Friday, July 16, 2010
Disclosure: Contains graphic sexual content. Please be advised before reading.
In a tiny cell, looking more like a dirt hole fashioned into a square, sat a black man wearing large dark sunglasses and a heavy woman, half nude with sandy blonde short hair. Chain smoking, the woman addressed the shaky and grainy camera with a thick and guttural southern accent. Upon hearing her voice, it becomes clear that the woman sitting with her legs daintily crossed, is actually a man with bulky breasts and wearing satin blue panties. The skinny black man sits languidly with his arms crossed, watching the half naked man as he speaks.
“How’d you feel about killing all those ladies?” The reporter behind the camera asks.
Without a hitch, the breasted man answers slowly, “Like I always felt…. Had no feeling. If you’re asking me if I felt sorry, no.” Standing up and coming close to the camera, it is clear that this man has had hormonal treatment, affording him the solid breasts he seems to be showing proudly not only to the camera, but to the reporter and the black man. The two men share several lines of cocaine together, the breasted man snorting his line off the leg of the black man. Turning to his mate, the breasted man laughs, “If they knew how much fun I was having, they’d turn me loose.”
This is a video featuring serial killer Richard Speck, released to the media in the mid 1990’s.
Richard Speck was what is known by convicts at Stateville Penitentiary as a “Queen Bee.” He possesses most the traits of a female; breasts, panties, and longish blonde hair. Some say this is how Richard Speck survived in prison, by becoming essentially a “bitch”, allowing men to have intercourse with him in exchange for safety. Arguing that Richard was saving his own life by not meeting a gruesome and horrible beating like Jeffrey Dahmer, it seems less likely that Richard Speck had to become partly a woman to survive. Richard Speck seemed to enjoy his womanly attributes, choosing to take hormones to feminize himself. Two things that solidify this point are the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer was famous for killing and eating seventeen young boys, while Richard Speck was famous for killing eight women in one night. Many inmates are disgusted by the death of young people, while one crime spree might not raise the same kind of revolt.
Becoming illustrious is not a lucky thing for a man in prison. By taking the popularity away from other prisoners, well-known serial killers are privy to horrendous beatings and sometimes death. At Stateville Penitentiary, famed 1920’s accused child murderer Richard Loeb was slashed to death in a shower with 58 straight razor wounds. At Walpole prison in Massachusetts, Albert DeSalvo was stabbed six times through his heart by unknown persons.
Richard Speck’s reasoning for becoming a woman could have been a deep seeded fantasy he had been harboring for years. His hatred for women reflected back at himself might have been the perfect chance for him to become what he hated most- a woman. Richard Speck also might have been attempting the ultimate act of punishment by taking hormones and consenting to sex with men.
Or, the more plausible and more believable reason Speck wanted to become a woman is simple. By killing women, Richard Speck was showing the gender he definitively wanted to be a part of. His obvious hatred of women grew and grew until he had to kill them. By murdering, he was showing the world who he should have been. A woman.
Tall, lanky, and pockmarked, Richard Speck as a youth was not what women would call their idea of a romantic partner. Violent and vengeful about almost everything, Speck was often in trouble with the law. When it came to women, he was abominable. Speck had no control of himself, especially when it came to the ladies. He wanted them, wanted to be them, and they constantly snubbed him, believing him to be a rude and vile creature. To escape from his own self, Speck had little choice but to let out his rages when they came, and they came often. A heavy drinker by age 15, Richard lost all good manners he might have had and was considered a louse by everyone, including his family.
At nineteen, Richard chose a tattoo that would fit his nature in every way. “Born to Raise Hell”, written in permanent ink on his shoulder, not only showing his ugly side, but a nifty reminder to everyone he came into contact with that he was not to be bothered. Meeting a beautiful girl at a local fair, only 15 years old, Richard found himself in love, or some kind of love. Five years his junior, Shirley Malone became pregnant after only three weeks of heavy petting and hot encounters. Shirley and Richard married, intending on raising their child well and without the same kind of anger and rage the two had separately lived with. Robbie Lynn, born July 6, 1962, beautiful and innocent, unfortunately did not have a father to see her birth. Richard was serving time for public drunkenness and fighting.
