True Crime: The Forgotten Story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer
Published in the February edition of Suspense Magazine.
By: John Muller
At 10:30 in the morning on Sunday, August 28, 1994 eleven year old Robert Sandifer, nicknamed “Yummy” for his love of cookies, left his house at 219 West 107th Place in the Roseland neighborhood in the South Side of Chicago. He said he was off to a gas station at 111th & State Street, more than a half mile away, where local children pumped self-serve gas for customers to earn tips before station workers would chase them away.
At first glance, Yummy’s bedroom resembled most other Chicago children of his age. Posters of Michael Jordan and Disney characters were tacked to the walls and ceiling. However, a closer look revealed a boy whose childhood innocence had long since vanished; gang insignia was scrawled above the door, gang logos were scribbled on the woodwork.
Away from his house “playing all day,” according to his grandmother, Yummy, standing 4 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 86 pounds, approached a group of boys standing at 10758 South Perry Avenue near the corner of West 108th Street around 6:30pm.
Yummy, a tattooed member of the Black Disciples gang, approached 16 year old Kianta Britten, asking him what gang he was affiliated with; the Black Disciples were warring with the Gangster Disciples, another powerful Chicago street gang.
When Britten said he wasn’t in a gang, Yummy, a member of the Black Disciples set called the “8 balls,” pulled out a 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol at nearly point-blank range. Britten ran. Yummy opened fire, striking Britten in the stomach with one bullet and striking his spinal cord with another. Britten would spend the next several months in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics, unable to walk for eight months.
Brazenfaced in his daylight attack, the eyes of the street watching him, the diminutive Yummy quickly scurried off.
Arriving on the scene, Chicago police Officer William Callahan knelt over the young victim, “Who shot you?”
“Yummy shot me,” Britten responded. “I think his name is Robert.” He would later say, “I knew it was Yummy. I saw his face before he shot me.”
As soon as Callahan supplied Sandifer’s name as the probable suspect, other detectives were en route to their offices to look for a recent photo of Yummy when they received word there had been another shooting around the corner on 108th Street.
After walking her girlfriend Chi Chi home about 100 yards from her front door in the 200 block of West 108th Street, Shavon Latrice Dean, excited about her upcoming freshmen orientation at Corliss High School, walked past a group of six children playing football on the street at 108th and Wentworth.
At 8:30 pm, as the sun was setting, Yummy re-emerged bucking his 9 millimeter.
Unloading his gun wildly into the crowd, he struck the rear door of a van parked on the street while another stray round smashed through a living room window.
Sammy Seay, 16, had just caught a pass when he suddenly dropped the ball at the eruption of gunfire. Falling to the pavement he saw sparks from bullets hitting the street. He was grazed in the leg while another bullet pierced his left hand. “I hit the ground,” Seay said. “It was the second or third shot before I knew I had been shot. So I got up and I just ran, trying to save my life.”
After others at the scene identified Yummy as Seay’s attacker, Seay reluctantly admitted that Yummy shot him.
Shavon, 14, a next door neighbor of Yummy, was struck in the head. She was 30 feet from her front door. Less than an hour later she died at Roseland Community Hospital. “She was lying on the ground,” Delia Gildart, 15, Shavon’s cousin said. “It was a shock to see her lying there.” “He probably didn’t mean to hurt her,” Delia told to a newspaper reporter. “He was just shooting.”
“It’s just really terrible, but the Bible says all these things will happen,” said Ann Jones, Shavon’s grandmother.
As Yummy fled the second shooting scene he was seen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word, “Boss.”
By the fall of 1994, fatalism began to afflict the spirit of the city of Chicago where the murder of a child was becoming a shared experience.
On January 3, 1993, The Chicago Tribune ran a headline, “Killing Our children” that read, “In 1992, 57 children age 14 or under were murdered in the Chicago area, felled by snipers, sacrificed by gangs, killed by parents. It was a year for burying the young.” An editorial in the same day’s paper with the headline “A record written in blood” detailed the death of 14 year old Alvin Gilmore, the 57th child murder, from a stray bullet.
As bad as 1992 was, and 1993 would be, 1994 saw the intensity and ferociousness of the city’s violence reach new extremes.
