Thursday, November 5, 2009

Longest serving prisoner

The longest serving prisoner in America has been behind bars for 63 years. He was known in the day as the "Lipstick Killer." A seventeen year-old University of Chicago student when he was arrested, William Heirens, turns eighty-one next week. There is still quite some debate about whether or not he committed the horrific crimes he was convicted of.

CNN quotes his lawyer, "Heirens was subjected to days of brutal interrogation. He also was beaten and given sodium pentothal to make him tell the truth, Drizin (the lawyer) said. He underwent a spinal tap, another extreme measure to compel him to talk."


The crimes: one Josephine Ross was the first victim, a forty-three year-old, she was found stabbed to death in her own apartment. Five months later a Frances Brown was discovered in her bathroom. She was stabbed through the neck and shot in the head. CNN reports, "The killer left a message on the wall. It said, "for heavens sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself." It was scrawled in red lipstick." A sensationalist press in Chicago dubbed it the work of the "Lipstick Killer." The final gruesome murder followed the abduction of a six year-old girl. Her dismembered body parts turned up individually.

William Heirens was busted by Chicago cops five months later for burglary near the home where the sleeping six year-old had been kidnapped from a second story bedroom.

Sixty-three years later some believe a brutal murderer is behind bars, others an innocent or at least redeemed man.

Read CNN's whole story here.

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