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Family of 2004 murder victim holds event in Lake View; reward announced
by Andrew Davis
2024-03-24

This article shared 9343 times since Sun Mar 24, 2024
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The year 2004, for the family and friends of Lake View resident Kevin Clewer, will forever be marked by tragedy.

On March 24 of that year, Clewer, 31, was found in his apartment at 3444 N. Elaine Pl.; he was the victim of multiple fatal stab wounds after a night out in the Boystown area (now referred to as Northalsted). His killer has still been at large—and Clewer's murder has now been considered a cold case. (And for the Clewer family, tragedy struck again the following year—twice—as Kevin's parents, Jim Clewer and Pam Cunningham, passed away in separate situations.)

Fast-forward 20 years. On March 23, 2024, Clewer's family held "A Celebration of Life & Call for Justice" at the nightclub Scarlet, whose owner volunteered to host the event. And although there were no more than a couple dozen attendees, the enormity of love for Clewer was obvious.

A slideshow that ran on the venue's TV screens revealed parts of Clewer's life while a soundtrack featuring songs by Whitney Houston, Cher, Culture Club and others blasted from the speakers. (Of the latter, brother Ron Clewer said it was a "playlist of Kevin's life.") In addition, attendees shared stories about Kevin as well as took part in a toast to him.

Placards were distributed that showed not only a painting of Kevin that was done by Rockford artist Rachel Bonacquisti—but also an announcement of a $50,000 reward "for the arrest and conviction of those involved in Kevin's murder." In addition, the flyer shows a composite of the assailant—a man who went by "Fernando" in March 2004. (QR codes on the placards allowed people to either complete a leads submission form or listen to some of Kevin's favorite music.)

Detective John Campbell, who was at the event, told Windy City Times, "The Chicago Police Department, first and foremost, stands with all the victims and their families, Ron included. With this case, with the help of the public, we have pushed this case forward. But we need the public's help again."

Last year, it was revealed that Chicago police identified and interviewed the man known as Fernando. Investigators actually went to Puerto Rico to talk with the individual. However, Campbell said, "The investigation has sort of stalled at this point as we look for more information and evidence. There's a difference between knowing who did it and proving it. It's very frustrating for us, as detectives."

"It's been 20 years," Ron added. "When we did our first media event [in 2004], I said, 'I don't want to be here 20 years later—and here we are. But I feel like we have answers. What we don't have is enough evidence to link those answers together. So while we appeal to the public for information, I feel that we're so much closer to resolution—but without those last details, it's not going to happen. We're [announcing] the reward in the hope that it'll free someone's memory

And as for what he wanted people to know about Kevin, Ron mentioned another event attendee, Christian, who said that Kevin 'radiated light and positivity" in pictures they saw of him and that they also knew him to be a "genuine and honest guy—and that's what people need to know."

Ron added, "I used to work in public housing and, unfortunately, there were homicides. People would say [of the victims], 'They're the greatest person in the world.' To me and my family, Kevin was, as well."

Anyone who has any information can contact the Chicago Police Department's Area 3 Detective Division at 312-744-8261.

For those who want to complete a leads submission form, visit hqr.codes/9fxdR2 and www.kevinclewer.com/contact_us. Kevin Clewer's playlist is at tinyurl.com/5fcszv5c .


This article shared 9343 times since Sun Mar 24, 2024
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