Police say man admits killing two women in fire

Chicago Sun-Times (IL) - Sunday, February 24, 2013


As police drove Thadeus Ridley to a hospital for psychiatric treatment, he allegedly told them they were taking him to the wrong place. 
“I should be going to 26th and California” — the site of Leighton Criminal Courts building and the Cook County Jail, authorities said Ridley told the cops.

Then, unprovoked, Ridley confessed to the murder of two women, authorities said.

“I did the murders,” he said.

Ridley, 25, was ordered held without bail Saturday in the deaths of Cherie Adams , 42, and her daughter Curtria Duncan, 24.

Prosecutors did not offer a motive for the killings, though they said Ridley had dated Duncan.

The bodies were discovered early Wednesday in a burning Chatham home. Firefighters found Duncan in the bathtub ­­— she had been stabbed twice and smothered. Adams was on the bathroom floor — she had been stabbed an estimated 60 times. They’d been attacked before the fire was set to conceal the murders, police said.

On Friday, police were called to a report of a suicidal man at Ridley’s South Shore apartment, prosecutors said. When they forced their way inside, officers allegedly found a chair on fire and Ridley holding a sword and two military knives. Police also said they found Ridley in his apartment with heavy metal music blaring.

When he was transported by police, Ridley “spontaneously told officers specific information implicating himself in the involvement of the murders of the two women,” Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Saturday.

A relative told the Sun-Times Ridley is mentally ill and was discharged from the Navy because of his illness.

“Our family is very heartbroken for the victims more than anything. We are good people and we don’t support any type of crime against innocent people, especially women,” the relative said.

An assistant public defender said Ridley works as a chef instructor for the Chicago Public Schools.

Contributing: James Scalzitti

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