The Sins of the Father-Ronald Gene Simmons

Those of us with significant others have all had these moments. We sit back, relax and think about how much we love our partner. We envelope ourselves in the joy that comes from simply being together. You not only reminisce about the blissful moments you’ve had together but in gleeful anticipation you dream about joyous moments the future has yet to bring. Equally as common, we’ve all had those times that we sit back and think about all of the stupid shit your partner has done. As if cued by an unseen director, your partner walks in, just as your thoughts of past dumb shit culminate. You look over to your partner and think to yourself, “ I could really just choke the shit out of this bitch.” At this point, your partner, curious about your stare; normally asks the question, “What’s wrong?”  Just as quickly as the thought came, it leaves; you laugh to yourself and respond, “nothing” and everyone goes on about their day. For most of society this was a joke, a comedic look at a common occurrence in relationships. However, domestic violence is not a joke. It is a parasite that eats at the relationship fabric until the union itself is consumed and destroyed. Domestic violence is responsible for a great many of the deprave acts that occur in society.

Ronald Gene Simmons 2

Ronald Gene Simmons

Born in Chicago on July 15, 1940, Ronald Gene Simmons moved with his family to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1946. After a basically normal childhood Simmons dropped out of high school in September of 1957 and joined the U.S. Navy. Stationed at the Bremerton Naval base in Washington Simmons met Bersabe Rebecca “Becky” Ulibarri. After a three year courtship, Simmons and Ulibarri were married in New Mexico on July 9, 1960 and in eighteen years the couple had seven children. Simmons served his country for 20 years, from 1957 to 1963 in the Navy and from 1965 to 1979 in the U.S. Air Force. During this time Simmons was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross for his service as an airman, and the Air Force Ribbon for Excellent Marksmanship. In November of 1979 Simmons would retire from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant.

In 1979 the Simmons family resided in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. After his retirement neighbors began to notice a change in Ronald as well as the Simmons family as a whole. People in town had actually begun to fear the Vietnam veteran.  Visitors to the Simmons home noticed that he always had a beer in his hand. Friends of the Simmons children told their parents that he would stay in one particular room in his home. The room was described as dark, spooky and foul smelling.

On April 3, 1981, the Department of Human Services began investigating Ronald Simmons citing allegations that he had participated in sexual relations with his seventeen-year-old daughter, Sheila. On more than one occasion visitors to the home witnessed him giving her more than friendly kisses good-bye each morning.  Eventually Sheila told a school Counselor she was pregnant with his baby. When notified of the impending investigation Simmons packed his family up and fled first to Ward, Arkansas in late 1981 and then to a tract of land that he would name “Mockingbird Hill.” In Dover, Arkansas in the summer of 1983. Charges, though filed, were soon dropped when the Simmons family disappeared.

While in Arkansas, the Simmons household remained largely uneventful until 1987, as far as child molesting incestuous homes go. Simmons worked a string of low-paying jobs in Dover and the nearby area. After acquiring a position as an accounts receivable clerk at Woodline Motor Freight, (probably the best job of them all) he soon quit after numerous reports of inappropriate sexual advances. He went to work at a Sinclair Mini Mart for approximately a year and a half before quitting on December 18, 1987. It was December in 1987 when the proverbial shit hit the fan.  On December 22, 1987, Ronald Gene Simmons decided to methodically kill each and every member of his family. Simmons went out to the local Wal-Mart bought a .22 caliber handgun, went home, then bludgeoned and shot his wife Becky as well as their son Gene. He then strangled his three year old daughter. After knocking back a cold when he dumped the bodies into a pit the he’d had his kids dig days earlier.

As the other children came home he informed them of gifts that had for them. The catch was that he wanted to give them their gifts one by one. The first to receive their “gift” was 17 year old Loretta.  She was beaten, strangled, then drowned in a rain barrel. Oddly, the next three of his children, Eddy, Marianne and Becky received the exact same gift. Again, he placed these bodies out in the pit.

Billy Simmons, the eldest Simmons’ son, his wife Renata and their son Trae arrived on December 26th for an after Christmas dinner. Ronald killed his son and bride by shooting them and drowned the child. Sheila Simmons arrived later that evening with her husband Dennis McNulty and two children; Sylvia the child she bore from Ronald, and Michael. Once again the adults were shot and the kids were drowned. Unlike the first four, the adult bodies were then lined up neatly in the lounge room of Simmons’ house. Each body was covered with coats except the corpse of Sheila. Her body was covered with the best tablecloth. The little bodies of the two grandsons were wrapped in plastic sheeting and left in abandoned cars at the end of the lane. Feeling that he had accomplished enough for the day Simmons stopped by Sears to pick up previously ordered Christmas gifts.

