Murder on the margins: Chicago women strangled, killers at large | 10/5/2017 | Staff
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The family believes Margaret got addicted to drugs while hanging out at a park near the family home. She had a boyfriend who used drugs. She was crazy about him. Soon she went missing for days and would return home battered, her glasses often broken.

Through tears, family members recalled their desperate efforts over four years to help her. A sister paid for both Margaret and her boyfriend to get methadone treatment. They found a spot at a rehab facility, but her boyfriend wouldn’t go with her and she refused to go without him.

Friends - Family - Law - Enforcement - Down

Friends of the family who worked in law enforcement would often track her down on the West Side and bring her home. Her mother would sometimes take harrowing drives in search of her wayward daughter.

There were patches of success. Margaret earned her GED and worked as a waitress, a job listed on her death certificate. Along with her sisters, she received First Communion and was confirmed as an adult, two rites of passage in their Catholic faith.

Women - Addiction - Grip - Margaret - Letter

As with many of the women found strangled, addiction had a tight grip on Margaret. Here’s how she described herself in a letter left on her mother’s dining room table months before she was killed:

“Momma,” she wrote in pencil on lined paper her mother keeps neatly folded inside a plastic baggie. “I wanted to let you know how thankful I am having such a forgiving, caring + determend mother. … I know how much stress + heart ach I put you through and I want to apologize and promise it won’t happen again. I had hit a point where I had become real weak and I don’t know how I let it get that bad. .. I only want improvements from this day on. I LOVE YOU + LOVE how your always...
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