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  1. #1
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    IL -WILLIAM HEIRENS - The Lipstick Killer 1940's

    It's the strangest thing! I was doing some research on another killer today and came across this fella's story - which I hadn't heard of before:

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/s...heirens_1.html

    When I was done reading, I did a search for more recent news and discovered he just died - yesterday! Eeeek!

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,5198291.story

    This is one of those where I just don't feel sure he was guilty. If he wasn't, it's heartbreaking to know he spent his entire adult life in prison.

  2. #2
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    I'm 65 years old - born in 1946 - and this guy has been incarcerated since before I was born. There's some considerable doubt regarding his guilt also. I believe he was the first inmate in Illinois to graduate from college while in prison. No in betweens; he either got what he deserved or it was one of history's greatest injustices.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  3. #3
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    I'd read a ton of stuff about this case over the years, then came upon an article or articles that stated the case for his innocence; I'd just taken it for granted he was the man. Trying to scout up something now, not sure if I can find them on internet.

  4. #4
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    Yes STANDREID, he was the first in Illinois to get his college degree behind bars.

    Can't find the thing I read but here're the core arguments from the Trib article Fairy1 links above:
    As might be expected, police tactics at the time were far different than from today. Heirens was forcibly injected with sodium pentothal, or “truth serum,” for instance, and prosecutors took Heirens to re-enact the crimes for the press at the murder scenes. But when he was brought to court to plead guilty on July 30, 1946, in exchange for a single life term, he instead defied authorities – and advice from lawyers and his parents – and insisted he was innocent.
    ---
    Over the years, attorneys and supporters of Heirens have raised questions about his guilt, looking at the case anew with what has been learned over the decades about false confessions and wrongful convictions, especially those involving teenagers. The questions about Heirens’ case revolve around doubts about the handwriting on the ransom note linked to Heirens, fingerprint evidence some say was falsified, and inconsistencies in his confession. In addition, attorneys have said another man confessed to one of the murders to authorities in Arizona before Heirens’ arrest.
    ---
    Wiki also has a large section about his possible innocence.

  5. #5
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    I first heard about the case in 1957 when our sixth grade teacher treated our class to an account of the murders.

    She completed the set with the story of Leopold and Loeb.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  6. #6
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    I really have to wonder why no one ever took up his cause over the years. Then again, I'm not sure how well he would have been able to handle the "real" world after having been locked up for so long.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    I first heard about the case in 1957 when our sixth grade teacher treated our class to an account of the murders.

    She completed the set with the story of Leopold and Loeb.
    That's hilarious! That kind of thing would not fly today!

  8. #8
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    First heard of it when I was 12 or 13 and bought a bunch of old "true detective"-like magazines from the '50s at a seamy rod & gun (and junk) store by the subway underpass in my hometown. Ah! memories.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairy1 View Post
    I really have to wonder why no one ever took up his cause over the years. Then again, I'm not sure how well he would have been able to handle the "real" world after having been locked up for so long.
    I believe crime writer Dolores Kennedy took up his cause to no avail.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    I believe crime writer Dolores Kennedy took up his cause to no avail.
    She sure did, bless her heart!

    But I mean, like, the Innocence Project and the like.


  11. #11
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    Daily Mail has this, of course!

    Notorious Lipstick Killer dies in jail 67 years after stabbing two
    women and dismembering a child as he begged police to stop him

    ---
    In 2002, The Associated Press reported that students and law professors at Northwestern University who had worked to free other inmates had taken up his case.

    A clemency petition submitted to then-Gov. George Ryan claimed Heirens was given a spinal tap without anesthetic in one instance.
    ---
    It's an AP article but with some more pictures.

    And, after reading that Wiki "claims of innocence" stuff I linked above - I think they framed the youngster all those years ago.

  12. #12
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    Interesting (and lengthy) GQ article from 2008:

    The Long, Long Life of the Lipstick Killer
    When William Heirens confessed to three of the grisliest murders in Chicago history, Harry Truman was in the White House and the nightly TV-news broadcast hadn’t yet been invented. And now, sixty-two years later—after much of the evidence against him has fallen apart—he’s still behind bars, praying for at least one free day of adult life before he dies

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Daily Mail has this, of course!

    Notorious Lipstick Killer dies in jail 67 years after stabbing two
    women and dismembering a child as he begged police to stop him


    It's an AP article but with some more pictures.

    And, after reading that Wiki "claims of innocence" stuff I linked above - I think they framed the youngster all those years ago.
    I think so, too. Poor guy.

    Thank goodness there is a more transparent legal system, more responsible media and much better investigative resources these days.



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