Richard Speck
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Richard Speck was a mass slaughterer from the US who became infamous for the slaughtering of eight nursing students through torture and rape. His early indulgence in alcoholism led him to a life of crime as he attained notoriety for burglary and theft along with his numerous apprehensions at the age of 15. For more details about the life and death of the notorious wholesale killer, read on.

Who Was Richard Speck?

The infamous mass killer was born and named Richard Benjamin Speck to Mary Margaret Carbaugh Speck and Benjamin Franklin Speck on 6th December 1941 in Kirkwood, Illinois, United States. Speck who was emotionally attached to his father, lost him to cardiac arrest when he was 6 years old and that devastated him. He had two elder brothers, four elder sisters, and one younger sister. Three years after the death of her husband, Speck’s mother exchanged marital vows for the second time with Carl August Rudolph Lindberg on 10th May 1950. Lindberg who was a heavy drinker had been arrested severally for drunk-driving and he also had a criminal record.

Following Richard Speck’s completion of second grade, he went and lived with his mother. The notorious wholesale killer was never good in academics as he passed through fourth grade to eighth grade with great difficulty at Dallas public schools. Due to his age-old suffering of scopophobia, Speck repeated eight grade at J. L. Long Jr. High School, East Dallas before entering his ninth grade at Crozier Technical High School, Dallas. However, he became a school drop-out in 1958 at the age of 16. Following his indulgence in alcoholism at the age of 12, he was arrested for trespassing when he was 13 years old (1955) which was followed by numerous apprehensions for misdeeds.

Notwithstanding, Richard Speck landed his first job as a manufacturing company laborer in 1960 and he worked there till 1963. He exchanged marital vows with a 15 years old Shirley Annette Malone on 19th January 1962 and the couple welcomed their daughter, Robbie Lynn six months later. In the next year, he was handed a three-year jail sentence for robbing a grocery store and also forging and cashing his fellow workers $44 paycheck. However, he got parole following his 16 months (1963-1965) in the Texas State Penitentiary.

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Prior to the slaughtering of the eight nursing students of South Chicago Community Hospital on 13th July 1966, Speck perpetrated many crimes including the murdering of Mary Kay Pierce, breaking into the house of 65 year old Mrs. Virgil Harris and raping her in the process, threatening of a man with a knife, as well as being arrested 41 times in Dallas. Richard Speck gained forceful entry into the nursing students’ hostel located in 2319E. 100th St townhouse, Jeffery Manor vicinity, Chicago when he threatened one of the nursing students, Corazon Amurao with a knife who eventually granted him access into the hostel.

Richard Speck
The photos of the nursing students that were slaughtered by Richard Speck (image source)

She later escaped by hiding under a bed while Speck was routinely taking his hostages whom he tied their hands, one after the other to slaughter. He raped some and slaughtered all the nursing students he set his eyes on whose names were Valentina Pasion, Mary Ann Jordan, Gloria Dary, Merlita Gargullo, Nina Jo Schmale, Suzanne Farris, Patricia Matusek, and Pamela Wilkening. He was apprehended on 17th July at Cook County Hospital after he attempted to take his life at Starr Hotel and was rushed to the hospital following the hotel’s clerk emergency call. As a result of the help of the physician, Dr. LeRoy Smith who was treating him, his apprehension was made possible as he recognized the tattoo on his arm and alarmed the police.

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Where and When Did He Die?

Richard Speck was tried and convicted on 15th April 1967 after a 12-day trial and was handed a capital punishment after the escaped victim, Corazon Amurao identified him from the witness box as well as his fingerprints that matched with the one recovered at the crime scene. He died a day to his 50th birthday at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois on 5th December 1991.

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What Did Richard Speck Die Of?

Richard Speck died of cardiac arrest while serving his 400-1200 years jail sentence at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois. Following the cremation of his body, his ashes were dispersed in a private area in Joliet, Illinois, United States.