Who Were William George Heirens Victims? Is the Lipstick Killer still alive?

Who Were William George Heirens Victims? Is the Lipstick Killer still alive? ...

'A Crime to Remember: The Bad Old Days' from Investigation Discovery chronicles the trial of William George Heirens, a serial killer who was implicated in the deaths of at least three women in Chicago between 1945 and 1946. The investigation process and lengthy trials also include William's lengthy sentence in prison.

Who Were William George Heirens' Victims?

On June 5, 1945, Josephine Alice "Josie" Ross was discovered dead in her Chicago house with multiple stab wounds on her neck. Investigators concluded that there was no evidence of any valuable items being stolen, and the only piece of evidence discovered was a tuft of dark hair concealed inside the victim.

Josephine was initially suspected of her fiance and a string of ex-boyfriends, all of whom were cleared when their respective alibis checked out. However, the accused were caught short by the victim and resorted to murdering her and fleeing the crime scene. The incident went majorly unreported and was not reported until the second murder occurred after six months.

Frances Brown, a 32-year-old woman who died of a bullet wound to her head and a knife lodged in her neck, was discovered this time by police, with a bloody fingerprint smudge on the entrance door of the residence. It was quite similar to Josephine's killing, with the victim's head wrapped in towels this time.

The media slapped a message on the wall intended for law enforcement: "For heaven's sake, catch me." One witness claimed to have seen a middle-aged nervous man get off the elevator at around 4 am.

The entire city of Chicago was in a state of fear-induced panic as authorities scoffed for the perpetrator. At one point, the police claimed that the perpetrator might also be a woman. However, the Lipstick Killer struck again in the first week of 1946, killing his 6-year-old daughter in a prestigious Chicago neighborhood.

The investigators found a ransom notice in the child's bedroom that demanded $20,000 in $5 and $10 notes and specific instructions to not notify the authorities. The 6-year-old's body was discovered in the evening about 12 hours after she was reported missing. Blood was also discovered in the drains of a basement laundry room situated in a nearby apartment. The parents speculated that the perpetrator likely killed and removed the child's limbs and head.

James was a senior executive at the Office of Price Administration (OPA) that was discussing rationing dairy products at the time. The perpetrator allegedly called the Degnan residence many times, demanding the ransom. Almost immediately following the killing, Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly received a note saying how sorry I am not to get ole [sic] Degnan instead of his girl. Roosevelt and the OPA set their own laws. Why shouldn't I and a lot more?

Media trials and public perceptions pointed the crime toward the Lipstick Killer, even though the investigators failed to connect the crime to the previous two murders. Many people were interrogated under suspicion and later released when their alibis were discovered or no evidence was established linking them to the murder.

Is the Lipstick Killer still alive?

William George Heirens, 17, was arrested by the cops on June 26, 1946, on attempted burglary charges. The authorities liked him as the alleged perpetrator of the three killings, and he confessed to the three murders indirectly, with George being his middle name.

William's handwriting samples did not match those on Frances' apartment wall, although his fingerprints were discovered on Suzanne's ransom note and the bloody smudge on Frances' doorjamb, according to the authorities. They also discovered several stolen items from a series of burglaries in William's possession, as well as a witness who allegedly saw him enter the Degnan residence on the night of the murder.

William admitted to the three murders in open court in September 1946, and signed a plea deal that sentenced him to three life terms that would run concurrently. However, William recanted his confession, alleging that his defense counsel and the prosecution attorney allegedly coerced him into signing the plea deal. In 1966, he began his second life sentence after being released from Suzanne's prison in 1975.

In 1998, he requested that he be moved to the Dixon Correctional Center minimum security prison in Dixon, Illinois, where he was incarcerated for three years, but his repeated attempts to get clemency were denied. His most recent parole was granted in June 2007.

William was diagnosed with severe diabetes on February 26, 2012, but the complications proved to be fatal. He died on March 5, 2012, becoming the most severe convict in Chicago.

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