05/17/2013 06:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

CBS' '48 Hours' Chicago Violence Feature To Highlight Link Between Drugs And Homicides In City's 'War'

Chicago's violence problem is once again in the national spotlight, this time as the focus of an upcoming CBS News special by "48 Hours."

In the new special set to air Saturday evening, "60 Minutes" contributing correspondent Armen Keteyian and "48 Hours" correspondent Maureen Maher spent six months investigating the city's stories of guns, drugs and the deaths that stem from them — stories that all too familiar to full-time Windy Citizens.

The story of slain inaugural performer Hadiya Pendelton introduces viewers to the "The War In Chicago," while the Pendleton family shares intimate, heart-wrenching details of how the gun and gang violence that ended their daughter's life upended their world.

"I can't believe we're talking about Hadiya in a past tense," Pendleton's mother, Cleopatra, says in an interview.

In a teaser for the spot, it's revealed that Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to speak with CBS's "48 Hours" reporters; they apparently had better luck catching West Side drug dealers on camera. Drugs — specifically Mexican heroin — are another issue highlighted by "48 Hours."

Maher, a Chicago resident, tells CBS colleagues in a preview (embedded below) that she was "shocked" by the city's heroin street market. "It's not just the city," Maher adds. "It's the suburbs."

CBS isn't the first national outlet to delve into the city's gun and gang-related crime: in February, National Public Radio show "This American Life" focused on how violence had affected the lives of students at Chicago's Harper High School.

Though segments that examine Chicago's issues under full glare of the national media are the last thing the embattled mayor needs right now, Cleopatra Pendleton message is hopefully the one that stikes a chord:

"There are good people out here with promising futures that are not living to see them through."

"48 Hours" feature "The War In Chicago" airs Saturday, May 18 at 9 p.m. (Chicago time) on CBS2.



Crime In Chicago