The police arrived to scenes of carnage and took Amurao into custody, interviewing her and proceeding with the construction of an Identikit image. Fortunately, Amurao remembered the distinctive “Born to Raise Hell” tattoo that, along with the image, enabled police to identify their suspect as Richard Speck. Subsequent nationwide enquiries also raised the other incidents in which Speck was suspected, as well as his criminal record. In the days before automated fingerprint identification, it took almost a week to identify the prints found in the townhouse as his.
Media coverage splashed Speck’s image all over the front pages and, in a desperate bid to escape, Speck tried to commit suicide on 19 July 1966, by slashing his wrists in the dive-hotel where he was staying. Changing his mind at the last minute, he summoned help, and was taken to Cook County hospital where, again, his tattoo gave him away and he was arrested and taken into custody. During the surgery that he required to repair his severed artery, he was watched over by a dozen policemen, who were determined to ensure that his days of making lucky escapes were over.