Traci Todd, the African-American flight attendant who went missing, but was later found dead in a Chicago forest preserve, is the next intriguing story to air on TV One’s Fatal Attraction. In the upcoming episode titled, “Fight Or Flight,” the family of a flight attendant is mystified after she disappears from her high-rise apartment in Chicago. Believing at first that the missing stewardess was traveling, shock turns to fear once her luggage is found inside her apartment over a week later.
September 2000: Chicago, Illinois, Traci Todd: Flight Attendant For United Airlines Missing, Later Found Murdered
United Airlines Flight Attendant Traci Todd had been missing for over two weeks before investigators got the ball rolling on the investigation. Traci Todd’s father, sister, and mother were upset since they had not heard from her. The smiling woman always kept in contact with her family members, even when she was traveling. Her father became suspicious of Traci Todd’s new boyfriend, Kevin Williams, since he had not bothered to contact the family to let them know that he had not been able to get in touch with her.
Few clues were found inside Traci Todd’s apartment because it had been wiped clean. Family and friends told authorities that a rug from the apartment was missing, and a dinner receipt from a local restaurant had been stuffed inside one of Traci Todd’s shoes in her closet. Police also found a suspicious stain that came back positive for blood.
Friends of Kevin Williams became angry when they learned that he was trying to frame them for Traci’s disappearance. That’s when investigators learned that Kevin Williams had killed Traci Todd inside her apartment after an argument. The neighbor next door to Traci Todd reported the loud fight, but by the time the officers arrived, all was quiet.
Traci Todd’s body was located in November, 2000, almost three months after she disappeared. Her skull was found in a forest preserve and her dismembered skeleton was found near a shallow grave and garbage bags, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kevin Williams’ Mother Was Murdered Near A Forest Preserve In 1965
According to Jet Magazine, the murder of United Airlines Flight Attendant Traci Todd mirrors the murder of Kevin Williams’ mother, who was found dead in a ditch in September, 1965. This reporter did a bit more digging on the case, and there was not a lot of information available. We did manage to find a small article in an old 1965 Santa Ana Register newspaper about an Ann Williams, aka Joan Williams, and her friend, Edie Harrison, aka Eddie Mae Harrison. Below are some highlights of the story.
- A passerby on his way to work that September morning found two bodies near a forest preserve.
- When authorities arrived at the scene near West Lawn Cemetery along North Thatcher Road, they confirmed that the bodies were that of two black females with tape across their mouths and eyes. The women were clad in nice wigs and very nice clothing.
- Joan Williams and Edie Harrison had been arrested several times for prostitution. An autopsy report concluded that they had been shot in the head or face at close range. Edie Harrison and Joan Williams were last seen talking to two cops who were dressed in regular clothing. The officers had the women in the backseat of an unmarked police car. It is believed that the police officers were white and working undercover for the Vice unit.
- One of the eye witnesses told a newspaper reporter that they had been approached by the same two cops, who told them that they needed to pay them cash to continue working as prostitutes and to avoid arrest, according to the Santa Ana Register.
We scoured the rest of the records, and the coverage of the case seems to have come to a halt. The police chief at the time was not sure if he was going to launch an official investigation into the allegations. (Remember this was the 1960s)
It appears that the murder case is still unsolved. Kevin Williams was less than 2-years-old when his mother was murdered. In that same forest preserve area, three school-aged boys were found murdered. That was also an unsolved case, or at least up until 1965.
It’s curious that Kevin Williams murdered his girlfriend, took her body to a forest preserve, and then mutilated her face with a blow torch. It makes one wonder how much the tragic death of his own mother impacted his mental health, not that it matters. Those who knew Kevin Williams in school said that he was very handsome and intelligent, but they still found something odd about him. He went on to college and had an interest in criminal justice.
As for real estate developer’s wife, Rita Williams, aka Rita Hearn, it is alleged that she knew that her husband was involved with another woman. Then while he was incarcerated, she petitioned to have Kevin Williams’ sperm so that she could become pregnant. She eventually had two children. It is not known how long they actually stayed married after he was convicted for the murder of Traci Todd, but it appears that she is engaged to another man now.
The Chicago locals remember this case well, and continue to discuss it from time to time. Here are some comments from Facebook.
“These females don’t look at his inner qualities but his money. They want guys to take care of them and wine and dine them.”
“Those in Chicago might remember the infamous south side murder case where a flight attendant was murdered by her boyfriend when she found out he was married. The twist is I was a grammar school classmate of the wife of this dude. Let’s just say if you are NOT hitting cash on all cylinders, she won’t give you the time of day. If you didn’t have any cash, she wouldn’t talk to you and this was in grade school. She married this dude b/c he had the cash, the cars and the lifestyle. But little did she know that he would cheat on her and then MURDER, AND DISMEMBER his mistress. So my sistas, keep thinking that a man’s money equates to his character. You may end up like the women in this tragic case. One got cheated on, the OTHER ONE GOT MURDERED. YEAH I SAID IT!”
“I remember this case because you and I BOTH went to High School with the guy Derrick!!! Dude was a MODEL student, musician, & Tennis player!!!”
“He’s also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (N.I.U.’s chapter)!!!”
“Kevin was arrested with ANOTHER guy that graduated from DLS as well (I believed that guy was on the Football team)!!!”
Kevin Williams: They Called Him “Mr. Swan” And “Mr. Wonderful”
When Traci Todd met Kevin Williams almost three years prior to her murder, she thought she had found the man with whom she’d spend the rest of her life. People called him “Mr. Wonderful” because he bought Traci Todd lavish gifts, took her on exotic vacations, took her for expensive nights out at the Jazz clubs, and treated her like royalty. However, she eventually realized that her life with Kevin was a lie. Prosecutors believed that Kevin Williams killed Traci Todd after she found out that he was married and then threatened to tell his new wife. Authorities theorized that Kevin Williams strangled Traci Todd in the apartment and then dismembered her body. An Illinois jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 60 years in prison.
During the time the Traci Todd, Kevin Williams story was in the news, the Lisa Toney, Sienkey Lallemand case was also making headlines — a case that was also featured on Fatal Attraction. Tune into Fatal Attraction this Monday, June 20, at 9 p.m. on TV One.
[Image via MaxyM/ShutterStock]