Simmons spent the next two days drinking beer and thinking of others that comprised his wicked hit list. On the morning of Monday December 28th Simmons stopped by Wal-Mart and bought a second gun. Next he drove into town to pay the local law office of Peel, Eddy and Gibbons Law Firm a visit. Once inside the first person to greet him was receptionist/secretary Kathy Kendrick, a woman he blamed many of his problems on. Previously he had made periodic sexual advances to Kathy during his visits into the office, all of which had been ignored. Expecting his usual come-ons Kathy thought nothing of it when Ronald showed up. This time however was different, this time Simmons proceeded to shoot Ms. Kendrick to death. While in town he stopped by the offices of the Taylor Oil Company where he shot and wounded his former boss Russell Taylor. While there Simmons shot and killed former co-worker J.D Chaffin. Two more victims would be injured by Ronald Gene Simmons’ wrath before this day was over.

After being arrested by Russellville police Simmons was sent to the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock for a competency evaluation by staff psychiatrist. Dr. Irving Kuo found Simmons to be sane and capable of standing trial. On May 12. 1988 Simmons was found guilty of the murders of Kendrick and Chaffin. On May 16 Judge John Samuel Patterson sentenced Simmons to death by lethal injection plus 147 years. Simmons was found guilty of fourteen counts of capital murder in the deaths of his family members on February 10, 1989. On March 16, 1989 Simmons was sentenced to death by lethal injection. To expedite his execution, Simmons waived all rights to appeal in both trials. Arkansas governor Bill Clinton signed Simmons’ execution warrant on May 31st 1990 and on June 25th 1990 Ronald Gene Simmons was put to death by lethal injection. This case was the quickest sentence-to-execution-to-death time in United States history. None of Simmons’ existing family members would claim his body therefore Simmons was buried in a paupers’ plot at Lincoln Memorial Lawn. Still today it is unknown what made Simmons embark on his murderous rampage.

Ronald Gene Simmons

Ronald Gene Simmons

A Solution To Violent Crime-Parental Guidance Suggested

I would be remiss if not a full blown hypocrite if I did not address the acts of depravity committed daily here in my own city. The word depravity means moral corruption or wickedness. What act of moral corruption or wickedness is there greater than that of a parent disregarding his responsibilities to a child? The senseless violence that has permeated Chicago neighborhoods as well as neighborhoods around the country can be traced directly back to the lack of not only a positive male role model within the home and in the community, but the lack of a family unit at all.

As an advocate for prison reform I have and will continue to point out injustices throughout our legal system, however as a man first and foremost I will call it how I see it. For the most part, perpetrators of inner city violent crime are not forty something males. Old men aren’t riding around with their buddies gunning up public parks. Young adults and teenagers, (more specifically young males) are the trigger pullers, but the accomplices are the men & women that brought them into being. How, one may ask? There are great responsibilities in becoming a parent. Parents play a direct role in whatever their children become; positive or negative. When parents are not actively participating in the development of their children; someone or something else will. Whether its music videos, video games, neighborhood drug dealers or other children, the void will be filled.

As with most crime, inner-city violence is committed in areas that the perpetrator is familiar with. The serial killer plots his attack against members of his own community, not only because he is easily camouflaged but also because of his ability to remain close to that which he despises. The same applies to inner city violence. A young man grows to loathe his current socio-economic situation. Without positive familial reinforcement, he seeks that what is lacked in the home from the streets. In the streets the young man acquires a warped sense of morality, justice and values from other like-minded youths.

Several parents have abandoned proven effective traditional methods of raising children and embraced time outs or becoming our child’s friend. Other parents have given up “parenting”, all together allowing children to simply “grow up” forcing them to deal with the harsh realities of life on their own. Many parents have turned away from their own morally sound upbringing to indulge in lifestyles that accentuate the pleasures of “immediate gratification,” thereby destroying the likelihood of establishing a respectful parent-child relationship. These factors, combined with the massive numbers of fathers that are currently incarcerated, create a climate ripe for the senseless violence that we see, read & hear about today.

