To the younger generation, the name Ripper Crew would most likely not ring a bell. This bloodthirsty group was formed sometime in the 80s with explicit ambitions to brutally violate women.
Who Are The Ripper Crew?
The Ripper Crew or the Chicago Rippers as they’re popularly known was a devilish cult and unionized crime group specifically formed for the sole purpose of hunting women. The group was believed to be responsible for the disappearance and murders of up to 20 women.
Unlike most serial killers who targeted women, the Ripper crew were not acting out of hatred for prostitutes or women of a particular demographic. The group preyed on women of different ages and races, from all walks of life.
The base of their operations was in Chicago, Illinois, as well as its surrounding areas. The Ripper Crew indulged in their killing spree from 1981-1982. Most of their murders took place from May 1981 to December 1982.
The crew would drive around in a red van which served as a decoy, looking for women to abduct. After successfully kidnapping a woman, the crew members would proceed to torture, rape, and kill their victim, then discard her body.
The crew’s focus was on their victims’ breasts, which they used for their satanic rituals. While the women were still breathing, they would remove their breasts with a wire garrote.
Unfortunately, for the evil bandits, their luck ran out one fateful day when one of their victims managed to survive the horrific torture they meted out on her and narrated the events of her capture to the police, which led to the arrest of the Ripper Crew.
Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Ripper Crew
1. The Ripper Crew was a four-man group
During their active years, their ages ranged from 21 to 29. The four members were Robin Gecht (ringleader,) Edward Spreitzer, and two brothers named Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis.
2. Robin Gecht is the crew’s ringleader
Investigations revealed that the ringleader of the gang, Robin Gecht once worked as a construction subcontractor for the ill-famed serial killer and rapist, John Wayne Gacy during the late 1970s.
3. The killings of the crew were linked to rituals
It is common knowledge that people who participate in ritual killings are usually motivated by the belief that they would be bestowed with extraordinary powers. Whether Gecht belonged to this school of thought or not, it was certainly what spurred his partners to carry on with all of their activities.
4. The number of people The Ripper Crew killed is unknown
The exact number of people killed by the Ripper Crew would most likely never be known, as the police were unable to locate all the bodies of the victims. Police reports stated that the group members were high on drugs and alcohol during the attacks and they shared conflicted details or couldn’t reminisce where they discarded some of their victims.
5. They usually meet at their ringleader’s place
After nightfall, the crew would meet at the home of the ring leader, Gecht, then they would make their way to the makeshift altar—the Satanic Chapel as they called it and perform their disturbing rituals.
6. How they preyed on women
The crew would move about the city in their van, scouting for victims. When they found a woman they considered suitable, they would take her to Gecht’s apartment, which was aptly called the “Satanic Chapel”. The victim would be beaten, raped, tortured, and mutilated in grisly ways.
The victim would eventually be killed by hacking, stabbing, shooting, strangling, or with a combination of two or more of these methods. While this was going on, Gecht would read passages of the Devil’s Bible as his partners eviscerated the women. When they were done, the crew would discard the victim’s body.
7. They were also cannibals
As if torture, mutilation, rape, and murder weren’t bad enough, the Ripper Crew added cannibalism to their rap sheet. Three members of the Crew attested that they ate the flesh of their victims. After the women were maimed, Gecht would cut the breast into small pieces and hand a piece to every member.
8. Their victims had nothing in common
Contrary to popular belief and expectations, the Ripper Crew did not exclusively target prostitutes or women of a particular demographic. They abducted victims irrespective of age, race, or profession.
9. The one that got away
The doom of the Ripper Crew was finally guaranteed by the one woman that got away: Beverley Washington. Like all the other victims of the Ripper Crew, her abduction was succeeded by sheer torture and rape. She obtained varying degrees of injuries with complete obliteration of her left breast. The crew dumped her naked body thinking she was as good as dead. To the amazement of all, she survived that appalling ordeal. Details she provided led to the arrest of the entire Ripper Crew.
10. Not enough evidence against Getch
In spite of the eye witness account, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that Gecht actually participated in the killings so he was not sentenced for murder. This stemmed majorly from the unwillingness of his accomplices to testify against him. He, however, admitted to the brutal attack on Beverley Washington and was sentenced to 120 years in Menard Correctional Center where he remains to this day.