The Tribune reported in late June, 1994 “more than 40 gang members battled Saturday afternoon in a gunfight that one police officer compared to the shootout at the OK Corral” on East 100th Street. Caught in the crossfire was 14 year old Derrick Henderson, graduating from the 8th grade the day before. His death marked the 30th of a child 14 or younger in the Chicago area by that time in 1994, 11 being shot dead in daylight.
Pre-teen and early teen triggermen were not unprecedented in Chicago, but they were becoming more frequent throughout the 1990’s. From 1984 to 1990, Chicago police attributed only four gun homicides to children under the age of 14, all of them being 13 years old.
In the four and a half years from 1990 until the time of Sandifer in the fall of 1994, 34 children, 13 and younger, used firearms in the commission of a homicide in Chicago. The rate accelerated from six in 1991, seven in 1992, to a total of eleven in 1993. Four of the 34 children were twelve, and two were eleven. At the time, Yummy, a murder suspect, was the third known case of an eleven year old using a gun to commit murder in the city in the last decade of the 20th century.
“In the past three years, there were 26 homicide offenders 13 years of age or under, compared to only four in the previous seven years,” Police Superintendent Matt Rodriguez said in early 1994, foreshadowing the violence that would befall the city that year.
By midnight, now in the early hours of August 29, the Chicago Police, working with FBI agents already in the area investigating gang narcotic activities, began a frantic search for Yummy. “They were 20 to 30 officers involved,” Detective Cornelius Spencer said in court testimony nearly two years later.
Yummy was not unknown to Chicago police; he had an arrest record dating back to January of 1992, when he was 8. Arrested for residential burglary, auto theft, armed robbery, and shoplifting, Yummy’s record was mined by police searching for names of past accomplices to question his whereabouts.
Not finding Yummy at his home, detectives followed up on relatives’ known addresses and tips that he had been spotted in Riverdale, Harvey, and Dixmor, Yummy was not found on Monday, August, 29. He remained on the run.
“He may not even be aware of the gravity of what he did,” said Sgt. Ronald Palmer. “In this ongoing cycle of gang violence, he might be getting orders from someone higher up in the gang. The word on the street is this may be a gang initiation.”
“On Tuesday, two days after a South Side killing, police moved beyond the Chicago area in their search for the boy, in what amounts to a search for a 6th grader,” read a story in The Tribune. “I have an extraordinary amount of manpower helping on this,” said Commander Earl Nevels. “An 11-year old couldn’t very well hide and elude police if he didn’t have help.”
Dozens of police officers – tactical units, gang crimes officers and detectives –joined by members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force fanned out searching for the boy as far away as Milwaukee, nearly two hours away, where Yummy had a relative, Nevels told The Chicago Sun-Times. The case was discussed at roll calls at every police district in the city.
Aware that Yummy was a “shorty,” the youngest member in the hierarchy of the Black Disciples street gang, police began looking for him in places where members of the Black Disciples were known to live and hang out. One such place was 118 West 108th Place where the police went repeatedly without any success, according to court documents.
On Wednesday, August, 31 The Tribune ran a front page story with the headline “Killing suspect, 11, piled up toys, criminal charges” that, without giving his name, detailed Yummy’s height, weight, previous contact with the criminal justice system, and abusive home life. One story under the headline of “DCFS says suspect scarred early” referred to an “11-year-oldSouth Side boy knownas ‘Yummy’.”
“If authorities’ suspicions are born out, the boy could prove to be a classic case of a victim-turned-victimizer, all compressed into a hard 11-year life,” the story read.
After receiving three calls earlier in the week from someone who hung up without saying anything, Janie Fields, Yummy’s grandmother, bought a caller-identification device. Late Wednesday afternoon, Yummy called from a payphone.
“What is the police looking for me for?” he asked his grandmother. “You ain’t done nothing wrong, just let me come and get you,” she responded. The phone went dead.
Already prepared with clean clothes, as she had been conducting her own search for him throughout the community in her van, she rushed to 95th Street where he said he would be. When Fields got there he was gone. She would wait for hours until 10pm. Yummy never appeared.
Around 7pm, Cragg Hardaway, 16, and Derrick Hardaway, 14, both members of a Black Disciples set, stopped by Shanta McGlown’s house. Shanta was Gragg’s girlfriend.
