6 of the Worst Serial Killers in Illinois History
Unfortunately, Illinois has dealt with its fair share of serial killer terror throughout history, but did you know that two of the world's most famous serial killers used to call Illinois home?
Serial Killer Obsession
Everyone seems to be talking about Jeffrey Dahmer these days, (thanks to the new Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story on Netflix), and I am assuming Wisconsin isn't really loving it. After I finished binge-watching everything Dahmer related on Netflix I had a thought; how many times has Illinois had to deal with this type of evil?
Honestly, what I found out is quite disturbing.
Illinois' Most Infamous Serial Killers
1. H.H. Holmes - Henry Howard Holmes is often referred to as "America's First Serial Killer" and his list of terror in the late 1800s is a long one. Holmes was actually born in New Hampshire, but his murderous acts began in the Chicago hotel he opened during the World's Fair in 1893. Basically, he trapped, tortured, and murdered hundreds of people not on;y in Illinois, but throughout the country as well.
Several documentaries and books have been made about H.H. Homes, and very soon Hulu will debut a new limited series called "The Devil In The White City" that is based on the book of the same name. Keanu Reeves is playing Holmes in the series, and I wonder if he is bothered at all by playing such a deranged and evil man?
2. John Wayne Gacy, aka, "The Killer Clown" - Gacy is one of the most terrifying, and well-known serial killers in U.S. History. He was convicted of murdering 33 people, mostly teenage boys. and many of the bodies were found in a crawl space under his home in the Chicago suburbs. Gacy has inspired several books, movies, and shows, and I think his side gig of playing a clown at children's birthday parties led to a whole lot of clown phobias throughout the World.
3. Richard Speck - Speck's life of crime began at an early age, but he is most famous for holding hostage, raping, and killing 8 nursing students from South Chicago Community Hospital in 1966. His murder spree has been portrayed in art, movies, books, television shows, and even songs. Cheap Trick's 1977 song "The Ballad Of T.V. Violence" (originally called "The Ballad of Richard Speck) is about him, and a Canadian punk group also has a song called "Richard Speck".
4. William Heirens, aka, "The Lipstick Killer" - William George Heirens confessed to stabbing and strangling killing three women (Ages 45, 34, and 6) in Chicago between 1945 and 1946, but is most well known for the infamous message he wrote in lipstick on a wall in one of the victim's homes that said, " For heavens (sic) sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself". Heirens is currently serving a life sentence at the Dixon Correctional Center in Dixon, Illinois.
5. Raymond Lee Stewart - If you've lived in the Rockford area for over 30 years, you might remember the killing spree Raymond Lee Stewart went on in Rockford and Beloit, Wisconsin in January and February of 1981. During that time Stewart shot 4 people in Rockford and 2 in Beloit, and shortly after he was captured he managed to escape from prison leading to a terrifying manhunt throughout the Stateline area.
6. The Ripper Crew, aka, The Chicago Rippers - This satanic cult comprised of Robin Gecht, Edward Spreitzer, and brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis, were suspects in the disappearances of 17 Illinois women from 1981 - 1982, and several other murders. The members of this organized crime group were serial killers, cannibals, rapists, and necrophiliacs.