Mugshots; left to right: Gecht, Spreitzer, Andrew, and Thomas
|Also known as:||The Chicago Rippers
The Ripper Crew
|Number of victims:||8|
|Span of killings:||May 23, 1981–October 8, 1982|
|Date apprehended:||November 5, 1982|
|Birth name:||Robin Gecht|
|Birth name:||Edward Spritzer|
|Birth name:||Andrew Kokoraleis|
|Died:||March 16, 1999
|Cause of death:||Execution by Lethal injection|
|Birth name:||Thomas Kokoraleis|
Ripper Crew or Chicago Rippers was a satanic cult composed of Robin Gecht (who once worked for the serial killer John Wayne Gacy) and three associates (Edward Spreitzer with brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis). They were suspected in the disappearances of 18 women in Chicago, Illinois. Gecht and his gang allegedly drove around in a van looking for prostitutes to sacrifice in Gecht's apartment. They claimed to have removed one breast from each victim and eaten it as Robin read passages of The Satanic Bible. It has also been said that they, after severing the breast, took turns raping the open wound. They then proceeded to each masturbate into the flesh of the breast, chop it into pieces, and devour it.
These men were arrested in 1982 for the stabbing of a teenaged prostitute. Although Gecht's associates and other witnesses implicated him in some of the deaths, investigators never had enough evidence to charge him with murder. Gecht is serving 120 years in Menard Correctional Center for mutilating and raping an 18-year-old prostitute.
Edward Spreitzer and Andrew Kokoraleis were sentenced to death. On March 16, 1999, 35-year-old Andrew Kokoraleis was executed by lethal injection at Tamms Correctional Center in Southern Illinois for the 1982 strangulation murder of Lorraine Borowski, a 21-year-old secretary at a real estate office who had been abducted on her way to work. Her mutilated body was found in a cemetery.
Defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued that Andrew Kokoraleis was coerced into confessing. They also argued that new information cast doubt on the credibility of confessions by two co-defendants who accused him. Andrew, who had been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Rose Beck Davis, was the first prisoner executed at a new super-maximum-security prison in southern Illinois.
Thomas Kokoraleis was convicted of Lorraine Borowski's murder and received a life sentence.
On March 7, 1999, Robin Gecht's son David and three others were charged with first-degree murder in connection with a shooting death which police believe the killing to be gang-related.
Edward Spreitzer's death sentence was commuted in George H. Ryan's last minute commutation of all death sentences in Illinois in 2003. Incidentally, Andrew Kokoraleis was Governor Ryan's only execution, just over two months into his administration.