‘I remember several vivid instances I was sure I was going to die’ says Lakeview home invasion victim

Kaabar Venson (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — It all started innocently enough. But it went south quickly and violently.

Chris Murphy arrived at his new home in the 1200 block of West Diversey on the evening of May 13 and encountered a woman standing in front of his door.

“She stopped me and asked me to call her sister,” Murphy said yesterday. He obliged but didn’t get an answer. As it turned out, Murphy says, the number he called was not to the woman’s sister. It was to Kaabar Venson, a freshly-paroled violent offender who prosecutors say was inside Murphy’s home, hog-tying his roommate.”

Unaware that he had been duped, Murphy went inside.

“The first thing I noticed was my door was wide open and the light was on…. When I turned my head, there was a man in a mask pointing a revolver at me,” said Murphy, 30.

“Suddenly, my whole world was flipped upside down and every decision I made was life or death. He told me not to f***ing move, not to say a f***ing word. He slowly walked over to me with gun in hand and pressed the tip of the revolver against my forehead. It was very cold.”

As bad as things were, they were about to get much worse. Venson forced him into his roommate’s bedroom, according to Murphy.

“I saw he was hogtied on the ground, but alive at least,” he said. The gunman ordered Murphy to the floor, took his wallet, and demanded his PINs.

“Then he told me to put my arms behind my back,” Murphy continued. “With my face buried in the carpet, all I could hear was a tearing sound. Apparently, he was ripping up lengths of sheet to tie my hands, then my ankles, then tie my hands and ankles to each other.”

“I remember several vivid instances I was sure I was going to die,” Murphy confided.

The gunman left before too long, and Murphy managed to free himself and call the police.

Responding officers found 33-year-old Irene Jackson sitting on Murphy’s front porch, according to a CPD report. Murphy identified her as an accomplice in the home invasion. But prosecutors rejected felony charges against her, the police report said. Instead, she’s charged with misdemeanor theft for allegedly possessing pieces of mail and ID cards that did not belong to her, including a man’s Kentucky identification.

Cops, working in conjunction with the police district’s surveillance camera center, located Venson at the Diversey Brown Line station a few minutes later.

“The whole ordeal was absolutely surreal. We lived in a safe neighborhood,” said Murphy.

Venson was released from the Pontiac Correctional Center ten days earlier after serving half of a 15-year sentence he received for burglarizing a Lakeview residence in 2016, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He returned to the Stateville Correctional Center on Tuesday after officials revoked his parole.

“I was disgusted to learn the man was out of prison on good behavior and terrorizing us in our home,” said Murphy. “I just want to know how the parole board could let a man so clearly not rehabilitated in any way back on the street.”

Before the 2016 Lakeview burglary, Venson received three prison sentences in 2012: six years for armed robbery, another six years for harassing a witness, and three years for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

He is charged with armed home invasion with a firearm, armed robbery with a firearm, armed habitual criminal, and aggravated kidnapping.

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About Tim Hecke 333 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com