Text Item Type Metadata
yy. | |
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA
ae Vol. 6, No. 15 August, 1966
7 . COLD BLOOD—AND THE "BLEEDING HEART" COURT
rs At dawn on July 15, a Chicago woman thought she heard strange noises. She went outside to
_--_-_—s investigate, and saw a young woman standing on a window ledge, screaming hysterically. The
girl sobbed that she was the only one left alive—that all eight of her friends were dead. A po-
= liceman quickly sumnioned to the site grimly verified the girl's statements. Lying dead in their
apartment were eight young women, seven of them student nurses, one a visiting friend.
The girls had been horribly, brutally murdered. The lone survivor, Miss Corazon Amurao,
had escaped the fate of her friends by slipping under a bed and hiding. But she had seen the
murderer face to face, and said she could identify him.
_ Fingerprints abounded in the apartment; police took them and proceeded with a check on their
identity. Both the fingerprints and the testimony of the witness identified the killer: young
Richard Speck, who has a long police record in several cities. Relief flooded Chicago citizens
when the killer was named and found. But nothing could erase the horror of it all—the "crime of
the century," as the newspapers put it. Only a few days before the mass murders, the police
Superintendent of Chicago, beset with race riots, stated that the time had apparently come when
iy, law-abiding citizens would have to live in walled communities. His remark was a prophecy.
_ Talk about the crime covered many areas: the youth and innocence of the victims, their be-
_ reaved and shock-stricken families; the dangers of living anywhere, even if you've ‘locked the
doors and windows. But permeating all of this discussion was a speculative question: what
y would the recent Supreme Court rulings do to affect the handling of the murder case?
The speculation swiftly became a reality. Richard Speck was informed that he didn't have to
— answer any questions; that anything he did say. might incriminate him; and that he possessed all
bs the legal rights in the book. Great care is being taken of him at this writing; no one must be
paeren it o step upon his tender toes. Underneath it all lies the fear that a Court someday could
reverse his conviction—if he is convicted—because of "improper police questioning."
i fa It is all well and good to talk about the "rights" of any individual. But why, today, are the
no ohn the Sones more Baers, thaw the agate of poeoee oF donoeeny Beep > who ask & nething
: ve ymied by recent court rulings to the point that they fear to arrest sus-
If tthe police are no longer to protect citizens from criminals, who is to protect them?
n are ' dvised | to carry tear gas guns and hat pins, and to enroll in a self-defense course.
sho e | hes ene ary for them to do that—are the streets and the cities being run by gang-
"I'm writing this, Mr. Citizen, to tell you why we policemen are acting so differently from the
way we used to act.
"I'm a comparative newcomer to the police field, but in my ten years on the force I've seen
such critical changes I imagine it's pretty hard for you to keep up with them...
"To explain, let's go back to that time in 1956 when you awoke at three in the morning and
found a prowler in your back yard.
"You called the police station, and a policeman at the station radioed me in my prowl car. You
remember what I did then, don't you? Exactly what you expected metodo. I arrived at your
home, apprehended the man in your back yard, questioned him as to why he happened to be there,
and arrested him when his story sounded implausible.
"I probably also searched him and his car or truck for any of your property he might have
"But what if you called the police station early tomorrow morning with the same problem?
Well, Mr. Citizen, you probably would be a little disgusted with my caution in entering your back
yard to confront the suspect.
"You see, I can no longer apprehend him. I can detain him for questioning, but I do not know
how long I can detain him before I can be sued for false arrest. As a matter of fact, no one
knows how long I can detain him. As one judge put it, the law is 'imperfectly articulated. '
''But suppose I take this course, believing I have sufficient time to question him. Well, then, I
must first tell him he has the right not to answer any questions, the right to have an attorney
with him, and the knowledge that anything he says might be used in court against him.
"Nor may I search him to see if he has any of your property, even if he says it's okay for me
to search him.
''He may, however, waive his right to remain silent and to have an attorney with him, but I
may not accept that waiver unless the waiver is made 'voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. '
"So you see, Mr. Citizen, I must try to determine the knowledge and intelligence of the man
without asking him any questions. Questioning him is contingent upon determining his knowledge
"(The suspect) may also sue me for false arrest, sue me federally for damages or have me
punished administratively by my department.
"My only other alternative to arresting such a suspect, however, is walking away to let you
seek your own complaint against the person or to let you make a citizen's arrest."
—Lt. John Carpenter, Hermosa Beach, California
Police Department, reprinted from the South
Bay Daily Breeze
"There can be no 'Great Society' unless it is also a safe society. Anda safe society cannot be
built nor sustained in a climate of crime, corruption and moral decay...history records that
many civilizations have been destroyed from within. Let us heed that warning, lest we succumb
to the tyranny of a criminal anarchy."
—Senator John McClellan (D-Arkansas)