Beauties and the Beasts, Part 5

Robin Gecht & the Chicago Rippers
Detectives went to check on a call about a corpse discovered at the Moonlit Hotel in Villa Park, an outlying area of Chicago. It was a young woman, whose remains consisted largely of bones and some clinging flesh.

But a twist in the case came from the coroner: Despite the advanced state of decomposition of the body, he had determined that she had been dead for only three days. The remains' advanced rate of decomposition was due to two rather large wounds to her chest where her breasts had been removed, which had allowed for an invasion of parasites that had devoured the body in record time. This woman had been brutally assaulted and mutilated.

And she was not to be the last one to be found.

The Chicago Rippers were engaging in a fad that was sweeping the country during the 1980s, especially among teenagers, of satanic worship. Yet the Rippers had taken their rituals much farther than most who believed they could somehow contact the Dark One. Gecht's associates took the flesh they had removed from their victims, according to the confessions of one of the Rippers, cut it up, and consumed it as a form of ancient devilish communion. Gecht allegedly had an altar in the attic of his Northwest Side home, where they gathered during the evening hours after his wife was gone to work.

John E. Robinson, Sr.
In the end, picking the wrong sex partner brought his downfall and exposed one of the most bizarre and lengthy homicidal careers in American criminal history.

Robinson compounded his murderous ways by taking the infant of one victim and selling it to his brother, pretending to be a do-good adoption broker. He seduced vulnerable or lonely women he met through Internet chat rooms and killed them, continuing to cash their government checks or alimony payments for years with just minimal interference from their desperate families and frustrated investigators.

The lucky victims walked away with mental and physical scars. The unlucky ones ended up dead, left to rot in sealed chemical drums.

Still others simply disappeared into thin air like the clouds of dust that blow across the prairies on the Missouri-Kansas border.

Christopher Wilder
No doubt his need to dominate women and turn them into his sex slaves began well before his arrest at age 17 for participating in a gang rape in Sydney, Australia. Therapists noted that he wanted to hold a woman captive against her will.

This charming son of an American naval officer, despite his stable childhood, became compulsive about killing beautiful young women mostly beauty queens who could be models. It was an addiction, spurred by sexual fantasies and excited by a certain type of attractive victim. Eight beauties definitely died by his hand, but he is almost certainly responsible for many other deaths as well.

Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris
He signs his prison fan mail "Pliers."

His psychiatrist saw what he was: "a highly dangerous man, with no internal controls over his impulses, a man who could kill without hesitation or remorse." When he was released from prison, Bittaker told a cellmate that someday he planned to be "bigger than Manson."

Along with prison-buddy psychopath Roy Norris, Bittaker constructed a van called the Murder Mack and collected pretty teenage girls to rape, torture and kill in the San Gabriel Mountains. In the isolated mountain areas, they went to work on their young victims with vice-grip pliers, urging them to scream into their tape recorder before they snuffed out their voices forever.

Yes, he's on death row in California a condition that stretches into decades playing cards with other serial killers, filling frivolous lawsuits against the state and selling his fingernail clippings to murder groupies.

Past Specials

Murder by the Book
The Investigators
Forensic Files

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