‘Brilliant’ Israeli-born doctoral student murdered in Chicago

Anat Kimchi was pursuing a PhD in criminology and criminal justice; was about to embark on a professional career.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli-born doctoral student visiting friends in Chicago was killed on Saturday.

Anat Kimchi, a 31-year-old doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland Criminology and Criminal Justice Dept. was stabbed in The Loop, a downtown area known for its shops, eateries and theaters.

Local reports say the suspect, a homeless man, jumped out of a bush, stabbed her in the back and then fled. Kimchi was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said police were “scouring the various homeless encampments downtown.”

“We know who he is. We’ve got good film of him. We believe he’s a homeless individual,” said Lightfoot. “It’s awful. No question about it.”

Before pursuing a PhD, Kimchi double-majored in psychology and criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland, graduating magna cum laude in 2015. She went on to earn her master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice, also at Maryland.

Professor Gary LaFree, chairman of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice told the Chicago Tribune, “She was one of our best students, just about to embark on a professional career.”

LaFree also told the Tribune that Kimchi took special interest in fair treatment issues involving criminal suspects and had recently published her own research on criminal case processing.

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“Obviously a huge tragedy, but also a certain amount of irony in the situation when you’re studying this issue that cost you your life,” he said.

A brief statement issued by the university said campus was grieving the “brilliant young scholar.”

Kimchi’s parents moved to the U.S. some 20 years ago, and currently live in Rockville, MD. A statement issued by the family said they are “mourning the loss of Anat and asks for privacy during this difficult time.”