A West Garfield Park man strangled his live-in girlfriend and then confessed to killing her on Facebook, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
James E. Thomas went into his victim’s Facebook account and wrote, “My girlfriend was part of the mob. She came to kill me, so I killed her,” Assistant State’s Attorney Akash Vyas said.
Vanessa Taylor was found by officers Tuesday lying on a bedroom floor with an electrical cord wrapped around her neck.
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Minutes before, Taylor’s 28-year-old son asked police to conduct a well-being check because his older brother had been getting unusual Facebook notifications from their mother’s account, Vyas said.
Relatives tried to call Taylor but were not getting any response, Vyas said.
When police came to the apartment in the 4300 block of West Flournoy Street they met the son outside and noticed Thomas hanging out of a window, Vyas said.
They asked Thomas where Taylor was. He told them that she was not home, Vyas said. Thomas then allegedly went on to say he was dead already and that the officers should kill him. Thomas also told the officers he had taken poison and that they would have to break into the apartment and kill him, Vyas said.
Officers were able to get into the building from a back door entryway and confronted Thomas, who was armed with a knife, Vyas said.
Thomas refused to drop the knife and told police they would have to kill him, Vyas said. When Thomas allegedly turned toward one of the officers, the officer Tased him.
Thomas fell to the ground and dropped the knife, Vyas said.
The officers then found Taylor’s body.
Thomas was taken to an area hospital where he confessed to the treating physician that he killed his girlfriend, Vyas said.
Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered Thomas held without bail Thursday for murder and aggravated assault to a police officer.
As of Thursday evening it was unclear if Thomas has an attorney.
Just two days before Taylor was found dead, she and her 28-year-old son had called police because Thomas had been burning grease in the kitchen for no reason, Vyas said.
When police arrived, Thomas allegedly barricaded himself and told police they’d have to burn him out. From a window, officers saw Thomas make Molotov cocktails as he poured grease into empty bottle and then stuffed the cloth into the bottles, Vyas said. The officers also saw him pace back and forth with a Samurai sword and a knife, Vyas said.
The officers got keys from Taylor to get inside the apartment. Once inside, Thomas came at the officers with the knives but they were able to subdue him, Vyas said.
The building was evacuated because Thomas, 49, had cut a gas line, Vyas said. Thomas was admitted to Stroger Hospital for a mental health evaluation on Sunday and was released on Monday, Vyas said.