Posts Tagged ‘ Illinois ’

Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales Going to California

Convicted Southeast Side serial killer Andrew Urdiales, who was twice spared death in Illinois, is on his way to California to face additional murder charges, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Urdiales was no longer in custody as of Thursday due to another agency detaining him, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Web site. He had been housed at the Pontiac Correctional Facility in Pontiac, Ill., about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

A source with the Orange County, Calif., district attorney’s office confirmed Tuesday morning that Urdiales was on his way there via the U.S. Marshals Service. He is expected to arrive in Orange County sometime Thursday.

Urdiales, 47, twice escaped the death penalty in Illinois but could face death in California. He is suspected in the killings of five women in Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties.

Urdiales was sentenced to death in 2004 in the 1996 death of Cassie Corum, 21, of Hammond. He killed her and dumped her body in the Vermilion River in Pontiac.

He was one of 15 men whose lives were spared in March when Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that abolished the death penalty in Illinois.

The following day, California officials began the process of having him extradited.

Urdiales was indicted in 2009 in five killings in California. He was stationed as a Marine at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms in the state between 1984 and 1991. One woman who escaped an attack in California testified at his trial in Cook County.

Murder convictions are eligible for death penalty sentences under California law. Orange County officials have said they will seek the death penalty for Urdiales and are confident he will be convicted and sentenced to death.

In Illinois, Urdiales previously had been sentenced to death in 2002 in Cook County for killing Lori Uylaki, 25, of Hammond, and Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago. Their bodies were discovered in Wolf Lake in 1996.

The earlier sentence was commuted to life in prison by Ryan.

Trail of homicides followed Andrew Urdiales

January 1986: Robbin Brandley, a Saddleback Community College student from Laguna Beach, Calif., was found stabbed to death while Urdiales was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

July 17, 1988: Julie McGhee, 30, a prostitute, was found shot to death in a remote area of Cathedral City, Calif. Urdiales was stationed at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Sept. 25, 1988: Mary Ann Wells, 31, a prostitute, was found shot to death in San Diego while Urdiales was stationed at Twentynine Palms.

March 11, 1995: Denise Maney, 32, a prostitute, was found dead in Palm Springs, Calif.

April 14, 1996: Lori Uylaki, 25, of Hammond, was found dead in Wolf Lake near the Chicago/Hammond border. Her bloody clothes were tossed in garbage cans in Hammond alleys.

Aug. 2, 1996: Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago, was found dead on the Chicago side of Wolf Lake. Her clothing was discarded in the same fashion as Uylaki’s.

July 14, 1996: Cassie Corum, 21, of Hammond, was found shot in the head and stabbed several times at a remote rest area near the Vermillion River near Pontiac, Ill., about 90 miles south of Chicago. Her body was dumped in the river. Urdiales picked her up in an area known for prostitution in Hammond.

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I do hope that he gets the death penalty. This guy is dangerous.

Investigators say Andrew Urdiales was smarter than your average serial killer. Between 1986 and 1996, his killing spree spanned from Illinois to California. In that time, he attacked and tortured nine women, with no witneses and no evidence left behind. Only one woman, Jennifer Asbenson, survived.

It wasn’t until 1996 when police tied the cases to Urdiales, who confessed in great detail to the eight murders and the attack on Asbenson.
More info and slide show here

A short excerpt of his confession here.

I know that even if he gets the death penalty in California he will probably die of old age. At least he will be better isolated, he will be in cell alone, he will not get as many chances to hurt other prisoners, guards, maintenance workers, so on. There is also less chance of escape from death row due to the heightened security.

Serial Killer Nicolas Troy Sheley’s Trial Begins

One of seven potential jurors was retained Tuesday for the murder trial involving the death of a Galesburg man, Ronald Randall, who was allegedly bludgeoned to death in 2008 by Nicholas Sheley.

An Abingdon mother of five said she would be able to provide a fair trial because she has not seen any media reports on the incident and does not know any of the attorneys involved in the case. She said she would be able to make arrangements with a babysitter for her children.

