The Things Kids Say

Chicago police face questions as murder charges are dropped against two preteen boys

Margaret Hampton was surprised when a Chicago Tribune reporter phoned her with the news that suspects had been arrested in the murder of her 11-year-old granddaughter Ryan Harris. "I thought it was a 17- and an 18-year-old," Hampton told TIME, "not seven and eight." Hampton's shock reverberated around the U.S. as Chicago police charged two preteen boys with the August murder in the city's grim Englewood district, declaring the pair had confessed to killing Ryan for her brand-new bicycle and molesting her body with a tree twig. But Hampton was still puzzled. Police at the scene when Ryan's body was discovered...

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