Crisis In The Family Courts

3 Dead: Late-night slaying of mom, dad, son 'was targeted thing'

Posted in domestic law by abatteredmother on March 3, 2010,CST-NWS-darien03.article

3 dead in Darien -Late-night slaying of mom, dad, son ‘was targeted thing’


March 3, 2010


Darien Police said they did not have a suspect in the early Tuesday killings of a towing company owner, his wife and their son — even after interviewing more than 50 people.

» Click to enlarge image

Three single roses and three wreaths are placed next door to the home where three gunshot victims were found early this morning. The dead are Jeffrey Kramer (insets, top to bottom), his wife, Lori, and their son Michael.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)


Darien triple homicide

A surviving daughter, Angela Kramer, called 911 just before 3 a.m. from a closet in her parents’ home after a gunman killed her father, Jeffrey R. Kramer, 50; her mother, Lori L. Kramer, 48, and a brother, Michael J. Kramer, 20, police said.

Angela Kramer, 25, and her ex-boyfriend share custody of their 13-month-old son and have been locked in a visitation battle in DuPage County Circuit Court, records show. Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that the ex-boyfriend called police Tuesday morning saying he saw news coverage of the killings on TV and wanted to know whether Angela was OK.

The ex-boyfriend was accompanied to the Darien Police station by an attorney. Darien Deputy Police Chief John Cooper said the man was not a suspect.

The killings were the first in the western suburb since a murder-suicide in 1995, police said.

"It’s terrible," said Aldo Costabile, 73, who lives a few doors from the murder scene. "I was never worried — until now." But police insisted there was no reason for residents to worry about a killer on the loose, saying the shootings appeared to have been "targeted" and not random.

The three bodies were removed from the home and placed in a van at 4:45 p.m. by the DuPage County coroner’s office as friends and relatives looked on. Three wreaths with red roses were left outside the house by mourners.

Jeffrey Kramer was the owner of a towing and auto repair shop in Cicero.

He and son Michael were found on the first floor, and Lori was found on a stairway to the second floor, police said. All three were shot multiple times and at least 12 bullet casings were discovered in the house — all apparently from the same handgun, sources said. A window on the first floor was broken, the likely point of entry for the killer, police said.

No weapon was immediately found. The shooter likely fled through the snow, based on tracks near the house, and jumped into a car and drove off, police said.

During the slayings, Angela Kramer hid in an upstairs closet and called police just before 3 a.m., saying she had heard shots fired in the house in the 8900 block of Kilkenny Drive in the Tara Hill subdivision — just north of Interstate 55 and east of Lemont Road, Police Chief Robert Pavelchik said.

Her brother Anthony Kramer, 29, who lives in the basement, was coming out a basement window as police arrived, Pavelchik said. Michael’s 17-year-old girlfriend — who was visiting and whom police would not identify — ran from the house barefoot and knocked on neighbors’ doors.

Pavelchik said he does not think the killings involved murder-suicide or that any of the survivors was involved, but he added, "It’s clear to me that someone who knew the family was involved."

More than 50 people, including neighbors and relatives, were interviewed by police Tuesday. None of the survivors was able to identify the killer, Pavelchik said.

Deputy Chief Cooper added: "We are trying to figure out who we are looking for. It wasn’t a random thing. It was a targeted thing."

Jeffrey Kramer owned Kramer’s Auto Repair & Towing in Cicero, which he took over from his father, who started the business, employees said. They said Kramer was a diehard White Sox and Bears fan. They described him as "a good guy" who kept them employed despite the recession. "The guy gave me a chance," one employee said.

Fabian Sanchez owns Fabian’s Auto Repair next door. He bought the property from Kramer’s father. Of Jeffrey Kramer, Sanchez said: "I’ve known him almost 16 years. He was a nice man. We talked every day. He would say, ‘Amigo, buenas tardes.’ ”

Sanchez paused, then said, "You never know when it’s going to be your last day."

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