After an incident involving Richard holding a knife to the throat of a woman, Shirley Malone demanded a divorce from Richard in 1966. Richard had been jailed 37 times in less than three years, and Shirley was at the end of her rope. All the thieving, burglaries, threats and breaking and entering were coming to a head, not only for Shirley, but for Richard as well. As his marriage disintegrated, Richard’s mental stability was now just fragments of the man he used to be, enraging him and turning him quickly to alcohol and drugs.
On July 14, 1966, without a wife or daughter, Richard wandered around Chicago, lifeless and introverted. Hanging out in local dive bars and ordering drink after drink, the candle of the man that could have been something in the world blew out completely. Dying for some kind of calling or a sign from God, the only thing on Richard’s mind was his missing wife and daughter. Drinking himself onto the sticky floor of a bar, Richard came to the conclusion that sex and violence was his only answer. Dragging himself to the outside garbage bin, Richard wanted only a woman to clear his head. What would lead him to murder was the light he saw beaming down the streets.
Richard followed the lights to a home for young local nurses on 2319 East 100th Street. Knocking on the door at a late hour of night, it took a moment for someone to answer. The person that opened the door was a very weary looking 23-year-old Corazon Amurao. Richard stood tall, all in black, holding a small revolver.
“Where are your companions?” Richard said to Corazon and Merlita Garguilo. He forced his way inside of the house, walking both women to the large back bedroom. The women obeyed the man who appeared not only drunk, but had some kind of sickness in his eyes. There was also a sickness in his heart, and the only way to satisfy that illness was by harming another human being.
Merlita, Valentine, and Corazon hid in a closet, fearful of the dazed and frightening man. They waited until they heard the knocking of one of the other nurses, assuring them that the man would not hurt them, that he only wanted to steal from them. The three women slowly came out of the closet, temporarily blinded by the sudden light in the room.
Richard grabbed 20-year-old Pamela Wilkening by the waist, pointing the gun at Nina and Patricia. “On the floor,” he ordered the women. They all sat cross legged on the cold linoleum floor in a semi-circle facing Speck. He turned the lights out and shivers seemed to pass from girl to girl by the light of the moon. Richard sat down slowly looking at each woman in front of him. Most of them seemed to be of Filipino descent. Richard yawned and smiled at the women, “I want your money. Get your purses.”
Each woman stood, their hands open to show the man they had nothing to hide, and retrieved their purses. The six women cautiously approached Richard and handed him all the cash they had in their wallets. Richard nodded at each woman almost graciously and began counting the money. He was interrupted when the front door opened and slammed shut. Looking around the corner, Richard saw Shirley, or the ghost of Shirley. The woman drunkenly locking the door behind her bore a striking resemblance to Richard’s ex-wife, sharing the same facial structure and body type. This was unfortunate for Gloria, for she seemed to get the worst of Richard’s wrath that night. Richard almost dropped all the cash in his hands when the woman turned around and stumbled towards the darkened room.
Gloria Davy’s eyes began to adjust to darkness in the room and that’s when she saw six of her fellow nurses sitting in a circle on the floor. “Wha-? “ Gloria choked out before a man shoving a gun at her cheek appeared next to her. She looked at him, still drunk from her date, and first noticed the pockmarks littering his face. Then, she realized the gun he was holding was aimed directly at her cheek. Gloria began to sober up at that moment. Without being told, she joined her friends on the floor.
Richard decided his work here was not done. Not with the ghost of Shirley sitting in the complete circle. He grabbed one of the bed sheets and sat back down in the middle of the circle. Leisurely, he began cutting the bed sheet into strips with the blade of his knife. He winked at Gloria, who tried not to recoil. Silence filled the room except for the slow, agonizingly slow ripping of the sheets. When he had a sufficient pile next to him, he began binding each nurse’s hands and feet tightly with the strips. When he got to Gloria, he smiled widely, her knots tighter than any of the others. Richard then moved on to Pamela, tying her hands and feet quickly.
