.  She survived, and was later able to identify Johnson to police, who took a DNA sample from him and linked it to three murdered women, according to police.

    The bodies of Leslie Brown, 38-year-old Eureka Jackson and 30-year-old Siobhan Hampton were all found in abandoned buildings on the Far South Side -- all strangled.

    At 10:50 a.m. March 30, Hampton's naked body was discovered in an abandoned first-floor store front at 11322 S. Michigan Ave., police said. The building was previously the site of a fast food chicken restaurant. She had been strangled to death, an autopsy later revealed.

    Brown, of an unidentified age and home address, was found murdered in January 2010, and Jackson was found strangled in November 2008 inside an abandoned building at 34 E. 120th St.

    All three women were African-American, and all were found in the area of 113th to 120th streets from South Michigan to South Harvard avenues, according to a community alert. Police said all the victims led "high risk" lifestyles.

    DNA evidence from Hampton’s remains were later found to match the same DNA profile obtained from of the two previous victims, according to a police report.

    The DNA from those three victims was then matched to Johnson, according to police.

    It was not immediately known if investigators will be linking the suspect to a fourth woman, whose death earlier this month was similar to the other victims.

    Lutelda Hudson, 29, of 11825 S. Princeton Ave., was found dead about 10:40 am. May 16 in a vacant building in the 11900 block of South Harvard Avenue, authorities said. A May 17 autopsy determined Hudson died of strangulation and her death has been ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.

    Police continue to investigate.