“I would be able to hear both sides of it, not knowing as much as the next person who would watch the news and know more. I could be more fair between the prosecution and the (defense),” she said.

Judge James Stewart said he was looking for 12 jurors and four alternates. Groups of six were questioned about their jobs, relationships with the attorneys in the case, relationships with the defendant and victim and news preferences.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys questioned six other potential jurors Tuesday afternoon who were eventually excused for either knowing Randall or indicating that they were prejudiced from media reports.

Juror’s No.’s 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 said they had learned about the case from media outlets and would not be able to provide Sheley a fair trial. Many indicated that they would require the defense prove he is not guilty rather than the prosecution prove he committed murder.

“When something like that happens around home it kinda burdens you. From the information I was reading I’d say ‘yeah,’ he’s probably guilty,” said Juror No. 6.

Juror No. 2 was excused after telling attorneys he took care of the victim’s truck for four to five years. He said if he saw Randall on the street he would have stopped and talked with him.

Earlier Tuesday morning about 87 members in the second jury pool were oriented, however, this time Stewart sternly reminded them to follow his rules.

He told them they will not be sequestered during the trial, however, they cannot communicate with witnesses or attorneys, discuss the case, read the news or research the case outside of the courtroom.

A potential juror broke Stewart’s rules and made an anonymous phone call Monday to discuss the pending murder case.

“When I say do not discuss this point with anyone else … unfortunately, I mean it,” Stewart said, adding that the court will address the matter at a later date.


America’s Most Wanted did a story on him.

Police in Illinois say that Nicholas T. Sheley has killed at least eight people in two states.  They say the violent and armed man is on the run, and he will go to extreme lengths to stay out of police custody.

Authorities say he’s not good at all, and they are now investigating Sheley as the probable suspect in the murder of four people in rural Rock Falls, Ill.

Detectives there say two men, a woman and a child were found killed in an apartment on Monday, June 30.

Later that day, cops uncovered a brutal crime scene in Festus, Mo. where a couple had been killed and their truck was missing.  Also on Monday, Galesburg, Ill. police say an elderly man was murdered and left behind a grocery store in their town.

There have already been charges against him dropped. I am  not sure why but I am guessing to help speed up the trial.

GALESBURG — Prosecutors dropped a handful of the charges against an Illinois man accused in a string of killings in 2008 as the first of his trials began today.

Nicholas Sheley of Sterling is being tried first in the June 2008 killing of Ronald Randall of Galesburg.

Knox County Judge James Stewart says Sheley’s trial could take anywhere from three to eight weeks.

Prosecutors say they’re dropping several of the first-degree murder charges filed against Sheley in Randall’s death. A handful of lesser charges were dropped, too.

The 32-year-old Sheley still must answer to numerous charges in the Galesburg man’s bludgeoning.

Sheley also is charged in five more deaths in Illinois and two in Missouri for which he’ll be tried later. He’s pleaded not guilty to all of them.


Killer Had Told Friends What He Did.

Temer Leary couldn’t believe his eyes.

He watched an episode of the television news show “48 Hours” last month, and there on the show was his former roommate, accused of being a serial killer in California.

Leary, a Lake Luzerne resident, thought back to the stories his roommate used to tell of killing people and how Leary and his buddy, former Glens Falls resident Anthony Dilorenzo, used to laugh them off.

Having learned that his former roommate, Michael Gargiulo, had been charged with killing two women in Los Angeles, attempting to kill a third and was a suspect in a killing in Illinois, Leary realized the tales Gargiulo told weren’t exaggerated.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to tell somebody what I know,’” he said.

He left a comment on the television station’s website about the case and what Gargiulo had told him and, hours later, was contacted by detectives in Cook County, Ill.

The next day, he and Dilorenzo were on airplanes to Chicago to tell detectives what they knew about their former roommate and co-worker and the comments he had made about a young woman’s killing in Illinois.

It turned out the stories Leary dismissed as tall tales appeared to be based in fact.

“We never believed him,” Leary said Thursday. “But it turned out the things he told us were true. The detectives couldn’t believe how much we knew.”