Around 9pm, Cragg received several pages according to McGlown’s court testimony. After the first page, at Cragg’s request, Shanta called the number on his pager and asked for Kenny. The person who answered the phone said Kenny was not there. Gragg then gave Shanta a different phone number. She called and told the person who answered to tell Kenny Cragg was on his way.
Around 10:30pm Shanta and her cousin drove the Hardaway brothers to “Emma’s” house at 118 West 108th Place.
Walking down the street at the same time, Mike Griffin, a 14 year old member of the Black Disciples, saw Yummy sitting on the porch of an abandoned house at 105th Street and Edbrooke. Griffin stopped and talked to Yummy, who said he wanted to go home. After unsuccessfully calling a taxi from an acquaintance’s house further down the street, Yummy and Griffin walked to Jimesia Cooper’s house at 10609 South Edbrooke Avenue. The three gathered on the front porch where Jimesia’s mother, Cassandra, confronted Sandifer and convinced him he should go to his grandmother and turn himself in.
At 118 West 108th Place Cragg met Kenny. The two went onto a porch on the second floor where Kenny said Yummy “needed to be gotten rid of” according to court hearings. Kenny handed Cragg a .25 caliber silver-plated handgun. The eleven year old knew too much about the gang and, if caught, his cooperation could lead to the arrest of gang leaders. Kenny gave Cragg keys to a late model, light colored Oldsmobile Delta 88. They were to tell Yummy they were taking him out of town.
Yummy gave his grandmother’s telephone number to Cassandra Cooper. She then walked down the block to phone Fields to come pick up her grandson. Cooper reached Fields on the phone at approximately 11:30pm. When Cooper returned to her house, Yummy was gone.
While Griffin and Yummy were on the front porch, a light-colored car drove down Edbrooke Avenue. According to court testimony, Griffin noticed Cragg Hardaway as the driver. His younger brother Derrick was in the passenger seat. As the Hardaways drove to the acquaintance’s house where Griffin and Yummy had tried to call a taxi, they spotted Yummy on the porch with Jimesia Cooper and Griffin.
Cragg told his brother, Derrick, to go get Sandifer. Derrick got out of the car and walked towards the porch where Yummy was sitting. Derrick called out to Yummy who stood up. Derrick told him he was on his way out of town and Yummy needed to come along. Yummy and Griffin hopped over the porch and left. With Yummy and Griffin, Derrick walked towards Indiana Avenue where Cragg was waiting.
Griffin asked Derrick for a ride home. “We are on something. We will be too deep,” Derrick said according to court records. Griffin stopped in the alley and saw Derrick and Yummy walk down Indiana Avenue and get into the same car he had seen earlier. It was now about 11:45pm.
Yummy was told to get in the back seat and lay face down. Doing as he was told, he climbed into the back seat. They drove to a viaduct at 108th & Dauphin Avenue, 9 blocks from Cooper’s home.
Cragg, taking his younger brother aside, told Derrick to “get in the car, have it running, don’t turn your lights on, have the car in neutral, have the passenger door open.”
Yummy was walked a short distance into the tunnel tagged with gang graffiti. He got down on his knees and was shot twice in the back of his head with a .25 caliber pistol.
At 12:30 am police found Yummy” lying on dirt and bits of broken glass” according to newspaper reports. Yummy was wearing a green and gray sweatshirt with the Tasmanian Devilcartoon character on the front, green denim jeans, gym shoes and a purple plaid jacket. He was the city’s 637th murder victim of the year.
“Dead men tell no tales,” said a 37-year-old uncle of Robert. “They put him to sleep.”
At 11 years old, Robert Sandifer’s execution was a somber and dramatic epilogue to a 77 hour manhunt that griped the city of Chicago and got the attention of a nation.
Yummy was pronounced dead at 2:20am, on Thursday, September 1, 1994. Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue, performing an autopsy on Yummy, discovered the physical evidence of his hardened and abusive life.
Yummy, with one copper-jacketed .25 caliber slug embedded in his not yet fully formed brain, had a tattoo on his right forearm, “BDN III,” which represented the Black Disciples Nation. Earlier in the week his grandmother had told reporters he had a tattoo that read “I love mommy.”
