The Story of Richard Speck


Bailee Mccree

What would you do in the face of danger? On the night of July 13, 1966, Corazon Amurao had to ask herself this question as her friends were being murdered. Richard Speck was a twenty-five-year-old male that was known to be an alcoholic. He also had been arrested over 20 times. Speck often would hang out at bars and get drunk. On the thirteenth Speck drank heavily at multiple bars in Chicago Illinois. After visiting multiple bars he broke into the townhouse for student nurses of the South Chicago Community Hospital. 

Three nursing students were held at gunpoint and forced into a room where he then found three more women. He then tied all six women’s hands and feet with strips of bed sheets. Three more women came home that night and they were tied up as well. Speck assured the women he was only there to rob them and nothing else would happen to them. He did rob the woman but that did not end the night. 

He took one woman at a time to a different room and would strangle and/or stab them. All the women remaining would hear muffled screams from their roommates. Amurao was one of these remaining women but she was never murdered. She hid under a bed in the room. She lay there for hours listening to her dear friends be raped and murdered one by one. Amurao hid under the bed until 6 A.M the next morning and finally decided it was safe to leave her hiding spot. Speck never noticed she was missing after losing count of his victims. Nearby residents heard the screams of Amurao from the second-floor window ledge that morning. Police also heard her screaming “They’re all dead! Help! Help! My friends are all dead!” Police responded to the screams and got a detailed description of Speck. The sketch of him was put on the front page of all local newspapers the next morning. Speck was hiding out at a dollar-a-night hotel where he slashed his right wrist and left elbow in a suicide attempt. He was found and arrested the next day at the Cook County Hospital. He was sentenced to death but in 1972 the Supreme Court did away with the death penalty and he was instead sentenced to 400 years in prison. Speck died from a heart attack on December 5, 1991, in the prison.