Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Speck, Born to Raise Hell

The Scene of the Crime

Several hours later, Frank Flannagan, commander of the citywide homicide unit, took Joe aside and said. "Do me a favor, when you do your reports for WCFL, just put in that their throats were cut."

"Why?" asked Joe.

"Because were gonna get every kook in the city saying he killed these girls. Leave the particulars out....only the killer will know what really happened to those girls," Flannagan said. Joe agreed.

Outside, the streets filled with cops. People ran from house to house alerting their neighbors. It was 6:30 a.m. Jack Wallenda — related to the Flying Wallendas - -was the first detective on the scene. The big powerful man with a soft-spoken voice was shocked at the cruelty of the killings. Slowly, methodically, he viewed the bodies one by one.

Pamela Wilkening
Pamela Wilkening

First, Gloria Davy, nude, belly down on the couch, a strip of sheet tied with double knots — knots that looked too perfect, too professional. He noticed what appeared to be semen between her buttocks. Buttons from her blouse were strewn over the stairs. The killer had torn them off her while walking her down the stairs. Tossed on the floor, a size 38-40, white BVD T-shirt was found. Wallenda checked the upstairs bedroom and found the body of Pamela Wilkening, gagged, stabbed through the heart. Near her, Suzanne Farris, lying face down in a pool of blood, a white nurse's stocking tied around her neck. Wallenda counted 18 stab wounds to her chest and neck.

Suzanne Farris
Suzanne Farris

Next, Mary Ann Jordan, Suzanne's close friend, lay on her back, stabbed three times in the chest, once in the neck, and eye. He moved on to the northwest bedroom where he found Nina Schmale, her night gown hoisted to her breasts, the same strips of sheet tied around her neck with the two characteristic knots. Stab wounds formed a ritualistic pattern — although superficial — around her neck. At closer examination, her neck appeared to be broken.

Under a blue cover, he found Valentina Paison, 24, face down, her throat cut bisecting her voice box. Thrown over her like a broken doll, lay Merlita Gargullo, body face-up, stabbed and strangled.

Mary Ann Jordan
Mary Ann Jordan

Wallenda walked through the door to his right. The legs of Patricia Matusek protruded from the bathroom —- on her back, hands bound behind her, strangled with a piece of bed sheet, double knotted, her nightgown rolled up over her breasts, her white panties rolled down showing her pubic hair. It looked like she was kicked in the stomach. Bloody towels all over the bathroom floor. Although an experienced detective, Wallenda knew this was the worst crime he had ever seen.

Josephine Chan, director of Nursing, was brought in the townhouse, but could only recognize three of the victims: Gloria Davy, Patricia Matusek, and Pamela Wilkening.

Eight patrol wagons drove up. One by one, the Cook County Coroner, Andrew Toman, released the bodies to the wagons. The housed sealed, the crime lab technician went to work.


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