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Chicago's 'Killing Season' Graphed in Murder Scene Photos Along Mega Mall

By Paul Biasco | August 10, 2015 5:40am | Updated on August 11, 2015 8:02am
 Killing Season chronicles the murder scenes of 172 homicides from the summer of 2010.
Killing Season chronicles the murder scenes of 172 homicides from the summer of 2010.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LOGAN SQUARE — A work of street art documenting Chicago's yearly "killing season" has popped up in Logan Square at the start of what is regularly Chicago's deadliest month.

The project may look familiar: A slimmed down version chronicling a summer's worth of murders was plastered across Wicker Park's The Violet Hour in 2011.

Krista Wortendyke, who created the work, spent the summer of 2010 photographing crime scenes across the city where murders had occurred. The Violet Hour's wall wasn't large enough to include the full summer's tally and Wortendyke has wanted to showcase the complete project for years, she said.

On Monday she placed the six boards in a row against the shuttered Mega Mall on Milwaukee Avenue just south of Logan Boulevard stretching about 50 feet long.

"It seems like every summer I'd like to really bring it back in some way," Wortendyke said. "Things don’t seem to be changing. It seems very pertinent every year that [summer] comes around."

The installment is composed of photographs taken at the scenes of 172 homicides in Chicago between Memorial Day and Labor Day during the summer of 2010.

"I thought August is the height of when all of this is going on, so it felt like an important time," said Wortendyke, 36, who lives in the West Loop teaches at Columbia College.

The photos are placed in bar graph-style based on chronological order and look like a cityscape, but she said that effect was unintentional.

The boards are simply leaning up against the wall. No glue, no wheat paste. They've been up for five days and are still standing.

"They keep falling, but it seems that the community keeps picking them up," Wortendyke said.

The artist chose to display the project on Milwaukee for a number of reasons, but most importantly because she felt there is a lot of young energy in the neighborhood.

"I just want there to be an awareness. If you don’t know, there's nothing you can do," Wortendyke said. "It’s like something you don’t even consider. Theres a lot of energy there and maybe somebody will be inspired by it."

See our map of every shooting in Chicago since 2010.

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