The back door suddenly opened and voices could be heard echoing in the hallway. Mary Jordon, 20, and Suzanna Farris, 21, had arrived home from dates, and they were loudly talking and laughing until they saw Richard standing over Pamela waving a gun. Mary and Suzanna screamed and bolted into another bedroom. Richard ran after them, pulling out his knife. Finding the women trapped in the room, Richard shut the door behind him and advanced. Neither woman had anything to defend themselves with. Suzanna quickly picked up a reading lamp, but found that it was still plugged into the wall, disarming her.
Richard stabbed Mary as she clawed madly at the wall, begging for mercy. With Mary still screaming and unable to move, Richard walked over to Suzanna, who stood frozen with the lamp dangling from her hand. Richard stabbed her over and over in the chest until she stopped moving. As Suzanna began to weaken at her rapid blood loss from 18 stab wounds scaling her entire body, Richard pulled up her nightgown. He raped her as she was dying. He then returned to Mary and pulled out his knife and stabbed her both in the neck and in the eye.
Leaving the women dead in the bedroom, Richard clinched his teeth in fury. He hadn’t expected more nurses to come and these constant interruptions were making him angrier than he had been in the first place. He returned to the large room where his six nurses were still waiting. At least that had gone right, he thought. Coming back to Pamela, the last nurse to be bound, he pushed her back on the floor and stabbed her once through the heart while the other five nurses watched in horror. Richard looked at his sticky red hands and decided to wash up before continuing.
With the man now out of the room, the nurses slid themselves across the floor and tried to get underneath the beds. Each one thought that hiding under the beds was better than being a sitting duck in the evil little circle the man had cast. When Richard returned, he grabbed 24-year-old Nina Schmale by her shoulder as she was shimmying under one of the beds. “No, no,” he whispered and untied her feet. He forced her to shakily stand and took her to another room. He laid her on one of the beds, kissed her on the cheek and stabbed her through the neck. He placed a pillow over her face and watched as the blood from her throat leaked onto the pure white sheets. Richard then strangled Nina with such force, it broke her neck.
Returning to the back room, Richard took the next nurse he could pull out from the bunk beds, which was Valentine. Short and petite, Valentine was carried off easily by the man without taking the binds off of her feet. Bringing her to the same room as Mary and Suzanna, Richard set the small nurse on one of the beds. She had her eyes closed; not wanting to know what was to happen to her. When she did open her eyes, she was looking at the corpses of her friends. As she opened her mouth to scream, Richard grabbed her wrist and slashed her throat with his knife. The only sound that came from Valentine was a slight whisper, her voice box almost completely destroyed. She fell to the floor and did not move.
The next to go was Merlita, hidden almost completely under a bed except for one exposed pinky toe. Hauling her off to the room of death, as Richard thought of it, Merlita looked over her shoulder one last time at her companions, wishing them well. Richard strangled her and tossed her next to the other nurses like a forgotten toy. 23-year-old Patricia Matusek came next, Richard walking her to the bathroom this time. He said something to her, and as she leaned in to hear him, he punched her in the stomach and then strangled her to death. He left her body discarded in the bathtub.
At last it was time. Richard found Gloria near one of the back beds. It had appeared that she had attempted to hide under the bed, but fell asleep from all the drinking she had done earlier in the night. “Shirley,” Richard whispered kneeling down. He said her name again, louder, and Gloria’s eyes fluttered open. “Shirley, I-,“ Richard choked and shook himself. Gloria opened her mouth to scream, but Richard covered it with his hand. He pulled off her clothes and laid her on the bed. Richard savagely and ruthlessly raped her, imagining her to be Shirley. And, oh, what he would have done to Shirley if he had another chance to see her…. Flipping Gloria over, he sodomized her and strangled her until she stopped struggling.
After the rape, Richard went back to the bathroom, affording Corazon enough time to switch beds. If he thought he saw her under the first bed, he might get confused thinking he had already taken all nine of the nurses. Corazon heard the sounds of water and prayed. She was the last one left.
With shaking hands and still seeing red from all eight murders he had committed that night, Richard left Gloria on the bed and slowly walked out of the building without checking for more victims. He’d already taken cash from the women’s purses, stolen the rings from their dead fingers and sexually assaulted enough women to satisfy him. All he needed now was a comfortable place to sleep off his hangover and disregard all the horrible things he had done that night. Almost stumbling down the street, Richard Speck had all but lost his mind that night. He had not found Shirley and his child, but he did find sex and violence. Somehow, it didn’t feel the way he thought it should have. Now, holding onto the brick wall of a building, Richard just felt empty; almost disappointed.
