Two weeks after the attack on Washington, 28-year-old Robin Gecht was arrested for the crime. When police questioned the manager of the motel where Gecht lived in Villa Park, he remembered that Gecht and three other men who had previously lived at the motel hosted many parties, and that he believed they may have been “some kind of cultists.”
The Kokoraleis brothers left a forwarding address when they moved out of the motel, and police decided to pay them a visit. Thomas was brought in for questioning, and he promptly failed a polygraph exam. Thomas quickly cracked under pressure and told police all the sordid details of the Ripper Crew’s exploits.
The crew had abducted many women, taken them to Gecht’s apartment and his rented motel room, and performed unspeakable acts on them. Gecht had a Satanic chapel in a room at his apartment, and there some of the victims were raped, tortured, and finally sacrificed to Satan. Their left breasts were severed as part of a ritual, and Gecht kept the body parts as sick souvenirs in a box. Thomas Kokoraleis told police he saw as many as 15 severed breasts in Gecht’s box of horrors.
The police arrested Andrew Kokoraleis and Edward Spreitzer, the two other members of the crew. It is believed the foursome may have been responsible for as many as 18 murders in the Chicago area. The Chicago Tribune referred to Robin Gecht as a “Manson-like mastermind” after his arrest, believing that the eldest member of the group held a hypnotic power over his younger followers.
Gecht, the Kokoraleis brothers and Edward Spreitzer all stood trial for a number of crimes related to the Ripper Crew’s brutal escapades. Incredibly, there wasn’t enough evidence to conivct Robin Gecht with murder, and he was instead charged with rape and attempted murder. Gecht received a 120-year sentence. Thomas Kokoraleis received a life sentence because he cooperated with police. Andrew Kokoraleis and Edward Spreitzer were given death sentences. Andrew Kokoraleis was executed in 1999. Spreitzer was still on Death Row in 2011 when Governor Pat Quinn commuted the sentences of all condemned men in Illinois. As a result, Spreitzer is now serving a life sentence without parole.
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