TULSA - A year after the execution-style murders of four women in a south Tulsa apartment, the neighborhood has become safer, quieter, and seen its reputation begin to make a come back.
Rebeika Powell, 23, Kayeie Powell Melchor, 23, Misty Nunley, 33, and Julie Jackson, 55, were bound and shot at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments near E. 61st St. and S. Peoria Ave. January 7, 2013.
The vicious crime made national headlines, and led the city to take action to combat the crime and decay that had given the neighborhood a terrible reputation.
Three months ago, a block party was held at Johnson Park, just blocks from the murder scene.
For the first time in recent memory, the park was filled with music and children playing.
It was a sign of success in the effort to reclaim the neighborhood.
Among those in attendance was City Councilor Jeannie Cue, who told KRMG it was all about the right approach.
"Let's stop negativity, let's work on positive. We're not going to change anything overnight, things that have been happening for 30 years. But we want people to feel safe to walk at Johnson Park," Cue said.
And Tulsa Police Major Jonathan Brooks, the commander of the department's Riverside Division, said the murders at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments certainly woke the public up to the issues in that neighborhood.
"Sometimes it takes those kind of unfortunate events to give everybody in the community a wake up call. In this event, it was a quadruple homicide...the reality check that said 'we need to reset, and reorganize ourselves in a new effort."
Brooks said TPD cooperated with other agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Marshals, to begin clamping down on the gang activity and street crime in the area.
And, he added, they know that they can't limit themselves to the neighborhood, because it didn't take long for the criminals to realize they needed to change locations.
"Don't matter where they go," he said. "We're gonna track'em, and stop the crimes that they're committing."
The brothers eventually arrested for the murders, James and Cedric Poore, have a district court arraignment scheduled for March 10.