Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Speck, Born to Raise Hell

A Sole Survivor

Then, he saw a bloody handprint on the bedroom door. He leaned close and he could see fingerprints. He turned around to go back downstairs and he saw a screen pulled out. "So," he said to himself, "holy cow, what the hell's this...eight dead women!" He felt sick going down the stairs, his stomach began to churn. Joe passed through the living room, took one last look at the body, then went outside and vomited. He returned to the policeman and asked, "What's that noise?" Joe heard a noise like an alarm. "Ahhhhhhhhhh!"

"That's the survivor," Kelly said.

"Where?" asked Joe.

"Over there in that townhouse," said Kelly, pointing in the direction of 2315.

Joe ran up to the townhouse door and looked in. A man was giving a petite Asian woman a shot in the arm as she sat on the couch crying.

"I'm Joe Cummings, police reporter. Who's that?"

"She's a survivor, Cora Amurao."

"Where does she live?" asked Joe.

"Next door...we're trying to calm her down so she can keep her sanity."

"Sanity? That girl will never be the same again." Joe asked Kelly, "Who are these people?"

"They're student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital," Kelly said.

Joe ran back to his mobile unit, grabbed his two-way radio, called the station. "This is Joe Cummings. I'm on the southeast side. We got a mass murder out here." The station told him to take the cue we're on the top of the hour. Which meant the story would be in the six a.m. news. He had been on the scene for about six minutes.

He cued, then reported, "Eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital found stabbed to death...I'll have more in my next report." Joe ran back to the townhouse and up to the second floor. He didn't know why. From the hallway, he could hear sirens screaming through the streets, comfortable that more help was coming. He checked the rooms again, turned to head back downstairs and heard a funny sound, like squish, squish, squish. He looked down, saw blood on the rug so thick it pooled up over his soles hitting the top of his shoes. The blood had moved from the two bedrooms into the hallway. Disgusted, he left the townhouse and threw up again. In all his years working the combat zones of Chicago, he had never seen such brutality, even covering an airplane crash with bodies everywhere. It's expected to see bodies at a plane crash, not eight young women butchered in their own beds.

Police arrived and saw Joe vomiting. They started yelling, "Hey, Joe, what's the matter, can't take it? You must be getting old." All the whooping and cat calling stopped when the police entered the house, then came outside to share the vomit trough.


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