Highland Park Suspect's Mom Walks Out of House, Finds Chilling Mural Painted by Her Son


In the days since the mass shooting Monday at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, disturbing details about the alleged killer, Robert Crimo III, and his past continue to come out.

Perhaps the most disturbing detail yet was revealed on Wednesday.

The New York Post reported Crimo had painted a mural on the back of his mother’s house that featured a smiley-face figure brandishing a rifle.

The discovery of what the outlet described as an “eerie” and “chilling” image came as the suspect’s mother, Denise Pesina, was walking outside her home in Highland Park on Wednesday, the report said.

“It wasn’t immediately clear when Crimo painted the mural,” the Post said.

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Speaking with the outlet, the alleged shooter’s father, Robert Crimo Jr., claimed there was nothing to the image.

According to him, his son was merely “expressing his art” and it “didn’t really mean anything.”

Pesina’s house ended up playing a key role in Monday’s shooting, police said.

After Crimo allegedly opened fire on the Independence Day parade from a rooftop, killing seven people and injuring dozens more, the 21-year-old “ran to his mom’s house and ‘borrowed’ her car so he could flee,” authorities said, according to the Post.

Both of the suspect’s parents have faced harsh criticism since the shooting.

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In an interview with Fox News, Crimo’s former youth football coach, Jeremy Cahnmann, said both parents were indifferent toward their child.

“Every week, the Crimos were the last kids there, and we’d have to call their parents to pick them up,” he said.

Cahnmann went on to criticize the suspect’s mother specifically.

“She got into it once with one of the heads of the program, she was yelling,” he said.

“It seemed like her kids were a nuisance to her.”

A neighbor of the Crimos also spoke with Fox News, saying of the alleged shooter, “The signs were there for a long time.”

“There were always police cars at the house. The parents were arguing, fighting all the time,” the neighbor said.

Crimo’s father has come under fire for helping the suspect acquire his firearms.

The elder Crimo sponsored his son’s gun license, allowing the accused mass shooter to purchase firearms before he was 21.

“They make me like I groomed him to do all this,” he told the Post, referring to his critics.

“I’ve been here my whole life, and I’m gonna stay here, hold my head up high, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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