Julian Crews joined the WGN News team in 1996. He is a general assignment reporter for WGN Midday News and WGN Evening News.

From breaking news to feature reporting, Julian has reported all over Illinois, from Carbondale’s Shawnee National Forest to Chicago City Hall. The roaming street reporter travels to every corner of the Chicagoland and Illinois region, bringing news of the day to WGN and CLTV viewers.

Over the years, Julian has worn many hats, from the “Around Town” beat to politics and crime, producing in-depth, investigative pieces on Chicago street gangs and organized crime. Covering John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1998 was especially fulfilling for Julian. The son of Cuban-born parents, he visited his family’s home in Havana, taking WGN viewers along for the ride.

Every spring, Julian takes people on a spirited road trip across the Land of Lincoln with the popular Cruisin’ Illinois travel series. His Cruisin’ web exclusives have become a major attraction on wgntv.com.

Recent Articles
  • Explosion may have caused fire that destroyed Northbrook home, damaged 2 others

    NORTHBROOK, Ill. — A possible explosion, then raging flames destroyed a home and damaged two others in north suburban Northbrook. Firefighters responded to the scene in the 2500 block of Melanie Lane just after 6 a.m. Wednesday. Residents from all three home were seen fleeing without shoes or coats. “It’s amazing and we’re really thankful no one was killed or injured,” said Northbrook Fire Chief Andy Carlson. “It’s remarkable that people were OK and able to self-evacuate.” Neighbors reported hearing a […]

  • Bystanders pull elderly woman from car before it’s struck by Metra train

    LOMBARD, Ill — A police officer and a pair of Good Samaritans pulled an elderly driver from her car moments before it was struck by a Metra train in Monday night. Shortly after 8:30 p.m., 96-year-old Antoinette Lazarra found herself stuck on the railroad crossing at Grace Street and St. Charles Place in Lombard, according to police. Witnesses say her wheels spun as she tried to break free. With the Metra Union Pacific West line train rolling in, Good Samaritan Steve Spapperi […]

  • 21-year-old arrested in kidnapping of Jayme Closs, murder of her parents

    BARRON, Wis. — A 21-year-old man killed a Wisconsin couple in a baffling scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months before she narrowly managed to escape and reach safety as he drove around looking for her, authorities said. Jayme Closs, 13, was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for help Thursday in the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon, where police said […]

  • Federal workers rally against government shutdown in downtown Chicago

    CHICAGO — Federal workers staged a protest at Federal Plaza Thursday over the government shutdown. Many are worried about how they will manage without getting paid during the stalemate, which is now in its 20th day. The partial shutdown is the result of a fight between President Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall. The president says he won’t sign off on a budget that does not include $5.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico. Democratic leaders […]

  • Officials say 2 women contacted Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office with new R. Kelly allegations

    CHICAGO — At least two women have contacted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office with new accusations against singer R. Kelly since Kim Foxx’s plea for potential victims to come forward. Foxx addressed reporters Tuesday after her office had been inundated with calls about abuse allegations in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series. Some were tied to Kelly’s Chicago area home. She said there’s no active investigation of Kelly and launching one would require victims and witnesses. She urged anyone who […]

  • Chicago woman with concealed carry license shoots, kills robber: police

    CHICAGO — WGN has obtained surveillance video of the woman who shot and killed a man who tried to rob her on the Far South Side. The woman was in the  500 block of West 103rd  Street in Chicago’s Fernwood neighborhood around 6 a.m. Tuesday. The 25-year-old woman was standing at a corner, possibly waiting for a bus, when a man, armed with a weapon, tried to rob her. Police said she showed her weapon and then shot the man […]

  • Chicago hospital completes historic back-to-back triple organ transplants

    CHICAGO — A suburban Detroit woman and South Side Chicago man are recovering in a Chicago hospital following rare triple transplant surgeries that gave them the healthy heart, liver and kidney each needed — and a new friendship they never expected. University of Chicago Medicine doctors announced Friday that they successfully completed the triple organ transplants on Sarah McPharlin, a 29-year-old of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, and Daru Smith, a 29-year-old father from Chicago’s South Side, within 30 hours of […]

  • U.S. Catholic bishops gather ahead of church summit on sexual abuse

    MUNDELEIN, Ill. — Catholic bishops from across the U.S. are gathering for a week-long retreat near Chicago ahead of a global summit on the widespread sexual abuse scandals facing the church. Organizers say the retreat at the largest seminary in the country will focus on prayer and spiritual reflection, but no policies will be formed. Those decisions will be made at a critically-important World Bishop’s conference in February, where the Vatican is expected to formulate new policies and guidelines addressing sexual […]

  • Police search for gunman who shot postal worker in Elk Grove Village

    ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Police are searching for the gunman who shot a United States postal worker in Elk Grove Village. Police said the male postal worker was driving an unmarked postal vehicle near Smethwick Lane around 6 p.m. Monday when shots were fired. Officials said the shots possibly came from a dark sports utility vehicle. The man who was shot got out of his car and called for help. A nearby resident called 911. He was taken to […]

  • Family of murdered grandmother increases reward to $30K in hopes of finding killer

    CHICAGO — It’s been six months since a woman was attacked and dismembered in her home, but there have been no arrests. Now the victim’s family of Thana Muhammad is reaching out to find the killer. They’ve increased the reward to $30,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Back in June, the body of the 81-year old grandmother was found stuffed into two storage bins, inside the home she owned at 100th and Forest. Her family hopes the […]