The socio-economic stresses attached to inner city life can be challenging but not insurmountable. The challenges are increased when a child has to face the world without the vital tools for success that only caring parents can provide. Needing support to handle day to day struggles, the child turns to his peers for assistance. Misguided youth become misguided young adults who are ready, willing and able to misguide their peers as well as other youths in the community. Parents have allowed themselves to be replaced by these peers, as well as, by various forms for entertainment such as video games, television and music lyrics. Through constant exposure to these forms of media that emphasize misogyny, violence and indifference toward life and without responsible parents to enforce the value of true morality and work ethics, the child forms a warped, “code of ethics.”

The lack of parental guidance denies a child of the ability to deal with day to day obstacles in a rational manner. The ability to use logic instead of emotions to solve problems is a skill that falls within a parent’s scope of duties. Without the capability to apply logic to a difficult situation and arrive at a reasonable conclusion, the emotionally charged child engages in a violent confrontation often ending in tragedy for an innocent victim.

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Emotionally Charged Youth May Mean Tragedy for Innocent Victims

Without self-respect, success of any type is unattainable.  A child that does not respect himself cannot and will not respect parents or authority figures. If the child continues on this self-destructive path of disrespectful behavior, negative contact with law enforcement is inevitable. It is these young people; lacking the respect for self and others and possessing a false sense of entitlement, that commit the majority of community based violent crime. Self-respect, or the child’s lack of it, falls squarely upon the shoulders of the parents. Self-respect creates strong moral character; strong moral character prevents many incidents of senseless violent crime from ever being committed.

Community based violence is the result of many components; I would dare to say that most, if not all, can be traced back to ineffective parenting.  It would interest me to see just how many of the perpetrators actually come from homes where both parents had an active role in their childhood development. Parents must regain the power that they have given to the streets, the TV and the radio by becoming parents again. The only way to end the violence that infect our communities is for parents to not just talk but to show children through their actions that true success must be attained through education and work. Morality & integrity cannot be found in the street and are not the responsibility of teachers and schools but must be addressed in the home. Respect of self and of others cannot be found in books but must be conveyed from the hearts & minds of parents to their children. To solve the problem of violence in our neighborhoods, parents must raise their children instead of allowing them to simply grow up, therefore, in an effort to save our communities; parental guidance is suggested.

A Monster Is As A Monster Does

In my never-ending search for acts of depravity I happened across an interview with serial killer Paul Runge.  Runge was sentenced to death on June 5, 2006 after being found guilty in February of repeatedly raping and cutting the throats of Yolanda Gutierrez, 35, and her daughter, Jessica Muniz. The sexual sadist also confessed to the rape and murders of 5 other women throughout DuPage & Cook counties. During the conversation, Runge told the interviewer, “Not everyone convicted of accused of committing monstrous acts, is a monster.”

I know that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but if I’m not mistaken, those that, let’s say play football, earn the title of football players, right? People that cook are still considered cooks, or has that changed? The asinine statement made by this predator would definitely not go over well with the families of these women: Yolanda Gutierrez, Jessica Muniz, Stacy Frobel, Dzeneta Pasanbegovic, Amela Pasanbegovic, Dorota Dziubak, Kazimiera Paruch. These are the victims that fell prey to the evil that Paul Runge terrorized the Chicagoland area with from 1995 through 1997.

For those that are unfamiliar with Paul Frederick Runge, let me enlighten you to his personal brand of darkness. In August 1987, a 17 year old Runge manipulated a schoolmate into a private meeting near a horse stable not far from his home in the Chicago suburb of Oak Forest. Under the pretense that she would be helping Runge to hide marijuana, the young lady accompanied Paul to his home where she was punched in the face and raped. During her period of captivity Runge’s girlfriend called him requesting a ride to work. Paul proceeded to stuff the heavily constrained girl into a sleeping bag and left. After being held captive for 15 hours the girl; while handcuffed, bound, gagged and covered with knife wounds hopped out into traffic and was taken to safety by a passing motorist.

In 1988, Runge was prosecuted in Cook County Circuit Court, found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Paroled in 1994, Runge moved to suburban Carol Stream Illinois with his fiancée Charlene. In 1997 Paul was returned to prison on a parole violation. During his period of freedom, Paul Runge took the lives of 7 people and changed the lives of countless family members and friends forever.

