For the second time this year, residents of Evanston, Illinois are shaking their heads over a killing in our town. In June, a couple of angry young men fought in a bar and one got shot to death. The murder of 43-year old Linda Twyman is much more disturbing to settled, middle-aged people like me - she was stabbed to death in her own apartment. For my wife and me, this was also a blow close to home - Linda is our neighbor and we knew her personally.
Linda was a kind-hearted single mom that struggled to pay the rent and raise her daughter. She wasn't a rich person - Linda didn't own a car when we knew her. She sent her daughter (now 20 years old)to the local Catholic school even though she didn't have much money for tuition. Her ex-husband moved to Oregon, so she was really on her own as a single parent. She loved to travel and became a travel agent in order to incorporate that passion into her work life. Linda was a lovely, "normal" person who worked hard to have a decent life. She was always on the early train to her job in downtown Chicago. She had a smile for everyone she met. Her boyfriend is serving in the National Guard, currently posted to a base in Wisconsin.
The Evanston Police haven't announced any suspects. It may be an act of random violence - quite unsettling for all of us in the neighborhood (Linda's apartment is a five-minute walk from my house; my wife is opening her art gallery around the corner from Linda's building). So the tragedy is increased by this feeling of fear and uncertainty - what type of evil beasts would do this and where are they now?
Linda had many friends in this community. She is mourned, and we are wary of strangers now.