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Aurora alleged gunman James Eagan Holmes was found with Vicodin when arrested

Jennifer Hudsleft ShatoyCurrie backstage Tase Chicago. | submitted pho| Sun-Times

Jennifer Hudson, left, and Shatoya Currie backstage at Tase of Chicago. | submitted photo | Sun-Times

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Updated: August 25, 2012 6:11AM



The Aurora massacre ...

Fact: Aurora alleged gunman James Eagan Holmes was found in possession of Vicodin, a drug prescribed for pain, when police arrested him outside the Century Theatre.

◆ Fact: Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates, who is a friend of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, previously worked in the intelligence division of the New York City Police Department.

◆ Fact: Crystal Lake sailor John Larimer, 27, who saved his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek’s life by sheltering her in the theater, wore a Batman costume to the flick — one of many worn to the theater that night.

The Peterson file ...

Accused wife murderer Drew Peterson, who is known for wisecracks and gallows humor, was acting mighty serious during jury selection for the murder trial of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, Monday. He sported a pensive look and took lots of notes.

Making dreams
come true ...

It’s the story of two “dream girls” who were victims of heinous crimes.

One is singer Jennifer Hudson, whose mother, brother and nephew were murdered in Chicago four years ago.

The other is Shatoya Currie — also known as “Girl X” — who is blind, unable to speak and confined to a wheelchair since being kidnapped, raped, assaulted, poisoned and left for dead in a Cabrini Green stairwell in 1997 when she was 9 years old.

Sneed has learned Currie, now 25, met Hudson recently in what was described as a “miraculous” and tear-jerking private encounter.

How miraculous was the encounter?

“It was magic,” said a witness.

◆ Backstory: One of Currie’s guardian angels is Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who prosecuted the man who brutally assaulted her.

It was while Alvarez was prosecuting the man convicted of killing Hudson’s family members when the singer noticed a smiling picture of “Girl X” on Alvarez’s desk.

Alvarez told the story of a little girl lured into an apartment at the now-razed Cabrini Green housing project by a man who sexually assaulted her, sprayed roach poison down her throat and tried to suffocate her before leaving her body in a stairwell.

Hudson, who was 15 when the tragic story hit the news, remembered hearing about “Girl X” and wanted to do something nice for Shatoya, who currently resides at an assisted-living facility in Chicago.

So it was that Shatoya, dressed in an all-yellow outfit and matching shoes, waited backstage two weeks ago at the Taste of Chicago, bubbling with laughter and smiles to meet a “surprise guest,” said Alvarez, who was at her side.

When Shatoya heard Hudson enter the room and introduce herself she “laughed really, really loud and smiled really, really big,” Alvarez said.

Hudson “then bent low and held Shatoya’s arm and talked to her for a few minutes,” said Alvarez.

Shatoya, who can communicate with the help of a computer, but primarily uses the “eye gaze” system, sat in the third row of the show, knew the lyrics to all the songs and tried to sing along.

“She can make guttural sounds, but she spells words through eye movement,” Alvarez tells Sneed. And though she is blind, she can distinguish between light and dark,” said Alvarez.

“It was very moving and tearful and she kept blinking her happiness while Jennifer talked to her. … Then during the concert, Shatoya not only kept mouthing the words to the songs — but she began lifting her arms. She has only limited arm movement, so it was such a shock to watch her.

“It was great to see her so happy,” said Alvarez. “She will always be part of my life. . . . She’s coming into her own. . . . and no longer wants to be known as “Girl X.”

The Farrakhan brigade ...

In case you are wondering what kind of “presence” Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are proffering in their neighborhood fight against gang crime, it’s this: they are passing out religious literature.

Sneedlings ..

Tuesday’s birthdays: Lynda Carter, 61; Jennifer Lopez, 43, and Walter Maksym, ageless.



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