August 20, 2003
Speck's murders of eight young women -- all in nurse's training and rooming together in a quiet apartment house on Chicago's Southside -- stands as one of the most horrific and shocking crimes in U.S. history. During the mayhem of the killings, a ninth student nurse wedged herself under a bed and went undetected. Her description of the intruder with the "Born to Raise Hell" tattoo on his arm, led to Speck's capture. Her testimony at trial got him the death sentence. Murdering women was nothing new to Richard Speck. He had done it often before.
by David Lohr
On the Sunday morning of July 14, 1966, residents on South Chicago's East 100th Street were suddenly awakened by a woman's screams. As local residents ran outside, they were shocked to notice a young woman standing on the second story ledge of a small townhouse unit. According to George Carpozi's 1967 book, The Chicago Nurse Murders, the young woman, Corazon Piezo Amurao, began shouting: "Help me! Help me! Everyone is dead … Oh God … he's killed them all!" she cried out.
Just then, one of the onlookers noticed a Chicago police car turning onto the street and quickly flagged the patrolman down. Officer Daniel R. Kelly of the South District Station noticed the girl balancing dangerously on the edge of the apartment building and immediately pulled off to the side of the street and jumped out of his patrol car. "You mustn't jump," he yelled. "Stay right there. I'll come inside and help you."
As Kelly made his way through the apartment he made a startling discovery. Just to the left of the front door was the body of a nude woman sprawled out on a couch. Kelly immediately ran over to check the young girl's vitals, but it was too late. Her body was cold to his touch -- she had been dead for several hours. Uncertain what he was getting into, Kelly drew his service revolver and made his way up a narrow flight of stairs. Once at the top of the stairway, he immediately noticed a pair of feet sticking out of a doorway into the hall. As he made his way towards the doorway, he made another startling discovery. A half-nude young woman was lying on her back; slash marks were visible on her neck and breasts. The girl was obviously dead and so Kelly continued to make his way down the hall. Then, just a few feet from the second woman's body, Kelly looked into a bedroom and discovered three more girls' bodies strew about the room. Their wrists were bound and all three appeared to have had their throats slashed.