Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Richard Speck, Born to Raise Hell

In Custody

One Eye, doing the rounds after work, caught a glimpse of the newspapers with Speck's picture. He went back to the Starr and found himself in the midst of Speck's suicide attempt. One Eye left, made an anonymous call to the police department, saying that the man they are looking for is at the Starr Hotel. The police did not dispatch a car.

Speck was rushed to Cook County Hospital, the same hospital that held the bodies of the nurses. The ambulance drivers chatted about politics while Speck cried out for water. They never noticed the police bulletin on their dash with Speck's photograph.

Speck recovering
Speck recovering

Inside the emergency room, Nurse Kathy O'Connor prepped Speck. Leroy Smith, a first year resident examined Speck's wounds. He noticed something familiar about him. He checked his arm and used his own saliva to wash off the blood looking for a tattoo. It was there, as he suspected, Born to Raise Hell. Smith asked the nurse to go get the newspaper he left in another room. He compared the photo to Speck. "Water," Speck pleaded..." Smith grabbed him by the back of the neck squeezing with all his might. "Did you give water to the nurses?" He dropped his head back on the gurney and called in a policeman who was guarding another patient down the hall. Smith told him he had Richard Speck, the suspect in the murders. Floored, the patrolman made the necessary calls and all hell broke loose.

One thing was certain — Speck was going to get the best care possible. Bringing him to justice took priority over everything else.

It took about two hours to prep Speck for surgery on his severed artery. By then, Assistant State's Attorney Martin and about a dozen policemen had muscled their way down the halls of Cook County Hospital to Surgery.


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