Safe Town, Unsafe House

Chicago is the murder capital of the USA but a town just an hour west of downtown has been murder-free for 39 years. Until this week.

At approximately 6:30 am last Sunday, a Metra train conductor spotted the body of a woman on the Union Pacific West Line tracks in Geneva, Illinois. Police arrived shortly thereafter and determined the woman was deceased.

A guardrail separates train tracks and fence
A crime scene. (photo by Kane County Chronicle)

The first thought in my mind when I heard this news was that the woman committed suicide. It would not have been the first time a person chose that spot and that method to end it all.

Suicide is always sad, except maybe in the case of a so-called suicide bomber who intended to kill others for the sake of their religion.

It turned out this woman, identified as Kathleen King, was only 32 years old and a mother. She lived with her family in the neighborhood near the tracks where her body was discovered. What could have been so horrible that would bring her to do such a thing?

It turned out not to be suicide after all.

Today, King’s husband, Shadwick King, was arrested and charged with killing his wife. The cause of her death was determined to be asphyxiation. Prosecutors figure King killed his wife early Sunday morning and then placed her body on the tracks.

Bail was set at $1.5 million.

front and profile mug shots
Shadwick King (photo by ABC7)

Of course, in a court of law, King will be presumed innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

There hasn’t been a murder in Geneva since July 2, 1975. The low crime rate and nearly non-existent violent crime rate was one of the reasons my family moved here seventeen years ago.

Unfortunately, no zip code is immune to the terror of domestic violence. Kathleen King lived in a very safe city and neighborhood. If the authorities are correct, the most dangerous place in town was in her own home.

May she rest in peace. May her children recover. And may justice be done.