35 Years Later, Man Sentenced for Murder of Homewood Teen

Last Friday, Fred Rodgers pleaded guilty to stabbing Homewood resident Kenny Hellstrom to death in 1977. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

After three and one half decades, justice was served at Markham Courthouse last Friday when Fred Rogers was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the 1977 murder of 17-year-old resident Kenneth Hellstrom.

Both Rogers and Hellstrom were teenagers at the time of the murder. According to family friend Elaine Egdorf, Rogers stabbed Hellstrom several times during his walk home from work. Hellstrom made his way home after the attack, but died shortly after, according to Sun-Times Media reports.

While Hellstrom's mother, Carol, died in 2010, his sisters were present at the hearing. Homewood's Elaine Egdorf read a victim's statement on behalf of Carol Hellstrom.

Now 51 years old, Rogers was caught by police in 2007 during a traffic stop. It was that stop that led to his confession of murder, according to reports. After some controversy, it was decided that Rogers, who was 16 at the time of the murder, can be tried as an adult.  

Rogers will have 30 days to contest the case, but there is currently no indication of him doing so.

Marcia Sommerfeld June 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I remember well when this happened as I went to school with his sister Kathy. I remember feeling just sick and so sad for this family. Ken was a really great guy and he was a hard worker and had just finished working at the gas station. I had always hoped his killer would be found to at least give this family closure. I just wish he had been found before his mother passed away to give her closure also. But, she's in heaven with Ken and they are both looking down and sees what's happened.


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