The Daily Northwestern

Edgewater woman stabbed to death

Kevin Trahan

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Elle Mills, the ex-wife of Northwestern philosophy professor Charles Mills, was stabbed to death in her Edgewater home on July 11, allegedly by a family friend whom she had hired to watch her belongings while she was away.

Michael Simmons, 53, from Florida, was charged with murder after stabbing Mills around 1:45 a.m. when a fight broke out in her home. Simmons was homeless when Mills hired him, and the fight began after Mills came home from New York and ordered him to leave. He is being held on $750,000 bond.

Mills and her ex-husband were in the news due to their divorce case, in which Charles Mills called the marriage a “shell marriage.” The two were married in 1993 to help Elle receive US citizenship, but they lived together for only three months of their 17-year marriage.

Charles filed for divorce in 2003 and was given a default judgment of divorce by a judge. However, he did not tell Elle and she challenged the decision. In 2009, the case was tried in Cook County and Charles was forced to pay Elle $1,000 per month and $126,000 over three years.

– Kevin Trahan

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