Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A few observations on female crime in Chicago

I came across a gallery of photos at the Chicago Tribune entitled "Mugs in the news" which featured a collection of Chicago area arrest photos. There were a total of 66 photos and I took a look at the first 13 and noticed that eight out of the first thirteen were women--although there were only 12 women out of the total 66 mugshots from what I counted.

The women were (allegedly) involved in crimes ranging from making up fraudulent documents to first degree murder. Another thing worth noting is that some women acted alone or with other women. For example, two women (image 10 and 11) were arrested for robbing a couple and shooting the man after taking his wallet:

Desiree Hollis and Bobbie Griffin, both 20 years old, were accused of demanding money from a couple walking on the Near West Side on Dec. 11, 2008, then shooting the man before fleeing, police said. Hollis, of the 100 block of North Leamington Avenue, and Griffin, of the 5800 block of West Walton Street, were tracked down shortly after the couple flagged a police car.

Patricia Pearson, in her book, When She Was Bad...: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence says that women may increasingly work in pairs or alone. Joyce Carol Oates once said that "Most often, [women] are merely the distaff half of a murderous couple whose brain-power is supplied by the man." I don't think this holds true anymore, if it ever did.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it used to be the case that women (if paired with a man) could just shove everything on him - and it would work - so they did it.

If you look at the Charles Starkweather killing spree case around 40 or 50 years ago, Charlie was initially painted as the leader and initiator, and his girlfriend (Caril Ann Fugate) was kind of a victim or at most an unwilling follower.

As more and more facts came to light, it seems very likely that Caril was the initiator and leader, and Charles was more the dumb grunt / muscle part of the operation.

In any case, Charles has long since been fried in the electric chair, and Caril has long since been out of jail, last working as a NURSE in Michigan (although no longer under her imfamous name).


I think today, more and more people, even brain-artery-encrusted old chivalrous men, are starting to realize that women can commit crimes themselves. And also try to manipulate to get out of it.

11:59 AM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Larry Sheldon said...

Interesting to note the black-white ratio.

12:13 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Grim said...

Interesting question, are women less likely to commit crimes after being punished?

12:33 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...


Are you asking about the recidivism rate of female offenders? If so, here is a good paper on the rates of females after being punished with prison time:

12:55 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Slamdunk said...

Interesting note about females and MO--thanks.

One of our local newspapers just headlined with a story about the dramatic rise in theft arrests of female university students. It remains to be seen of how much of the increase is more thefts or better apprehension strategies targeting products that females steal (e.g. makeup)

1:03 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

The most heinous child abuse that I have worked with was perpetrated by a woman.

The Department of Children's Services refused to invetigate the abuse.

The parents were jailed on a lesser matter. The father got extra time even though he was not even close to the main perpetrator. Unfairness is one thing, but this perpetrator is out walking free and will perpetrate again. She is dangerous, and that has nothing to do with her gender. That is what hacks me.


2:36 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger wolfboy69 said...

derek - Interesting question, are women less likely to commit crimes after being punished?

There has to be punishment first. Something like 75% of women charged are pled down and serve little or no time in prison. And it takes more arrests before a woman is sent to prison, compared to a man.

As this becomes a more widely recognized problem (women committing violent crimes), how much more money is going to need to be thrown into building women's prisons/hiring more female officers/prison guards (to lessen the likelyhood of lawsuits)?

There is still a rather chivalrous notion in this country(U.S.) that women aren't as violent as men. I say, head over to youtube and search "girl fight". I don't buy any argument that women are the fairer sex.

6:09 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

Women Who Kill Too Much and the Courts That Free Them:

The Twelve 'Female-Only' Defenses

Excerpted from "The Myth of Male Power"

by Warren Farrell

11:43 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Of course nobody will talk about the race of the perps. We'll continue to pretend that 2/3 of violent crime isn't committed by black males.

2:35 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...


Actually, some people do speak up on problems of racial violence--Walter Williams has a good article (although now a bit old) entitled, "An ugly conspiracy of silence":

7:41 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

@ Alex said... "Of course nobody will talk about the race of the perps. We'll continue to pretend that 2/3 of violent crime isn't committed by black males."

I heard a stat on a talk show that I'm going to try to look up later, but it was interesting. It said, in a nutshell, that when you remove the illegitimacy rate from the statistics, the black vs white incarceration rate all but disappears. I believe that to be largely true, even if their are other factors. I believe the biggest single contributing factors to the crime rate is the breakdown of the family, and that breakdown has hit the black family the hardest.

(I don't have stats on female crime rates vs illegitimacy, but I suspect it is correlated as well.)

In addition to Walter Williams, Mychal Massie, who writes for, speaks out against black violence. He was an outspoke person when it came to the thugs at Jena. Mr. Massie has been kind enough to answer several of my emails (not particularly relevant, but he seems like a kind man).

8:26 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Trust, I agree. I asked a friend who was recently incarcerated to ask his prisonmates if they were raised in a single parent household. He did, and he didn't find any that weren't. It's not skin color that affects the predisposition to engage in crime. The more single parents struggling to raise kids alone will directly affect and increase the crime rate.

10:28 AM, January 22, 2009  
Blogger Words Twice said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:33 PM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger Words Twice said...

Trust: “I believe the biggest single contributing factors to the crime rate is the breakdown of the family, and that breakdown has hit the black family the hardest.”

“ dissolution in the modern world leads to a welfare state to take care of the women and children and a police state to handle the teenaged boys." - George Gilder

It's not just teenage boys. Females are quite capable of criminal depravity.

In Chicago last summer, teenage girls and a boy attacked a woman with a bat and threw sulfuric acid on her face. Only one of the actual attackers has been captured so far. She is 16 years old. Also arrested were a 35 year old woman and two grandmothers in their late 50's, who planned the attack and also participated as getaway drivers.

Why was the victim attacked? Allegedly, she was dating the ex-husband of one of the 50-something women.

9:05 PM, January 23, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Okay, Trust, we are in agreement that the breakdown of the family is a big contributing factor in the current crime rate. Here is my question to you and every single person out there,.....what is the solution?

Mind you, making it much harder for people to get divorced when there are kids is not going to be a solution because many of single parents never marry their partners.

I am very interested in all answers to this question, I'm giving everyone the floor on this, all ideas appreciated. Helen, please allow me some latitude here with the obvious thread hijack.

4:03 PM, January 24, 2009  
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