“There were 49 scars,” said Donoghue at the trial of Derrick Hardaway. “I had to use two diagrams.” There were so many scars on Yummy’s body he could not use the one chart typically used by medical examiners.
Born in Mississippi, Jannie Fields, Yummy’s grandmother, grew up part of a family of 27. In her mid-teens she gave birth to Lorina Sandifer, the third of ten children from four fathers.
By the time Lorina was 18, giving birth to Robert on March 12, 1983, she already had had two children of her own. Three months before his birth, Yummy’s teenage father, Robert Akins, went to prison on a felony gun charge according to Wisconsin court records. At the time of Robert’s death in the fall of 1994, Lorina, 29, had given birth to seven children and been arrested 41 times, mainly for street prostitution.
At 22 months old Robert Sandifer was introduced to the authorities. In 1985 he was admitted to Jackson Park Hospital covered with scratches and bruises. On the afternoon of January 19, 1986 police found Yummy home alone with his two older brothers, ages 3 and 5. Due to severe neglect, the Sandifers were brought to the attention of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) who intervened in August of 1986 when Lorina was 21.
“In this examiner’s opinion there is no reason to believe that Lorina Sandifer will ever be able to adequately meet her own needs, let alone to meet the needs of her growing family, which soon will be consisting of five children,” noted a psychiatrist in a report to the juvenile court. “There certainly has never been any stability in Lorina Sandifer’s life throughout her development periods to the present time.” A concurrent report detailed that Lorina assigned blame to Robert’s father for injuries the boy suffered, cigarette burns and markings from a beating by an electric cord, scratches on his neck and bruises on his arms and torso. Lorina than retracted the story, according to the report.
“He was a nice kid, as far as you know, being my son. In the time I got to know him, he was nice to me,” said Lorina in an interview still available on the Internet. When asked, “What did you try to teach your son?” Lorina replied, “As far as the little things that I got, as far as the little cars, to let him drive me around and stuff like that, you know.”
As a result of DCFS intervention in 1986, Robert and his three siblings were handed over to Fields, who “attempts to almost immediately dispute and deny the previous allegations” of abuse. “In this examiner’s opinion, the placement with the maternal grandmother is not a good placement for these children, who are in need of placement in a warm, nurturing environment, which they have never known.” The advice was disregarded. Fields got the children, raising her daughter’s four children along with five of her own.
Fields’ home was not a place where, evidence shows, Yummy was nurtured. A Cook County probation officer would testify that young women were working as prostitutes from Yummy’s grandmother’s home. According to Time Magazine, “nearly all her 10 children and 30 grandchildren lived with her at one time or another.”
To find family, Yummy took to the streets where he was taken in by the Black Disciples gang who nurtured the development of his criminal nature. By the time Yummy was 8, in January of 1992, he had been arrested. In July 1992, at 9, he was prosecuted for robbery but the case was dropped when a witness did not show up. In January 1993, still only 9, he was prosecuted for attempted robbery in which a gun was used but not by him. In April of 1993 he was in court on robbery charges for stealing a jacket with several other defendants, but was released when the victim could not identify him as one of the attackers. In May of 1993 he was charged with attempted robbery, but the case was dropped in February of 1994 when a key witness failed to appear. In June of 1993 he was among several defendants charged in two cases with auto theft and arson. One case was dropped and he pled guilty to the other. Along with his January 1993 robbery charge, he was sentenced to two years of probation in February of 1994 while he was only 10.
After being committed to Lawrence Hall Youth Services’ Maryville Academy, a home for abused and neglected children in early 1994, Yummy quickly fled to return to the streets.
According to Newsweek, “Chicago police captured him in June and charged him with auto theft; he spent the next month in a jail-like juvenile facility.” On July 14th he pled guilty to a violation of his probation.
A DCFS caseworker recommended the court keep Yummy in the county’s juvenile detention center or an emergency shelter until the agency could make arrangements to transfer him to an out-of-state-facility. With long waiting lists and placements taking months, juvenile court Judge Thomas Sumner, unwilling to keep him imprisoned with older youths and lacking a facility that could treat him, released Yummy to the care of his grandmother, overruling a previous judge’s order that barred DCFS from placing Yummy at her house.
