Speck forced his way into the nurses’ residence and, during the early morning hours of July 14, methodically murdered 8 nurses who lived there. The nurses were all held in one room, and Speck took them, one-by-one, to another room where the unbelievable carnage took place. Speck left the apartment building, but he didn’t realize he had made a mistake…one of the nurses, 23-year-old Corazon Amurao, managed to hide under a bed and went unnoticed by Speck during his rampage.
The following morning, Amurao emerged from her hiding spot and discovered the 8 bodies. She described the man to police as having a pockmarked face, and a tattoo on his left arm that read “Born To Raise Hell.” A composite sketch of the killer was splashed on the front page of Chicago’s newspapers. For a few days, the nation was on edge as a manhunt ensued.
Three days later, on July 17, an ambulance transported a man from a sleazy hotel on Chicago’s “skid row” to the hospital. The man had slashed his wrists with a broken bottle in a suicide attempt, and his arms were covered in blood. As he was cleaning dried blood from the man’s left arm, the attending physician noticed a tattoo and immediately realized who his patient was. The tattoo read “Born To Raise Hell.” He had found Richard Speck, the most wanted man in America.
Speck was found guilty and sentenced to death at his 1967 trial. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional, so Speck was re-sentenced to life in prison. The man who committed the “Crime of the Century” died in prison in 1991, one day short of his 50th birthday.
That seemed to be the end of Richard Speck’s story…until 1996, when a bizarre videotape of the imprisoned Speck, apparently filmed in 1988, surfaced. The video showed Speck wearing panties, snorting cocaine, and performing oral sex on another prisoner. Speck had been taking female hormones, so his appearance had drastically altered by the time the video was shot; he had by then developed breasts. In the video, Speck can be heard to say, “If they only knew how much fun I was having in here, they would turn me loose.”
Ugh, creepy on all levels.