Bizarre murder here tied to Downstate crime spree
BANK STANDOFF DVD cases from movies about serial killers found lying on victim’s body
Arnie Graves was found dead Thursday night in his South Side condo with a satanic note, a knife and a ballpeen hammer in the room.
On Friday, police said his luxury car was used in a central Illinois crime spree in which a sheriff’s deputy was shot in the face and hostages were held in a bank. The two men being held in the Downstate crime spree are “persons of interest” in Graves’ killing, police said.
Graves, 39, was discovered naked in his bedroom on the 4100 block of South Michigan about 8:45 p.m. Thursday. He was shot, stabbed and beaten, officials say.
In the room was a note that said, “Help me. The Devil. 666.” Lying on his body were DVD cases for two serial-killer thrillers, “Red Dragon” and “Hannibal.” His body was covered with baking soda, authorities said.
State Police asked Chicago Police to check on Graves after his silver Infiniti G35 luxury car sped away from officers during a midmorning traffic stop Thursday about 150 miles south of Chicago in Amish country.
William B. Thompson, 26, and Yusef Kareem Brown, 23, both of Chicago, then allegedly robbed a nearby house, ditched the Infiniti and stole a van. A sheriff’s deputy stopped the van and was shot in the face. He was critically wounded.
Police said they chased the van at speeds of more than 100 mph before the men jumped out and fled. Brown was captured, but Thompson ran into a bank in Arcola and took hostages before giving up about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.
The men were ordered held in lieu of $5 million bail on charges including attempted murder of a peace officer, armed robbery and carjacking. They are both convicted felons, police said.
Graves was a BNSF Railway yardmaster in Cicero. He had worked for the company since 1994. “His supervisor said he wished he had 100 employees like Arnie,” BNSF spokesman Steve Forsberg said.
‘I need to ask them why’
Graves’ sister Angelique Graves said she talked to her brother every day. They last spoke about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when he returned home from work. He was planning to meet an acquaintance for drinks, she said.
Graves viewed her brother’s body at the morgue.
“His earrings and his bracelets and his rings were gone, stuff that he would never take off,” she said, speculating that he was robbed. “I need to ask them why, why would they torture my brother the way they did.”
Graves said her brother enjoyed singing in his church choir and helping his nephews with their homework and transportation to school.
Roderick Drew, president of the condo board where Graves lived, said residents occasionally complained about noise coming from Graves’ unit, where he had lived for about two years.
One neighbor heard a commotion in Graves’ unit early Thursday but was not worried because of Graves’ history of playing loud music, Drew said.
The condo complex has surveillance cameras, but they were not working early Thursday, Drew said.