Richard Benjamin Speck was a mass killer in the United States. He was a thief and murderer who started his criminal career when he was young and went on to conduct some significant crimes later in life. During the summer of 1966, he attracted media notice when he tortured, raped, and murdered eight student nurses. They worked at the South Chicago Community Hospital and lived together on Chicago’s South Side. He was the perpetrator of numerous acts of violence against his family and others, but he had a flair for eluding the authorities. He was an alcoholic and a petty criminal who worked on cargo vessels in the Great Lakes on occasion. After his murdering spree, Speck was apprehended two days later during a manhunt. His murderous tendencies are supposed to have developed as a result of brain abnormalities and a difficult childhood. He was also suspected of having the XYY syndrome, but this was never confirmed. Speck had a fear of being stared at that lasted the rest of his life. He was sentenced to various prison terms for a variety of offenses, including theft, forgery, assault, and murder.
Childhood and Adolescence
Richard Speck was born in Kirkwood, Illinois, near Chicago, on December 6, 1941. His father, Benjamin Franklin Speck, was a packer, and his mother, Mary Margaret Carbaugh Speck, was a stay-at-home mother. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to Monmouth, Illinois.
He has seven siblings, including four older sisters, two older brothers, and Carolyn, his younger sister.
When Ricard was six years old, Benjamin Speck died of a heart attack at the age of 53. His mother remarried three years later. Carl August Rudolph Lindberg, a traveling insurance salesman from Texas, was his stepfather.
Lindberg was a wild alcoholic who used to beat up on Speck when he was inebriated. When Speckhad was a child, he had a small mishap when he fell from a tree.
Life as a criminal
Speck was an ordinary student who began committing juvenile crimes at a young age.
He was initially arrested for trespassing when he was 13 years old, in 1955. Around 1960, he dropped out of school at the age of 16 and began working odd jobs. He’d turned into a binge drinker by that point.
His second arrest occurred in 1963, when he was found falsifying a coworker’s paycheck and was sentenced to three years in jail for forgery. He did, however, obtain release after serving 16 months in prison.
He was arrested again for aggravated assault less than a week after his parole, this time for stabbing a woman in the parking lot of her apartment building with a knife.
In 1966, Speck purchased an old automobile and used it to rob a supermarket. After this episode, he boarded a bus to Illinois with the help of his sister Carolyn to avoid his 42nd arrest.
After a while, he returned to his hometown of Monmouth. He killed his first victim, a 32-year-old barmaid working at a local tavern in Monmouth, with a blow to the stomach in April 1966.
Speck began working as a crewman on the ‘Clarence B. Randall,’ a freight ship, on April 30, 1966, after being suggested by his brother-in-law, Gene Thornton. Soon after, he suffered serious appendicitis and had to be removed for an emergency operation on May 3.
Speck applied for a seaman’s card at the National Maritime Union on July 8, 1966, and was offered a position on a ship, but lost out to a seaman with more experience. He received another assignment from the NMU four days later, this time to join onboard an oil tanker in East Chicago, Indiana, but the ship was once again full when he arrived.
He returned to the NMU, Chicago, on July 13, 1966, frustrated by being denied assignments twice, and spent the remainder of the day drinking at a neighborhood tavern. Later, he approached a 53-year-old lady who was also drinking at the tavern and dragged her to his room, where he raped her.
Later that night, he dressed in dark and walked to the nurses’ boarding house with a revolver, a switchblade. Patricia Matusek, Pamela Wilkening, Nina Jo Schmale, Suzanne Farris, Nina Jo Schmale, Merlita Gargullo, Nina Jo Schmale, Valentina Pasion, and Gloria Davy were killed at the dormitory doors at 11 p.m. with a knife.
He held the eight victims captive in a room for several hours before stabbing or strangling them one by one. Gloria Davy was his last victim, whom he raped before strangling.
Cora Amurao was the lone survivor of the tragedy because she hid beneath a bed while Speck was out of the room and stayed there until early the next morning.
Dr. LeRoy Smith, a surgical resident physician at the Cook County Hospital where Speck was transferred following an attempted suicide, was the first to identify him on July 16, 1966.
On April 3, 1967, Speck was accused with eight murders, and his trial began. He said he had no recollection of the assassinations. Cora Amurao, on the other hand, testified as the major witness, recounting the events of the evening and firmly identifying Speck. The jury found Speck guilty of all eight killings on April 15, 1967, after a 12-day trial. On November 22, 1968, Speck was sentenced to death.
After the death penalty was abolished, the sentence was reduced to 50 years in jail from 100 years.
Personal Experiences of Richard Speck
In October 1961, Speck met 15-year-old Shirley Malone at a Texas State Fair, and she became pregnant after dating him.
Bobby Lynn was born on July 5, 1962, and the couple married on January 19, 1962. He spent much of the marriage in and out of prison, therefore the marriage was short-lived. In 1966, his wife filed for divorce.
After 25 years in prison, Speck died of a heart attack on December 5, 1991.
Estimated Net Worth
Richard is one of the wealthiest criminals and one of the most well-known. Richard Speck’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
He has a lifelong phobia of being stared at.
He passed away just one day before his 50th birthday.