March 12, 2018 11:32 am

By Frank Statler

Richard Benjamin Speck was born in a very small village in Illinois by the name of Kirkwood. It just so happens that this is only about 20 miles from the city I grew up in named Burlington on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River.

I am a true crime buff, as they say, and Richard Speck really interested me because of the fact that he frequently partied in a little Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississippi river by the name of Gulfport, IL. At the time it was very active till the late hours and it was where people from Burlington used to go after the Iowa bars closed. Going across the river is what they called it. The reason that was so interesting to me is that my own Mother and Father used to go to Gulfport everweeken d and I think to myself. “What if they talked to him or even stood next to him at the bar or in line to use the bathroom?” It boggles my mind to think about it.

Richard Benjamin Speck was born in the small Illinois town of Kirkwood. The day of his birth was December 6th 1941, the day after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was one of 8 children born in his family.

He had two older brothers and two older Sisters and one younger Sister. Specks oldest Brother Robert was killed at age 13 in an auto accident.

Speck was not known as a troubled child, at least not until he reached the age of five. You see, five is when his beloved Father, Benjamin Speck passed away at age 53. His Father was the world to young Richard and he was devastated by his passing. Speck’s Father was employed at Western stoneware in Monmouth and various other side jobs.

A few years later young Richards very religious Mother married a drunken salesman by the name of Carl Lindburg. Lindburg was very cruel to Richard and would taunt him and belittle him.

Richard committed his first crime at age 15 when he was arrested for trespassing on a neighboring farm.

His second arrest was for forging a coworkers name on a paycheck that he had stolen. For this crime he did his first 3 years of jail.

Richard Speck committed his first murder after he returned to the central Illinois area in a town by the name of Monmouth, IL. It was here that he killed a young barmaid behind a tavern called “Frankies”.

He did this by punching her repeatedly in the stomach.

Speck made his way to Chicago where he obtained a seaman’s license and shipped out the next day. Unfortunately, he had an attack of appendicitis and had to be helicoptered off the ship. After recuperating.

Richard found himself unable to procure a spot on a ship. Frustrated he decided to go get drunk which made his mood even darker. After 8 or 9 hours of hard drinking he stumbled into the dark night his rage continuing to grow. Inebriated, he made his way to a nursing college that was not far from downtown Chicago. He randomly made his way to an apartment front door. Trying the door he found it locked. He picked the lock easily and made his way into the blackened room. Walking up the narrow stairway Speck made his way to the second floor of the domicile. Seeing a door partially open he lightly knocked. “Come in” a soft feminine voice whispered. That’s all the invitation the ruthless killer needed. “Get down on the fucking floor” he bellowed while flicking the lights quickly on.

The nine scared women Gloria Davey, Patricia Matusek, Nina Jo Shcmale, Pamela Wilkining, Suzanne Faris, Mary Ann Jordan, Merlita Gargullo , Valintino Pasion and Cora Amuroa obeyed his forceful command and fell to the floor in terror. Speck began by tying the women up with ripped bedsheets. After a smoke Richard Speck took the girls into a close by bathroom and methodically killed and raped each woman except one. Cora Amuroa, a petite woman was able to hide under a bed and was able to avoid being killed.

It has been speculated that Richard Speck lost count or just didn’t remember how many girls there were. She waited for several hours shivering with fear under the bed before running to the window and screaming for help.

Speck was captured two days later and charged with the heinous murders. After being found guilty by a jury of peers he spent his remaining days in relative comfort in Statesville prison in Illinois until he died of a heart attack on the day before his 50th birthday.


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This post was written by Nadia Vella