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A Year Later, Police Still Searching For Mysterious Masked Gunman Who Killed Two In North Chicago
A year after a masked gunman shot Douglass Watts and Eliyahu Moscowitz in North Chicago in seemingly random, but connected incidents, police announced they’ve exhausted all leads on the case.
An unknown masked gunman who went on a killing spree and terrorized North Chicago last fall is still at large.
Over the course of two days, Douglass Watts, 73, and Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, were killed by an unknown masked gunman about half a mile apart from each other in the city’s north side.
“The brazenness of this case galvanized our community and I’m here to assure you that the investigation into these murders are still very much active and ongoing,” Comm. Robert Cesario said during a press conference this week.
But detectives on Tuesday announced that the trail of the alleged shooter, since dubbed the “Duck Walk Killer,” has gone cold and Cesario’s was tight-lipped and unable to answer many of the media’s questions regarding the case, repeatedly citing his refusal to speculate on an ongoing case. Sally Brown, a Chicago Police Department spokesperson for Cesario, also declined an interview request from Oxygen.com.
Authorities, who said the motives for the killings are unknown, have only described the suspect as a thin, black man, roughly six feet tall, and who was wearing dark clothing. They ruled out the killings as botched robberies since it didn’t appear either of the victims had anything stolen. Last fall, officials shared a video of the alleged killer, which they said was captured by nearby surveillance cameras at the same time Watts was murdered.
Watts, who was walking his dogs, was fatally shot on the morning of Sept. 30, around 10 a.m., police said.
"I later came out to find my neighbor of five years face down in the middle of the street dead," Lynda Kaplan told WGN-TV. "He was out walking his dogs, and he was shot execution-style."
The next day, Moscowitz was gunned down in Loyola Park while playing Pokémon Go. At the time, there were possible suspicions that Watts, an openly gay man, and Moscowitz, a devout Orthodox Jew who wore traditional religious clothing, were targeted because of their respective identities. Police have since ruled that out.
“Both of these homicides remain under investigation as no one is in custody,” Brown, the Chicago police spokesperson, told Oxygen.com. “These homicides are being treated as separate incidences and have not been deemed a hate crime,” she added via email.
However, the gun used in the dual killings later turned up in two other separate shootings on the city’s west side, which Chicago police were investigating, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police later said the suspects in those cases weren’t connected to the north side murders. Detectives suggested the gun may have changed hands, ABC 7 reported.
“We have tracked the gun used in this case,” Cesario said on Tuesday. “We know it found its way to another crime scene.”
But a year after Watts’ and Moscowitz’s slayings, some north side Chicago residents are frustrated the case hasn’t yet been cracked.
“I really don’t understand why people who recognize that man in the picture, they’ve been all over the news, why those people haven’t come forward,” the Rev. Tom Maluga, a friend of Moscowitz’s, told Oxygen.com.
“Somebody knows,” he added.
Maluga, 61, first met Moscowitz playing Pokémon Go and said his friend had a magnetic personality.
"He was a really good guy, really good natured, always happy, always wanted to bring people together,” Maluga described. “He was a happy person.”
Moscowitz, he said, worked as a food examiner and had gone on a vacation to Australia shortly before being gunned down. He said the 24-year-old was a force within Chicago’s Pokémon Go community.
“He was very serious [about] Pokémon Go,” Maluga said. “He was very good at it. He was one of the best in the whole Chicago-area. Certainly in this area he was right up there."
Police are offering a $150,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the masked gunman.
“We’re not going to give up on investigating these murders,” Cesario, the Chicago detective, added.
“We know that there is someone out there who has that seemingly innocuous piece of information that will help detectives get the kickstart that we need. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a trusted loved one, we need you to do the right thing and call the police."