Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
The day after Richard Speck murdered eight student nurses in Chicago, he attempted suicide and was arrested when an emergency room doctor recognized him from police pictures. In 1967 he was sentenced to death, but was re-sentenced to 400 to 1200 years in prison when the Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972. He died in Statesville Penitentiary in 1991. An excerpt from The Post of July 15, 1966:
By Ronald G. Berquist
Special to The Washington Post
CHICAGO, July 14 --
Eight student nurses were found slain in their dormitory apartment here early today in one of the worst mass murders in modern criminal annals.
A ninth young woman survived the bloody work of the crew-cut reddish blond intruder. She rolled beneath a bed, bound and gagged and apparently overlooked by the methodical killer, and was under heavy police guard tonight as the only person who can identify the man being sought.
She is Corazon D. Amurao, a 23-year-old exchange student from the Philippines, whose screams from a second-floor balcony ledge called attention to the carnage.
"My friends are all dead," Miss Armurao screamed into Southside Chicago's misty daybreak. "I'm the only one alive! Oh God, I'm the only one alive."
A man out walking his dog heard her screams and flagged a passing police cruiser. Thus, Patrolman Daniel Kelly and Leonard Ponne entered the two-story duplex town house shared by trainees at South Chicago Community Hospital, seven blocks away.
First they encountered Gloria Jean Davy, 22, nude and strangled on a hallway couch. Pausing only to determine that she was beyond help, Kelly said he and his partner rushed upstairs toward the sobbing Miss Amurao.
"It was indescribable," Kelly said. "The worst thing I ever saw. It sickened me. Blood and bodies were everywhere."
In one of three bedrooms were Merlita Gargullo, another Philippine exchange student, in this country only since last May 5. Nearby were the bodies of Nina Jo Schmale, 25, of Wheaton, Ill., and a third Philippine exchange student, Valentina Pasion, 23. All had been stabbed repeatedly and Miss Schmale and Miss Pasion had been strangled.
In a second bedroom they found Mary Ann Jordan, 20, of Chicago; Patricia Ann Matusek 20, of Chicago, and Pamela Lee Wilkening, 20, of Lansing, Ill. Miss Matusek and Miss Wilkening had been strangled. Miss Jordan had been stabbed.
In the bathroom of the connecting hallway lay Suzanne Bridget Farris, 21, of Chicago. She had also been stabbed.
From a disjointed account furnished by Miss Amarao ... it appeared that the lone survivor herself was the first to encounter the killer.
She and a roommate, she said, were preparing for bed when she heard a knock on their door. She opened it to find a rather tall slender man in his middle 20s. He pointed a blue steel automatic at her, assured the girls he would not hurt them -- that he wanted only money to get to New Orleans.
He motioned them out of their bedroom into a master bedroom at the other end of the hall, where he laid them down on a bed and bound and gagged them with strips of torn sheeting.
About this time ... Miss Davy, Miss Jordan and Miss Farris came home together from dates. ... the gunman accosted them and they, too, were bound and gagged ... with the gunman's first two victims.
The three other women were believed to have been roused from their sleep in a third bedroom and they, too, were shoved in with the others and tied up. ...
Miss Amurao said that after a while, the gunman began leading her friends one at a time out of the master bedroom. She heard no screams, she said, or other sounds of resistance ...
This series is available at www.washingtonpost.com