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Frances Walker murder: Shocked tenant remembers dismembered landlord, 69, as the 'nicest person'

Ellen Rodin remembered how Frances Walker helped her out during one of the lowest points of her life
Sandra Kolalou (R) allegedly dismembered Frances Walker's body before storing her remains in the freezer (Chicago Police Department)
Sandra Kolalou (R) allegedly dismembered Frances Walker's body before storing her remains in the freezer (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Frances Walker's murder has shocked the tenants of her building. The 69-year-old's dismembered body was found in the freezer of her own residence on October 10, and police took Sandra Kolalou, 36, a tenant of the deceased, in custody later.

While speaking to CBS News, Ellen Rodin, one of Walker's tenants, said, "She was just the nicest person, she took me in. I had financial issues, she said okay. Pay me when you pay me. She was just so gentle." Ellen had rented an upstairs room and had moved in just before the pandemic.


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The investigation revealed that all the other tenants of the building were afraid of Sandra, who was served an eviction notice. Ellen said she last saw Walker on Saturday, October 8. "She had expressed some concerns around the house. She did not seem worried, or nervous." These concerns were particularly related to Sandra and her odd behavior.

Ellen said, "What [Walker] said was that Sandra had been going into the tenants' in the basement, her bedroom without permission, leaving notes, threatening notes saying 'go back to your own country.'"

This could've led to Walker showing the door to Sandra, but she was not that kind of person, Ellen says. The tenant recalled, "Frances was never the one to say 'get out this minute', she used to give 30 to 60 days."

Ellen added, "I can't imagine anything making somebody that angry to do something like that. The sadness, the anger, the confusion, the disbelief that you know, something like this happens."

The shocking incident has severely impacted Ellen, who said, "This is not gonna be forgotten, this is not something we are just gonna go back to normal anytime soon."

The house is not a crime scene anymore, but Ellen does not live there and is unsure when she will be comfortable doing so.

On October 10, the tenants and neighbors heard loud screams from Walker's, which immediately raised their concerns. They began calling and texting her. The calls were not answered but their texts received replies which, according to the officers, were sent by Kolalou. 

According to Fox 32, Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said, "The residents were very cooperative. When they heard the scream, when they woke up in the morning, they immediately started texting the victim … started calling the victim. The victim didn't answer. There were some texts that were sent back from the victim's phone. It appears from what we know now that the defendant was sending texts from the victim's phone and not answering it."

Sandra has been charged with first-degree murder and concealment of homicide.