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Murder of the Grimes Sisters: Part 2

Innocence Lost: Murder of the Grimes Sisters: Part 2

On January 22, 1957, a motorist spotted what he thought were two unregistered dummies along German Church Road near Willow Springs in Cook County.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that the mannequins were actually the bodies of Barbara and Patricia Grimes.

The teenage sisters have been missing from Chicago’s southwest neighborhood for more than three weeks.

They went to see an Elvis movie and never came home.

“There was tremendous pressure on the police agencies of Cook County and the city of Chicago,” said Chicago historian Rich Lindbergh. “This was the kind of case the police should have solved.”

Investigators quickly zeroed in on a suspect, Benny Bedwell, a drifter from Tennessee who worked as a dishwasher on Chicago’s West Side.

Witnesses told police they saw Bedwell with the girls on West Madison Street. He was arrested and reportedly confessed, but evidence contradicted his story and witness statements. Bedwell later said he falsely confessed to killing the girls to stop a police beating.

From there, the trail went cold.

But in recent years there has been renewed interest in helping track down leads and information, thanks in part to a Facebook group started by Ray Johnson, a former police officer. Johnson, Mark Weeks and other members of the team believe they have found critical information that could help shed light on what happened to the girls.

During the investigation, they learned that after the girls were found, the police questioned four teenagers.

On the night the sisters disappeared, the boys admitted to drinking about 35 in the carthousand Street and Archer Avenue, where girls could pass on their way home from the movies. Johnson later discovers new information that potentially strengthens the connection between the boys and the Grimes sisters.

This information was provided to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

But it’s unclear what, if anything, investigators did with the lead.

“If you know of something like this and find this information, it needs to be shared and someone needs to take action,” Weeks said.

Weeks grew up in Brighton Park and did extensive research on the case after joining Johnson’s group.

And that’s what concerns me, all the people at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department that I’ve shared this with have not followed through on what they promised,” Weeks said.

Cook County Sheriff’s Police reviewed the information provided by Johnson, Weeks and others. But officials told WGN they don’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Wednesday is coming part 3 will tell the story of a former Chicago police detective who believes he has found critical evidence that could help solve the case.


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