Rogers Park killer still at large 1 year after murders

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019
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It's been one year since two men were killed in Rogers Park, and the masked killer is still at large.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been one year since two men were killed in Rogers Park, and the masked killer is still at large.

Police believe the killer was caught on surveillance video and there is a $150,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Meanwhile, residents of the far north side neighborhood are keeping the victims' memories alive.

RELATED: Shooting of 73-year-old man walking dogs in Rogers Park may have been botched robbery attempt, police say

On September 30, 2018, Douglass Watts walked his dogs in front of his Rogers Park home for the last time.

"When I walk down the block, there's a thought," said Ed Erlicher, resident. "There it is. That's what happened over there. It's kind of intimidating."

RELATED: Surveillance video released of masked suspect in Rogers Park shootings

Watts, 73, was the first of two victims who were shot and killed by a suspect who has become known simply as the Rogers Park killer. Police believe he was captured on surveillance video, face covered and walking down the block on Sherwin Avenue moments before approaching Watts and shooting him seemingly at random.

Thirty-six hours later the killer struck again, nearby in Loyola Park where he shot and killed 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz as he played Pokemon Go.

RELATED: Masked gunman randomly targeting victims in Rogers Park, police say; 2 killed in 2 days

Moscowitz's faded picture still sits near where he died. The photograph is surrounded by rocks; it is customary in Judaism to leave small rocks on the grave of a loved one after visiting.

"When somebody passes, they live through memory," said Suzanne Cella, Rogers Park resident. "I always try to keep this tended to as much as possible. Whenever I get a chance to stop by, which is usually every day, I leave a pretty rock. Or a rose. I've talked to his friends about fixing his picture."

The murders and their randomness have deeply impacted the neighborhood. The fact that the gunman remains at large weighs heavily on people's minds. His unique gait remains one of the few truly identifiable physical characteristics police have been able to hone in on in the time since the crimes.

RELATED: Rogers Park families celebrate Halloween, refuse to live in fear; killer still at large

"The fact that they haven't found him in a year, they have got no closer," said Randy Hassen, resident. "They have no clues, this guy could have slipped away into thin air."

The weapon used in the murders was linked to two more crimes in the months that followed, but police said the gun may have changed hands. The person who pulled the trigger was never found in either of those cases, either.

RELATED: Menorah lit in Rogers Park to honor shooting victim, masked killer still at large