On December 6th, 1941 the world welcomed Richard Benjamin Speck, who would become a well-known mass murderer. Speck, having a rather rough childhood, had an extensive criminal background before committing the unspeakable murders that made him famous. After being found guilty, Speck spent his remaining days in Chicago’s Stateville Penitentiary. One can look at Richard’s personal history, crime and criminal history to try and pin him to one criminological theory, when in reality, none will really fit him to a “T”. He was a psychopath who was in great need of psychological help, among other things.
In Kirkwood, Illinois, Benjamin and Mary Speck became the proud parents to a baby boy, named Richard Benjamin Speck. Richard was the seventh
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Richard’s prison sentence was cut short and he was paroled after serving only 16 months at the Texas State Penitentiary. One week following his release on parole, Richard attacked a woman with a carving knife. He was arrested shortly after and was sentenced to serve a year and a half at the Huntsville prison. Richard was released after a short six months served due to an error of the penitentiary’s behalf. Two months after the divorce from his wife, Richard burglarized a grocery store where he stole 70 cartons of cigarettes and sold them out of the trunk of his car. Subsequent to abandoning the car, the police traced the car back to Richard and issued a warrant out for his arrest. If he was apprehended, it would be his 42nd arrest in Dallas and would surely mean serving another prison sentence. With this in mind, he had his younger sister Carolyn bring him to the bus depot in Dallas where he hopped on a bus and skipped out of town, returning his childhood state of Illinois. Upon returning to Illinois, Richard took up residence with his sister Martha and her family in Chicago for a short time before returning to his hometown of Monmouth, Illinois. While in Monmouth, he shacked up with some old family friends. Having only been back in Monmouth for one month, Richard’s violent nature reared its ugly head when he was a primary suspect to the burglary and rape of a 65-year-old woman as well as the murder of a 32-year-old woman. When confronted by police, Richard was