Gregory Perdue had whacked people before. He'd been charged and convicted of battery, violated his bail bond, assaulted. No one paid him any mind back then.
How do we now know of Mr. Perdue and his penchant for violence? Was it because he went after six people on the streets of Chicago's Loop? In a way, yes. One of the people he attacked just happened to be a television anchor for WLS-ABC 7. Not just a reporter, but the lovely lady who reads the news at night.
Cheryl Burton was on her dinner break, relaxing before work. The ABC 7 studio is located right on State Street, Chicago's main drag, and anyone is welcome to stand out front on the sidewalk and watch Ms. Burton and her colleagues read away. Some clever chap tried to drive his car through the windows of the showcase studio one fine evening during the news broadcast, but that's another story.
As Mr. Perdue made his rounds, slugging passers-by, Ms. Burton had the misfortune to stroll into his sphere. With that, Mr. Perdue became famous.
The city is filled with the unfortunate, those who are mentally ill but have no place to go because they're supposed to go home and take their meds but they don't. A man who should have been confined somewhere, with his history of mental instability, was being crazy and putting a hurt on a few old folks and a television anchor. No one would have heard of him, if not for Ms. Burton's involvement.
If not for an assault on a lady who could broadcast the attack to millions of viewers, Mr. Perdue would have been a paragraph in the back pages, another nut job going after innocent people until the police catch him and put him back in jail, where he's been before.
Fifteen minutes of fame, and Mr. Perdue will soon drop back into obscurity. In the meantime, it would be grand if he could get some help for his mental illness, now that he's in a secure location.