A 36-year-old woman in Chicago, Illinois is accused of killing and dismembering her landlord using “large butcher knives” before stashing the 69-year-old woman’s body parts in a freezer.
Sandra Kolalou was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one felony count each of first-degree murder and concealing a homicidal death in the slaying of Frances Walker, whose severed body parts were allegedly found in Kolalou’s freezer.
Police: A tenant killed her landlord, dismembered the body & put body parts in a freezer and garbage can.
The victim, Frances Walker played organ at several churches and played piano at a ballet school in Evanston.
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) October 13, 2022
Chicago Police Department’s Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan provided additional details during a Wednesday evening press conference.
Officers at approximately 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 responded to a boarding house residence located in the 5900 block of North Washtenaw Avenue regarding a possible missing person.
Deenihan said that other tenants in the building reported hearing Walker screaming at approximately 2:30 a.m. Monday and made several attempts to contact her. Walker did not respond, but several text messages were sent from her phone — texts which Deenihan said were actually sent by Kolalou.
When the tenants could not get in touch with Walker all day, they called 911 to report her missing. Upon arriving at the scene, Kolalou was exiting the residence and getting into a tow truck, which she allegedly ordered and paid for using Walker’s credit card. She allegedly refused to talk to police, saying she knew her rights, and told the 24-year-old tow truck driver to take her to Foster Beach to get her car.
Deenihan said “many of the tenants” in the boarding house were afraid of Kolalou, adding that police had responded to several previous 911 calls regarding the defendant. Afraid for the tow truck driver’s safety, several of the tenants exchanged information with him and made clear that they believed Kolalou to be dangerous, cops said.
The tow truck driver soon contacted one of the tenants and relayed that when Kolalou got to Foster Beach she “placed a large bag in a garbage can,” Deenihan said. Several of the tenants had actually followed the tow truck and opened the bag to discover bloody rags and linens inside. They notified the officers already back at the house and additional officers responded to Foster Beach and the boarding house.
After an initial search revealed no signs of foul play, police searched Kolalou’s room again, this time finding blood and “the gruesome remains” in Kolalou’s freezer, Deenihan said. Investigators then obtained a search warrant and allegedly discovered additional blood spatter and several bloody kitchen knives.
Kolalou at that time was still with the tow truck driver and had threatened him with a knife for contacting the other tenants, Deenihan said.
“Due to the communication between the tow truck driver and the tenants, police were able to get to that scene immediately and place the defendant in custody for pulling a knife on the tow truck driver,” Deenihan said.
Kolalou was transported to the police station where she “immediately invoked her right to remain silent,” cops said. She has not yet had any interviews with police, per Deenihan.
Speculating about the circumstances of Walker’s death, Deenihan said the evidence indicates that Kolalou killed and dismembered Walker in Walker’s bedroom, possibly “with large butcher knives.”
Deenihan also explained why police believe Kolalou was able to commit such a grisly crime without the other tenants in the building finding the body.
“The way the residence is set up, there are a couple of apartments on the top floor – call it the second floor – and then on the floor where the victim lived, that is the same floor that Sandra resided on as well. And then there was a tenant in the basement. And there were deadbolts so people had privacy. So that’s why,” Deenihan said.
“Due to the fact that there had been arguments before with this defendant and other people in the residence, the tenants immediately in the morning tried to figure out what was wrong … but they didn’t just have free rein of the house.”
As for a possible motive, Deenihan said that Walker “had actually served the defendant with a notice to leave or an eviction notice as recently as Saturday.”
Watch the press conference below:
[Image via Cook County Sheriff’s Office]
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