In early January of 1995, Stacey Frobel, a 25 year old friend of Charlene came by for a visit. After hours of socializing and cocktails Stacey was persuaded to stay over instead of driving home intoxicated. Sometime during the night Stacey was assaulted by Runge who struck the woman in the head with a dumbbell. He then carried Stacey’s bloody body into another bedroom, laid her down on a sheet of plastic and raped the unconscious woman. The following morning, Runge used a saw to dismember her body in a bathtub.

As parts of Frobel’s body surfaced in Northern Illinois & Southern Wisconsin, Paul and Charlene were investigated as they were the last people to see Stacey Frobel alive. The couple swore adamantly that Stacey had left the night before and were oblivious to her demise.

In July 1995, sisters Dzeneta Pasanbegovic, 22, and Amela Pasanbegovic 20, two Bosnian immigrants that answered an ad for house cleaners needed. They arrived at the Glendale Heights home of Paul & Charlene Runge, (who were now married) and unfortunately met their end. Once inside, the two women were handcuffed, raped and eventually dismembered. Runge placed their body parts into large plastic bags and discarded them in garbage containers throughout the city.

Dorota Dziubak, 30 and Kazimiera Paruch, 43, both of Chicago, were selling their respective homes in 1997. In January, Dorota was assaulted and murdered by Runge. Ms. Paruch met her untimely end at the hand of Runge in March of the same year.  In each case the victims were bludgeoned to death and their houses set ablaze. Their burned bodies were discovered after firefighters extinguished separate fires in their homes.

Yolanda Gutierrez, 35, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica Muniz, lived in a modest apartment on the northwest side of Chicago. Yolanda had placed an ad in a local classified to sell a “Hooked on Phonics,” instructional game that was no longer being used. Unfortunately, evil personified came calling that night in the form of Paul Runge. On January 31, 1997; Runge raped the mother and daughter, slit their throats then set them on fire.

In 2001 Runge, who was still incarcerated from the parole violation, was officially charged in the murders of Gutierrez & Muniz. Confronted with DNA evidence, Runge confessed to the murders of all 7 women. On 2/27/2006, Paul Runge was found guilty of murder and on 6/5/2006 Judge Joseph Kazmierski sentenced him to death. However, in Illinois a death sentence is simply a symbolic gesture.  A moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois has been in effect since Gov. George Ryan halted executions in the state shortly before he left office. Prosecutors were later allowed to resume seeking the death penalty in criminal cases, but the state legislature has not lifted the ban on carrying out a death sentence. Currently, a sentence of death in Illinois is actually a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

There is an old saying, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, what is it? The mere suggestion of Runge that anyone could consider him as anything other than a monster is preposterous. We here in the real world have always and will always judge each other based on our actions. In the words of our cinematic hero Forrest Gump, just as stupid is as stupid does; a monster is as a monster does.

Paul Runge

Paul Runge

A Murderer’s Request

While receiving my “hands on training,” in criminology in Cook County Department of Corrections, (CCDOC) and Illinois Department of Corrections, (IDOC) I had a “hustle.” A hustle is defined as an unlicensed business entity that generates an income. I would utilize my writing ability to assist other inmates by writing on their behalf to judges requesting leniency in sentencing, receive probation, beg for mercy, etc. Other inmates would purchase my writing services to write girlfriends, wives and others in the outside world for various reasons. The success of my little business gave me the confidence to continue my writing when I was released.

Wright & Peoples at their arrest

One of my previous posts entitled Chicago’s Uncommon Serial Killers; cover the murders of four Chicagoans and the subsequent arrests and convictions of Angel Ford-Wright & Caroline Peoples. Angel and her mother are close friends with my in-laws and during their trial Angel’s mother was my landlord for a while. My wife, being the sweetheart that she is, often brags about my writing ability. One day in 2010 I received a 4 page letter from Angel Ford-Wright requesting my assistance in writing the judge concerning her case and appeal. Her mother even made the offer very enticing by offering much needed finances.

Anyhow, I pondered on what exactly would I write, as well as what Angel was attempting to achieve through such correspondence. At that moment I began to think of the victims. Who could write something on their behalf? No matter how talented I am, there is nothing that I could write to bring them back. Nothing anyone could do could possibly make their families whole again. I abhor & detest murders and murderers. There is not one viable reason, (less self-defense) that one would have for taking the life of another. If I were a family member, friend, or loved one of a victim, I would want pure unadulterated justice. Who am I to even attempt to sway the court and its decision of appropriate punishment? After deep deliberation, I had to decline in assisting Angel.