Shortly thereafter, on August, 15th, along with a group of youths, he was arrested for breaking into a school. Ominously, The Tribune’s Chicagoland section ran a headline, “Investigator burnout is feared at DCFS” on Tuesday, August 30th, while Yummy was on the run. The story’s lead reads, “The fear is that a tragedy is waiting to happen. The reality is that it very well could.”
In totality, Yummy was charged with 23 felonies and 5 misdemeanors in his short life. He was prosecuted on eight felonies and convicted twice; sentenced to probation – the most punitive penalty available under state law, at the time, for children under 13. Even for murder, state law barred jailing children under 13 in an Illinois Department of Corrections youth facility.
Notwithstanding his predilection for felonious behavior, some say Yummy was still a tender child. He liked the water and began swimming at a pool on 104th street. He was known for pushing kids in the water.
A week before his death, Robert visited his neighborhood school, Van Vlissingen, demolished in the late 1990’s, on 137 West 108th Place. Psychological reports taken when Yummy was ten concluded he was illiterate and could not perform simple addition.
“He said he had a frog at home and wanted to give this gift to the staff member,” said Principal Jacqueline Carothers, although he had not attended the school the previous academic year. “He was smiling and happy, an 11-year old child.”
“I talk to the youth when I get a chance on my own time. I try to show them the streets is a big lie that only leads to death or jail,” said Derrick Hardaway via a recent letter to this writer from Graham Correctional Center where he is serving a forty-five year sentence for his role in Yummy’s murder.
His conviction was voided by a federal judge in 2001 who ruled police improperly obtained a confession, but a federal appeals court reinstated the conviction a year later.
“When I go home I plan to spend time with my family, especially my son. I want to own my own business and start over. I also want to talk to the youth across the country so they don’t have to go through what I been through.”
In neat, lightly pressed print, Hardaway shared childhood memories from nearly two decades ago.
“Yummy was the average black kid growing up in a drug infected community. It’s millions of Yummy’s it’s just that Robert Sandifer gained national attention. He was an impressionable kid who looked up to everyone that was in the streets. I knew him but he was a kid to me. I was a kid myself but I was older and involved in a lot more stuff.
I don’t have any memories of hanging with him. I do remember having a conversation with him. I went to buy a half ounce of rock cocaine and while I was waiting I saw him smoking weed. I asked him how old he was and he told me he was 16. I didn’t believe him. I got what I came for, smoked a little of his weed and left.
I seen him a short time later while I was shopping with my buddy and he was with a few more young members. I remember he said that yall down there shining. That mean we are living good or getting money. I laughed a little because I was telling people the same thing. I told Yummy he could come work for me.
Yummy had a small reputation in the neighborhood for being wild. He was a kid who liked guns and he wasen’t (sic) scared to shoot. The media made things seem worser (sic) than what it was.
When he was on the run from the police the neighborhood was at a standstill. It seemed like everything was in slow motion.
I wasen’t (sic) involved in finding Yummy. I always knew who he was with and where he was at.
As far as things that took place that night at Robert’s death I don’t discuss.”
Hardaway concluded his letter by offering help to this writer or anyone else in the future, “just ask.”
“He’s probably going to end up being a productive member of society,” Scott Cassidy, formerly Chief of Special Prosecutions with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, told the Associated Press in 2007.
Hardaway’s probable parole date is 2016, when he will be 36, having spent more than 60 percent of his life incarcerated. His brother, Cragg, received 60 years in a separate trial. His parole date is 2024.
“Covering the story of Yummy” at The Chicago Tribune
“Covering the story of Yummy happened out of the blue,” says John W. Fountain, whose byline appeared on nearly a dozen articles during The Chicago Tribune’s coverage of Robert Sandifer more than sixteen years ago.
Fountain, an award-winning journalist, was at the time the chief crime reporter for The Tribune, and would later work for The Washington Post, The New York Times and author True Vine, a memoir of overcoming poverty through faith.
“The stories that are going to be those memorable ones will evolve as you begin to report,” said Fountain. “It was a non-stop story, changing by the day.”
“We had to go out into the community and feel what the neighborhood felt like. There was a tension in the street, you could feel it, as the police were looking for this child there was an awareness that Chicago had been brought into the national spotlight.”
The attention Yummy’s story brought caused editors at The Tribune to pull reporters from suburban beats to canvass city neighborhoods. Fountain’s wife at the time, Monica Copeland, was placed on the story. “She was on the street the day before his body was found. She had gone to a neighbor’s house. They told her she had just missed Robert.”