Crouching underneath a short bed, comforted only by the silence around her, Corazon Amurao waited. The strips of bed sheets had cut her wrists, but she had escaped with little more than a heavy headache and a terrible story to tell. Worried that the stranger might come back to finish her off, Corazon stayed under the bed of Valentine Pasion, trying not to stare at the dead bodies littering the floor around her. Only until the early hours of morning and the light beaming through the windows, did Corazon come out from the under the bed. She purposefully avoided the bodies seemingly all around her and opened the window. Then, she began screaming.
Police arrived shortly after someone across the street reported the hollering for help. What the police found at 2319 East 100th Street was literally a massacre. Eight women in all were found dead and mutilated, blood splashed on the floor and extreme bruises and injury on almost every victim. Corazon had much to tell the police, but in her traumatized state could only give a brief description of the man that came visiting the previous night. He was tall, lanky, and had very bad skin. There was also a tattoo that Corazon recalled, on the stranger’s left shoulder baring the words “Born to Raise Hell.” Police, examining the knots that were used to bind each woman were very distinct, the kind of knots seamen used. The Seaman’s Union was contacted, in hopes that someone might know or help identify the assailant.
Within days of the nurse’s murders, Richard Speck was rushed to Cook County Hospital in Chicago after a blundered suicide attempt. While a first year resident was attending to Speck’s wound on his arm, he felt something was recognizable about the man. Pulling back the tee-shirt of Richard’s arm, there was indeed a tattoo with the words “Born to Raise Hell.” The doctor called the authorities and police were sent directly to the hospital. With a severed artery in his inner arm, Speck had to be taken into surgery. To assure that they had the right man, they needed Corazon Amurao to identify him. Dressed in nurse’s garb while Speck was under a great deal of pain medication, Corazon went into his room pretending to attend to another patient. Having gotten a good look at Speck, Corazon returned to the waiting room where police were expecting her. She admitted that the man in the hospital room was the man who had murdered all of her friends.
Richard Speck was apprehended after his stay at the hospital and taken to psychiatrists where he was questioned about his full understanding of what he would be on trial for. Speck, realizing that there was more than enough evidence to try and convict him, told the psychiatrists that he must be responsible for his crimes but that he had no recollection of doing anything wrong. He claimed to have been drunk and on dope at the time and denied conscious involvement in the murders.
Although labeled an extreme sociopath, he was found competent to stand trial.
The defense, believing Richard would not get a fair trial in Chicago, plead with the judge to have the trial moved to Peoria, Washington. The plea was granted, and the entire prosecution including the jury and witnesses were moved three hours south of Chicago. For the actual trial, Richard Speck appeared in court well-dressed in a black suit and black glasses, seemingly pleasant and friendly, if not a bit guarded. After the testimony of Corazon Amurao, nobody believed that Richard Speck had not committed the murders. Furthermore, nobody believed that Richard was innocent because of his mental instability.
It took only 45 minutes for the jury to find Richard Speck guilty of all 8 counts of murder. Although the entire court had been moved from Chicago to Washington, the same judge was still presiding, giving Richard Speck an unfair ruling. On June 6, 1969, Judge Paschen gave Richard Speck death by electric chair. However, the Supreme Court overturned his sentence, sending Richard to Stateville Penitentiary for 400-1,200 years, the longest sentence anyone had received at the time.
In 1977 and 1981, Richard Speck’s parole came up, but he declared that he would rather stay in prison. Richard had become an avid oil painter in prison and decided to continue dedicating his talents while incarcerated. Richard did approach the parole board in 1987 for early release, but was denied. At some point, Richard had started hormone therapy, turning his flab into breasts and wore women’s undergarments.
In 1991, Richard died of a massive heart attack. Since his body was never claimed, he was cremated and his ashes thrown to an unknown location. In 1996, a pornographic video tape was released to the press showing Richard in panties doing drugs and having sex with another inmate. To the reporter behind the camera, Richard smiled and said in his southern drawl, “I enjoy being f**ked by men.”