Integrity is the foundation of a man’s moral capacity. Without integrity, a man, even one professing to be a good one; is only a hypocrite with great intentions. Integrity enables an individual to stand up for his beliefs. My integrity would not allow me to write any correspondence on Angel’s behalf; the load placed on her victims could never be lightened, why should hers be? These women murdered innocent men in the most cowardly fashion possible, a shot to the back of the head.

Am I perfect? No, not even close! Have I broken the law? Yes, countless numbers of times (I even ran a stop sign just this morning). I have done my time for my infractions against the law. During these periods I have seen murderers that express remorse for their victims; more often, I have seen murderers express no remorse and a willingness to commit more heinous violations of the law. I am thankful that during my criminal stage no victims were ever hurt or killed. I am even more thankful for the common sense not to have placed myself in such a situation.

UPDATE: I ran into her mother two days ago…….we still did not speak; c’est la vie.

Angel Ford Wright Today Courtesy IDOC

Angel Ford Wright Today Courtesy IDOC

Serial Murder Revisit Roseland Community

 

The Roseland community in Chicago has had more than their share of serial murder over the years. The new millennium brought to light the serial murderer Geoffrey T. Griffin.  From July of 1998 to July 2000, Griffin used the neighborhoods of the Roseland area of Chicago as his personal killing fields. In a modus operandi familiar among African American serial killers, Geoffrey Griffin would lure area streetwalkers to abandoned buildings in lieu of receiving drugs or cash. Once inside, Griffin would rape then murder his victims. Arrested on June 17, 2000, he was subsequently charged with eight murders and 1 aggravated criminal sexual assaultMany of his charges stem from bodies found long after his arrest.

On September 22, 2005, Judge Fred Suria convicted Griffin of killing Angela Jones after watching a videotape in which he described how he squeezed Jones’ throat during sex after the two smoked crack cocaine.  Judge Suria acquitted him of killing Beverly Burns even though the man’s shirt and jacket were spattered with her blood. The judge said that he was troubled by the lack of evidence at the crime scene against Griffin and by the fact that there was no blood of the victim at the scene. Griffin was sentenced to 100 years in prison on November 06, 2005. Trials for the other murders are forthcoming.

In 2010, serial murder returned to Roseland. Michael Johnson, a 24 year old Roseland resident was arrested on May 22, 2010 and charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal sexual assault.  Johnson’s DNA was taken and said to have matched at least four unsolved murders in the area. Currently held in Cook County Department of Corrections on no bond, Johnson now 27 is being investigated for additional murders in the Roseland community.

The premise and purpose of writing and publishing, “The Darker Side of Evil,” was to enlighten society of the existence of Black serial killers as well as to advise African-American communities of these predator’s abilities to hide and operate in plain sight.  As usual the victims of these crimes were women. More specifically, women labeled nightwalkers or prostitutes that take to life on the streets by virtue of drug addiction.  Drug addicts and prostitutes are viewed by some as people whose behavior brought their fate upon themselves.  In my book, I pointed that society views these people as “throwaways,” people that society has basically given up on and truthfully wish would fall from the face of the earth anyway.

WE MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE VIEW EACH OTHER. The only time society seems to feel any level of empathy is when a problem affects us directly. We as a civilized society must change our judgmental views of each other and begin to care for something outside of ourselves. The devil cannot exist and operate if we keep an eye out for the well-being of the people around us. He thrives on our selfishness and inability to concern with the issues of the people we see and interact with daily. As long as we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get what we’ve always gotten.

The Speck That Wouldn’t Go Away

Have you ever had a speck that wouldn’t go away? Whether it’s in your eye or on your shirt it can be a bothersome nuisance. Let’s take a look at how an early morning traveler from the 60’s in Chicago handles such a problem.

It was 3:00 a.m. Thursday July 14, 1966 and the humidity in Chicago was nearly unbearable. Barely coherent, Richard staggered down the street and came to rest at a bus stop. “The bitch,” Richard uttered to himself, but then a thought came, “which bitch am I talking about?” He chuckled to himself as he counted the number of people throughout his life that could aptly wear that moniker. Settling on his ex-wife for now, he mumbled “She couldn’t even wait for the ink to dry before gallivanting off with that weasel,” Richard recalled how his ex-wife was remarried in less than two days after their divorce was finalized.  Richard flopped down upon a bus stop bench and attempted to convey the reason for his current state of drunkenness to a man waiting at the bus stop. Attempting to look concerned, yet secretly hoping the tall intoxicated man would leave, the man sharing the bus stop bench listened to Richard’s drunken banter.

