CRIME: Death on the Steps

In a boxy brick house in a drab West Side Chicago neighborhood. Ethel Alesia was late cleaning up the dinner dishes. As she moved around her kitchen one night last week, she half-listened for steps on the front porch—her brother had promised faithfully to be home by 10:30, a good half-hour before the 11 p.m. curfew of his prison parole. For an instant she thought she heard the steps. Then, unmistakably, she heard another sound she had also been half-listening for: the harsh roar of shotgun fire. She rushed to the front porch, found two men twitching in a gumbo...

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