Essex County Prosecutor Patricia Hurt appointed a task force on April 2, 1998, to investigate 14 unsolved murders of black women over the past five years. The women -- many of them prostitutes -- were stabbed, strangled or suffocated, and their bodies dumped in vacant lots or abandoned buildings a few miles from each other. Nine of the 14 cases targeted by the task force were killed in Newark, while three were killed in Irvington and two in East Orange. They were between 19 and 37 years old.


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