“There were these sightings of Robert, but the authorities couldn’t put their hands on him.”
“Growing up on the West Side of Chicago and being familiar with how gangs operate, their primary method of business being street drug sales, if somebody brings heat on the gang it’s bad for business. Knowing how quickly they can eliminate the problem, we knew his life was in danger.”
“People are afraid of gang retaliation. It’s the whole “don’t snitch” and “snitches get stitches” ethos. It’s not surprising he could stay underground. Clearly Robert must have had some help, but somebody knew where he was because he ended up dead.”
“What made this story difficult to cover was that this was a kid – he was a child who actually looked younger that he was.”
“I covered Shavon Dean’s funeral earlier in the week, it was the same chapel where Robert’s wake was held. I will never forget the fiasco at the funeral held at a church a day or so later. It was an almost insane kind of setting of lights and cameras beaming over the casket.”
“At one point Robert’s grandmother got up out of her seat and all the lights just pivoted to focus on her. I remember being very angry that the press would not act in a more dignifying way.”
“I remember two things. His hair was relaxed in a finger wave style, which was unusual for a boy. And the picture on the funeral program was his mug shot.”
“It became clear to me then that there were a lot of people who failed Robert Sandifer before the world came to know him.”
“When you are in the midst of covering something you go into a reporting mode. You get up in the morning, you touch base with the desk, and you go out – gather data, synthesize it, and at the end of the day you go back and put the story together.”
“For those 8 days I remember working continually, I was exhausted. I remember taking a few days off. A colleague sent a supportive note, saying this surely must be taking a toll on you.”
In October, a five year old boy, Eric Morse, was dropped from the 14th floor of the Ida B. Wells housing development by a ten and eleven year old because he refused to steal candy.
“I got a call from one of my editors. They wanted me covering the Eric Morse story. I said, ‘I can’t. Not right now.’ It had taken its toll.”
To this day Fountain, a journalism professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, carries around Yummy’s picture in his portfolio and still has his worn notebooks from covering the story as it unfolded. Visiting Chicago area elementary and junior high schools regularly, Fountain shares his own life story and introduces children to the story of Robert Sandifer; his audience sits quietly and contemplatively as they listen.
“They have never heard of Yummy Sandifer. There are so many Yummy Sandifers. You can change the name and tweak the circumstances; it is a story that continues.”
“They are stunned by the story; they identify with it, and are moved, especially when they look at Robert’s photo. But rather than asking questions about Yummy, they tell stories about someone they knew who was killed, too.”
Is Yummy Forgotten?
“I wanna dedicate this one to Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. And all the other lil’ young niggas that’s in a rush to be gangstas,” the now deceased Tupac Shakur intones as an introductory overture to, “Young Niggaz” on Me Against the World which debuted as the number 1 album on the Billboard 200 in March 1995.
“By now, nearly all of us know the story of Robert Sandifer, known as Yummy to his friends. He was first arrested when he was 8 years old. A couple of weeks ago, when he was only 11, he became a suspect in the gang shooting of an innocent girl named Shavon Dean. Several days later, that boy died himself in what Chicago police say was yet another gang-related killing,” said Bill Clinton in his President’s Radio Address on September 10, 1994 where he announced his eminent signing of a proclamation declaring the upcoming week National Gang Violence Prevention Week.
“Robert Sandifer’s grandmother despaired at his funeral because, she said, ‘I couldn’t reach you.’ We must keep doing everything we can to reach those children. And we must help them respect the law and keep them safe,” added President Clinton.
With piercing eyes and a hellfire gaze, on the unmistakable face of a child, the same mug shot the family used for his funeral program, Yummy stared out at the country on the front cover of the September 19, 1994 edition of Time Magazine with the headline; “The Short Violent Life of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer: So Young to Kill So Young to Die.”
According to the Chicago Police Department, from January to November 2010 the city saw 13 murder victims 9 and younger and 24 victims 10 to 16 years old. More than 58% of the 412 murders were defined as being gang related.
More than sixteen years after his nihilistic life and death was seared into America’s collective consciousness, the apparition of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer still haunts the streets and neighborhoods of Chicago.