40 years ago

There’s so much going on in town, both good and bad. The good takes care of itself; the bad needs to be noted and reported by guess who? You! If you see or hear something awry, or smell trouble, our police force wants to know about it.

The following character types, situations and activities are worth your close watch. They’re taken from an article from a Review of 40 years back. Look it over, develop a healthy suspicion, play detective, feel good about participating. An entire police force or community may be grateful for your involvement.

An unfamiliar vehicle slowly browsing your area … anyone suspiciously removing license plates, merchandise, or gasoline from an automobile … persons entering or leaving a house or business at unusual hours … a suspicious vehicle with the motor running … anyone trying car doors as they walk by … the sound of breaking glass … any call for assistance … a person screaming. Telephone 366-2425, non-emergency. 911, emergency.

From the Sept. 3, 1969, Forest Park Review

30 years ago

“The remains of a bicycle are seen lying …” Those were the opening words describing a near fatal accident involving two cars and a pair of bikes. Only chance circumstances and a random split-second saved the copy from reading, “The remains of a bicyclist ….”

At the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Circle Avenue two bicyclists, Marlene Perry, 16, of Cicero and Weston Willmore, 18, of Oak Park, began to pedal north on Circle when their red turned to green. A westbound car driven by 20-year-old John Maher of Oak Park belatedly turned left (south), side-swiped a car driven by Charles Marinier, then struck the two bikers. According to a witness, the young lady was thrown 50 feet onto the Roosevelt Road sidewalk. She remained hospitalized with a fractured leg and facial cuts. Her companion was treated for head lacerations, then released. Maher was charged with failure to reduce speed, improper lane usage and careless driving.

From the Aug. 22, 1979, Forest Park Review

20 years ago

In searching a follow-up to this story I hoped to find just who set fire to the apartment at 7449 Washington St. that took the lives of a little girl on the brink of blooming, and her 35-year-old mother. Cheryl Clarke, 35, and her 9-year-old daughter, Kola, died late in the evening of June 15 of smoke inhalation. A suspicious number of fires and attempted fires had been struck there lately.

Six weeks after their deaths, local police were continuing their search for the arsonist, and offered a reward. Meanwhile, a young girl and her young mother presumably lay side-by-side under gravestones where the grass grew slowly.

From the July 26, 1989, Forest Park Review

10 years ago

Ah, the summer of ’99 … that’s when we all got our BFI blue garbage bins with lock-on lids. Built to defeat local scavenger animals And they worked! But there was another side to the story. Without permission, here’s an excerpt from John Rice’s column on the subject.

We take you to an emergency meeting of the Forest Park Rodents Association, Rocky Raccoon at the podium: OK, when I call the name of your species, answer “Here!”

Squirrels? Here. Mice? Here. Possums? (Silence). I forgot they haven’t joined our chapter yet. Any comments about our food crisis? You there, the skunk with your tail raised.

Thank you, Rocky. Well just last night I met my girlfriend in Waldheim Cemetery and promised her a seven-can dinner. When we got to our favorite backyard there was only one can. A big blue one with a great smell coming from it. We just couldn’t get at it. Now she left me.

Alright, you with the beady eyes …. A raccoon wearing goggles and a lab coat takes the mic. (It goes on.)

From the June 16, 1999, Forest Park Review