Some years ago, The Hound labeled movies on the Lifetime cabler "Women in Jeop", mainly because most of them featured women who were in jeopardy in one form or another, mainly from creepy, controlling husbands and boyfriends. Although the channel has moved on, many of the featured films were and are based on true stories.
If they need some more, all they have to do is look to Illinois for a whole slew of cases to turn into made-for-TV thrillers. That is if the screenwriters ever go back to work.
It's been a bad few months if you're a woman in this region. I may not have a full roll call of those missing, believed dead and missing or just plain dead, but here's a partial list:
Lisa Stebic, the 1987 Libertyville High School graduate (nee Ruttenberg), whose been missing since May from her Plainfield home. Her husband, Craig, a "person of interest", according to police, won't talk to cops. He also won't let his kids talk to them.
Kimberly Vaughn, allegedly shot by her husband, Christopher, who took out the couple's three kids, too. He's in custody.
Rhoni Reuter, shot to death in her Deerfield condo. She was carrying the baby of former Bears Shaun Gale. There are no suspects, according to police, who say this wasn't a random act of violence.
Nailah Franklin, whose body was found in a forest preserve in far south suburban Calument City. There are no suspects.
Alma Menendez, a Chicago Heights woman who disappeared while jogging in a Cook County forest preserve. Her body was found in a lake in the preserve, her neck slashed.
Brenetta Beck, an Aurora mother of two, who was stabbed to death. A suspect is in custody.
Leticia Barrera, who was shot while trick-or-treating on a Chicago street with her kids, the apparent victim of gang violence. There are no suspects.
The latest is Stacy Peterson, a mother of two who has been missing over a week from her Bolingbrook home. Authorities say her husband, a Bolingbrook cop, whose previous wife drowned in the couple's bathtub, is cooperating in the investigation.
The only thing they have in common is their gender. For women, the byword should "be aware, be very aware" or become fodder for the Lifetime network.