We may never understand how someone could go through with murdering the victims.
Police detectives say in most cases, murderers are motivated by their involvement with the drug market.
Between 75 and 80 percent of what Rockford Police respond to on a daily basis somehow involves narcotics.
"The person selling narcotics, they're violent criminals. They're selling poison to the citizens of this community and the communities throughout the country," says deputy chief Dominic Iasparro.
Police are stepping up patrols in response to the recent increase in murders. But they say they can't do it alone. Police say we as citizens need to work to stop the root cause of violence.
"I think society has to take a stand and realize that drugs are destroying the fabric of this country an have to take a serious look at that and make a serious effort to stop that. It's got to stop at the youngest ages there's got to be prevention, education and treatment. We're the last step in this process," says Iasparro.