A spell as a carpenter was short-lived and he was soon in trouble again. Virgil Harris, 65, was viciously raped and robbed in her own home on 2 April 1966 and on 13 April 1966 a barmaid in his local tavern, Mary Kay Pierce, was brutally beaten to death. Speck managed to deflect police questioning and made good his escape once again but police discovered some of Mrs Harris’ personal effects in his vacant hotel room, that conclusively tied Speck to her attack.
Speck found work on a ship and it began to seem like bodies turned up wherever Speck had been. Indiana authorities wanted to interview Speck regarding the murder of three girls who had vanished on 2 July 1966 and whose bodies were never found. Michigan authorities also wanted to question him about his whereabouts during the murder of four other females, aged between seven and sixty, as his ship had been in the vicinity at the time. Speck however, seemed to have a knack for making a quick escape and keeping police forces guessing.
These attacks however, paled into insignificance on Saturday, 13 July 1966, when Speck arrived on the doorstep of a townhouse in South Chicago, which served as a communal home for a group of eight young student nurses from a nearby South Chicago Community Hospital.
When 23-year-old Corazon Amurao opened the front door to Speck’s knock, he forced his way in at gunpoint. Speck then rounded the nurses up and ordered them to empty their purses, before tying them all up. He proceeded to brutalise them in the most horrific fashion over the following few hours. Those who had been fortunate enough to be out at the time of his arrival, found themselves also subjected to brutal attacks when they returned home later that evening.
A total of eight woman, aged between 19 and 24, were robbed, raped, beaten, strangled and stabbed during Speck’s frenzy; the body count so high that he failed to notice that Amurao, who had opened the door for him on his arrival, had managed to hide herself under one of the beds. When he left, hours later, taking the money he had stolen, terrified, she cowered in her hiding place for hours before finally summoning the courage to seek help. She climbed out on a window ledge and screamed for help, at which point concerned neighbours summoned the police.