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Richard Speck and the Slaughter of Eight Nurses (FPD CASE VAULT)

richard speck and the slaughter of eight nurses
Source: Bettmann/CORBIS

Aug. 2 2023, Published 3:05 p.m. ET

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"Born to Raise Hell" was tattooed across his left forearm and on July 13, 1966, 24-year- old Richard Speck lived up to his chilling motto when he stopped at a Chicago townhome where nine student nurses lived.

As 23-year-old Corazon Amurao innocently answered his knock on their door, Speck forced his way inside at knifepoint. He tied up every nurse except Amurao, who slipped unnoticed under a bed, and listened in terror to the unfolding nightmare.

One by one, the mad drifter led gals to different rooms. He robbed them all, raped one and killed her. Then he brutally strangled and stabbed the others.

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Richard Speck and the Slaughter of Eight Nurses
Source: AP Photo/Charles Harrity

Key witness Corazon Amurao (right) and her mom Macaria.

The ordeal lasted hours until Speck left, thinking he'd killed all the women in the place. But Amurao survived.

After crawling out of her hiding place, the horrified woman opened a window and screamed: "They are all dead! My friends are all dead! Oh, God, I'm the only one alive!"

Richard Speck and the Slaughter of Eight Nurses
Source: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Speck being ushered into the courthouse during his sensational trial


Stunned neighbors summoned police. When lawmen arrived, they found the townhouse carpet thick with blood drenching the hallways between the bedrooms.

Amurao told them about the killer's one-of-a-kind tattoo. Police broadcast details of the crime and the killer's identifying mark throughout the nation.

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Several days after the slaughter, Speck attempted suicide by slashing his wrists in a Chicago Skid row hotel room.

He was taken to a hospital where a doctor noticed his tattoo. Speck was arrested. He claimed he'd been drinking and taking drugs and remembered nothing about the night of horror.

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Richard Speck and the Slaughter of Eight Nurses
Source: Associated Press

Richard Speck, suspect sought in connection with slaying of eight nurses in Chicago, was found in this transient hotel in Chicago's skid row, July 17, 1966.

But in April 1967, Speck was convicted for murdering the eight women and sentenced to death. However, his sentence was commuted to life in prison after states abolished the death sentence due to the U.S. Supreme Court finding it unconstitutional in 1972.

The monster who released Hell on earth died of a heart attack on Dec. 5, 1991, at age 49.


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