The warm Chicago air only exasperated Richard’s intoxicated condition has he rattled on to his unwilling audience about his life as a merchant marine. “I came up to leave on the SS Sinclair Great Lakes, but they gave the job to some punk ahead of me!” Richard said with slurred speech. The man had to admit, the stories were entertaining, at first; he then became nervous when Richard told of his troubles while living in Dallas, Texas. Soon the weary traveler became down right uncomfortable when Richard told him of his exploits of the last few hours.

“My sister and brother in law dropped me off up here at the National Maritime Union (NMU), hiring hall for a job, she gave me  $25 and split; I left and walked east on 100th St. and got a room at the Shipyard Inn,” Richard told the leery listener.  Looking into the night sky as if he could see himself, he then told the man how he and others began to slam shots of whiskey at the bar. Suddenly Richard stopped talking and stood stoic for a few seconds. “That’s when she came in,” he said after the silence. “Who came in?” The bus stop man asked Richard.  He paused to recall her name, “Ella, Ella Mae I think her name was,” Richard responded loudly and flopped onto the bus stop bench as if the thought exhausted him. “The bitch flirted with me from the time she came in,” he said as his blank look of drunkenness was now replaced with an evil sneer. Gone too was the stuttering and stammering of a babbling drunk. In its place was a man ready to tell a tale of true depravity to a captivated audience of one.

“She had been watching me and flirting the whole time,” Richard said as he lit a cigarette. “I told her that I had a bottle in my room and invited her to have a nightcap with me,” he continued. “She thought she was going to drink my booze and leave.” “What did you do?” The man asked with renewed interest. With a facial expression that can only be described as sheer evil, Richard told the man in full detail how he pressed his knife to her throat and raped the woman repeatedly. He also told the man how he rummaged through her purse and took the woman’s 22 caliber revolver before he callously threw the woman out of his room.

The man stared at Richard with a look of sheer amazement. Questioning if Richard had been lying to him the whole time, he wondered if his common sense was simply being put to the test.  He thought to himself, “is this guy some type of jokester, using me to simply while away the time as they waited for the early morning bus?”  He watched Richard’s face hoping to see some indication of truth or at least the slightest hint of prankery.  Instead, what he saw was a cold soulless gaze. Any shadow of disbelief would soon be erased from the man’s mind as his Richard continued the story of that night’s activities.

“After I gave that bitch the what for, I was fuckin hungry,” Richard said with an air of bravado.  “I grabbed supper from Kay’s Pilot House and returned to the tavern.”

“While I was at the bar,                I saw a group of young girls heading up 100th street,” Richard said has he stood and pointed.  Richard explained to the man how the girl’s laughed and giggled as they made their way up the darkened street to their townhouse. “I crouched down in the bushes across the street and watched them,” he said as he demonstrated his stance. “I started to masturbate in the bushes as I watched them undress in the window,” he said proudly. “Then they started talking to me, they sent messages to my head to come over; I could hear them in my head calling my name”. As he spoke, the captive listener could hear another distinct change in Richard’s speaking voice. The storyteller’s tone became one of utter disdain and hatred for the subjects in his tale.  As Richard spoke, the listener now recognized the psychosis in the man that had held his attention for so long; even worse, he realized that every word of his story was the absolute truth. Worried about seeming inattentive and turning Richard against him; the man acted more attentive than ever.

Oblivious to the man’s anxiety, Richard continued his story with a sense of renewed vigor, “I ran across the street, man I’m telling you, they were talking to me straight into my brain, and I knew it was them.  The broads told me to use the window so that’s what I did, I only wanted to burglarize the joint but the chics were in my head telling me how they wanted me.”  Richard then pulled out a knife and illustrated his next move, “The first chic screamed and played dumb, so I gutted the whore with my blade. The next broad came in so I choked the shit out of her, that’ll teach them about playing with people’s minds.” The man, now frightened to the core, sat wide eyed and speechless. Fully engrossed into the reenactment of his wickedness, Richard continued for at least another 20 minutes with his street side testimony. He explained in full detail how he took the lives of seven nursing students.  Richard concluded his monologue with the vivid description of his violent sexual assault, torture and murder of the eighth young woman to die at his hand that night

