23 03 2008

Developmentally Disabled Pregnant Woman Tortured To Death

March 21, 2008

Chicagoist

http://chicagoist.com/2008/03/21/developmentally.php

A developmentally disabled pregnant woman with a one-year-old son was tortured and beaten to death by a social worker and the social worker’s children, among others, in Alton, Illinois, about 300 miles south of here. Holy moly, is this story ever sad.

Dorothy Dixon, 29 and six months pregnant, was found dead on January 31 in the house she shared with the people accused of killing her. Michelle Riley (pictured), 35, Judy Woods, 43, Michael Elliott, 18, Benny Lee Wilson, 16, and LeShelle McBride, 15, and a 12-year-old boy have all been charged in her death, and all but Elliott lived in the same residence. Riley worked for the West Central Illinois Center for Independent Living, which helps developmentally disabled people find housing and jobs. That’s where she met Dixon, who was a client. McBride and the 12-year-old are Riley’s children.

According to police reports, Dixon lived in an unfinished portion of the basement, and the landlord of the property says after everyone moved out, he found a bucket of feces in Dixon’s former room, a waist-high door that was nailed shut, and blood on the walls, washer, dryer and in the basement shower.

Terri Brandt, 27, said her next-door neighbors were always making a racket. She said she witnessed Riley punish Dixon by making her run naked, and that Riley would pour boiling water and use a hot glue gun on Dixon. Riley had baby monitors in all the rooms to keep tabs on everyone, Brandt said. While neighbors and family members identify Riley as the ring-leader, police say it was Woods who hit Dixon in the head with an unidentified object. Dixon died the next day.

An autopsy revealed that Dixon died from a combination of being shot multiple times with a BB gun, scalded with hot liquids and beaten about the head and body at various times over the four-to-eight-week period before her death, Alton police Lt. David Hayes said. Dixon’s son, who weighed only 15 pounds, was taken into protective custody. Riley, Woods, Elliot, Wilson and McBride have all been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated and heinous battery, intentional homicide of an unborn child, and unlawful restraint. Unreal.

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