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Mayor: Murdered couple was targeted

April 24, 2009 4:26:00 AM PDT
Leon Taylor, 77, and his wife, Minnie, 75, were found dead in their home in January.Nine years ago, Leon Taylor was the driver who left a young boy alone in a van on a sweltering, summer day.

The mayor of Country Club Hills, Dwight Welch, says this investigation is personal to him. He says Minnie and Leon Taylor were good friends of his. He also says the police department is closing in on their killer.

It was a murder mystery that alarmed neighbors in Country Club Hills. Leon and Minnie Taylor had lived in the town for years and had no enemies anyone knew of. But the mayor, who is working with the police department, believes the couple was targeted.

"We pretty much know who did it, how it was done, and why it was done. Some things we can talk about, but we do know it was conspiracy," said Mayor Dwight Welch, Mayor Dwight Welch.

Both victims were shot once in the head, their bodies found in or near the master bedroom of the home. Police found no sign of forced entry or robbery. In fact, when they came to investigate in late January, they found the house locked from the outside. But they say they also found evidence at the scene that implicates at least one suspect. The mayor says the shooter, however, is not the only one involved.

"It wasn't a random crime. It was something that was planned. Some people were hired to do this. We know this," said Welch.

The mayor refuses to speculate on who may have paid the suspect to murder the couple.

Nearly nine years ago, Leon and Minnie taylor owned a daycare center in Harvey. Ten-month-old Tyrell Jones died of heat stroke after being left in one of the center's vans. Leon Taylor was never criminally charged but did face a civil suit.

"If there is a connection, we'll prove it," said Welch.

The mayor admits that it is unusual to talk publicly about an investigation at this stage before an arrest is made, but he says he is doing so to try to use the media to send a message to the killers that the police department knows who they are. He believes that they would be best off cooperating with the investigation.


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