Leary and Dilorenzo met Gargiulo in the mid-1990s, when the two Glens Falls men moved to California. Dilorenzo sought a life in Hollywood, and Leary tagged along. They got jobs as bouncers at the famous Rainbow Room bar in Hollywood, where Gargiulo was also a bouncer.

They had a common hobby. Gargiulo wanted to be a boxer, and Leary’s grandfather had operated a boxing gym in Glens Falls.

The three wound up as roommates.

One day, as the trio drove in a car, Gargiulo told of killing a young woman, Leary said.

Leary said detectives and prosecutors in Illinois asked him not to share details about what Gargiulo told him about the 1993 stabbing death of Tricia Pacaccio. Gargiulo and Pacaccio, then 18, were neighbors, and Gargiulo was long a suspect in the case, according to published reports.

The investigation had intensified in recent months, as detectives learned that Gargiulo’s DNA was found under Pacaccio’s fingernails. Gargiulo was later charged with murder and attempted murder in the stabbings of three women. He was dubbed “The Hollywood Ripper” by local media.

Then Leary came forward with evidence in a fourth case. His status as a witness was chronicled, earlier this month, in Chicago magazine, which has been closely following the Pacaccio murder investigation.

Leary said he testified before a grand jury, but no charges had been filed against Gargiulo as of Friday. A spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said she could not discuss the case Thursday because no one has been charged, while Cook County police did not return a call.

Dilorenzo couldn’t be reached this week. Leary said he is travelling out of the country.

Leary’s lawyers, the firm of Brennan & White, worked with police for his testimony. The firm confirmed its involvement in the matter but would not comment.

Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan confirmed her office was involved in the matter as well but said she could not discuss it Friday.


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If only his buddies would have believed him.

Many times you read about people looking back over conversations, mood changes and other small things and they realize that the other person was killing at that time.

If bodies are showing up around town and your bud tells you he did it or has just started acting a bit off call the cops.



Illinois Lawmakers Taking Another Look At Capital Punishment

Some state lawmakers are putting focus on a bill to reinstate capital punishment after police say a Canadian man researched Illinois’ death penalty before shooting a Westmont woman this week.

Dmitry Smirnov, 20, of Surrey, British Columbia, was charged with first-degree murder Thursday in the death of 36-year-old Jitka Vesel. (Read the full story.) Police say Smirnov told them he looked up whether Illinois had a death penalty beforehand.

Last month, Illinois became the 16th state to ban the death penalty. Soon after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law, opposing state lawmakers began a push to reinstate some capital crimes.

One bill, sponsored by state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-46th, of Elmhurst, would put the reinstatement issue on a statewide ballot in the 2012 election. Another bill would put the the death penalty back on the table for the killing of police officers, trial witnesses and in instances of serial killers or heinous murders of children.

Although under that bill the death penalty would not apply if Smirnov is convicted, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-24th, of Hinsdale, said this week’s incident “proves the fallacy of the idea that the death penalty is not a deterrent.”

“I continue, along with Rep. Dennis Reboletti, to push forward legislation to reinstate the death penalty for the worst of the worst in Illinois,” Dillard said Friday morning in a conference call with reporters.

Police and prosecutors say Smirnov shot Vesel multiple times in the head and body about 9 p.m.

Wednesday in the parking lot of an Oak Brook office building, 122 W. 22nd St. Vesel was found about 40 minutes later and pronounced dead at the scene. Smirnov turned himself in to Romeoville police several hours later, and police recovered a 40-caliber gun.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Vesel and Smirnov had met on a dating site and had a brief relationship in 2008, but it had soured.

In 2009, she filed a police report saying Smirnov threatened her, but did not file an order of protection, Berlin said.

In a statement videotaped by police, Smirnov indicated that he researched whether Illinois had a death penalty, Berlin said.

“He was aware that the death penalty had recently been abolished. So he knew then he could go through with his plan,” Berlin said during a Thursday press conference. “Clearly, it’s premeditated.”


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