The sun was beginning to come up as Richard closed the story with the man. Not knowing what to say; truthfully afraid to say anything the man simply sat and looked and Richard. He then began to crack a smile as he hoped on all that is holy that Richard had simply made the whole story up. He was just about to commend Richard on his story telling ability when he heard a blood curdling scream followed by “They’re all dead! All my friends are dead!” The man turned to where he heard the scream. In the distance he could see a woman running and waving her arms wildly. At that moment the man froze, it dawned on him that he had just listened to the confession of a heinous murderer. A question arose in the man’s mind. “Is this guy about to kill me too?  Afraid to turn around but refusing to die from an attack to the back, he whipped around.

Astonishingly, the man was gone, the only thing remaining was the stench of old alcohol and dried blood. The early morning summer sunrise glistened off of the bus stop sign; a sign that read, ”no service between Midnight and 6 a.m. Aghast, the man stood mesmerized that for the better part of 3 hours, a guy named Richard had given him a confession of his murderous rampage and was now gone. The man abandoned his travel plans and returned home. When his wife asked him what had happened and where had he been, the man simply replied, “I had a Speck that wouldn’t go away!”

Richard Speck Early

Richard Speck

 

The Windy City’s Worst Team Ever………..The Chicago Rippers

Earlier today someone asked me if I had begun working on my second book as of yet. “No,” I responded, I went on to let them know that I am still investigating and researching various topics within the true crime genre. As an ex-criminal and true crime author I am normally not shocked by the articles, biographies and documentaries that I utilize for research in my works. That is until today; I was researching the potential links between H.H, Holmes and Jack the Ripper and came across a group known as the Ripper Crew or The Chicago Rippers.
The Chicago Rippers
Comprised of Robin Gecht, Edward Spreitzer with brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis, these men are suspected to be responsible for the disappearance of at least 18 women from the Chicago area in 1981 and 1982. During their time of operation, the group would drive around in a van looking for prostitutes to sacrifice in Gecht’s apartment. Led by Gecht; these four men raped, tortured, mutilated and killed prostitutes throughout Cook & DuPage counties. Afterwards they would remove one breast from each victim and eaten it as Gecht read passages of “The Satanic Bible”. It has also been said that they, after severing the breast, took turns raping the open wound. They then proceeded to each masturbate into the flesh of the breast, chop it into pieces, and devour it. When the ritualistic behavior was done, they would dump the corpse and proceed to seek out their next victim. In 1982 Beverly Washington, a twenty-year-old prostitute, was found near death alongside some railroad tracks. Despite being raped, slashed, and having her left breast severed, Washington survived to give a description of her attacker and the van she was taken in.
The men were arrested in 1982. The Kokoraleis brothers and Spreitzer confessed their wrong doings in full gory detail. Each of them hesitated to involve Gecht in the crimes, some speculate out of fear or because of the sheer control that Gecht had over the other men. Gecht attempted to escape punishment by offering an insanity excuse. The strategy proved somewhat affective initially and caused a mistrial but that would not be the case in the second trial which began on September 30th, 1983. The jury found Gecht guilty of attempted murder, rape, deviate sexual assault, aggravated battery, and armed violence.  He was sentenced to 120 years in prison. When asked why he was not convicted of murder, the jury cited the lack of hard evidence against him.
Tommy Kokoraleis, 23, attempted to block his confession from being admitted into his trial, but lost.   He was convicted in 1984 and was sentenced to 70 years in prison. Andrew Kokoraleis was tried in two separate counties for his crimes. After being tried, convicted and sentenced to life in the first trial he too attempted to recant his confession in his second trial. This strategy proved futile as he was sentenced to death. On March 16, 1999, 35-year-old Andrew Kokoraleis was executed by lethal injection at Tamms Correctional Center.  Also sentenced to death, Edward Spreitzer’s sentence was commuted in George H. Ryan’s last-minute commutation of all death sentences in Illinois in 2003.
The true accounts of the murderous exploits of these men were shocking. The devil truly is in the details of the crimes perpetrated by this group. A more shocking fact is that we share the planet, country, state and city with individuals of equal if not greater levels of depravity. As we carry out our day to day activities, we must make a commitment to ourselves, as it is our obligation, to look out, not only for ourselves but for each other. Not living in fear but being aware of our surroundings makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the devil to touch any one of us.