Heirens, William

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Portrait of William Heirens (click to view image source)
William Heirens
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Heirens, William Gender: M
William George Heirens
born on 15 November 1928 at 20:30 (= 8:30 PM )
Place Evanston, Illinois, 42n02, 87w41
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 23°30' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 03°29 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 23°33'


American homicide, sadist, thief and killer, known as the "lipstick murderer." A white male, nice-looking and clean-cut but afflicted with dual personalities, he left notes scrawled in lipstick after dismembering the bodies of his victims, paralyzing Chicago with fear until he was captured. Lucy Freeman wrote his biography "Before I Kill More," 1956.

His mom had a difficult pregnancy, almost losing the baby in the first two months and when her 8 1/2 lb. boy was born, she was in labor 62 hours, finally having a high forceps deliver that left permanent scars on the infant's temples. One side of the baby's face was paralyzed for a while and a four inch swelling on his scalp disappeared at two months. As an adult, Heirens was 5' 10" with black curly hair and very athletic. He was a winning wrestler and graceful; he had mechanical ability and his IQ was measured at 132. He always looked people straight in the eye.

Raised Catholic, Heirens had a strong conflict between his sex drive and his strong religious convictions. Later, his psychiatric evaluation diagnosed dementia praecox (split personality and disassociated psychotic schizophrenic.) When he was three, his sickly, bland, brother Jere was born and at five, his mom had a difficult miscarriage. She was hospitalized for three weeks with hysterical paralysis then ill for a year with a nervous breakdown. They had household moves when the boy was six and again when he was eight. That year he had a tonsillectomy with which he had a fever and hemorrhage. He broke his arm at nine and it had to be set three times. The summer of 1938 Heirens was accidentally locked in a car trunk for two hours. After that he began having nightmares. At 12, he fell down the school steps and was cut over his eye. From that time on, he had headaches intermittently.

At 13, Heirens began burglaries. As he climbed through the window of a house, he would have a sexual emission. He was first arrested on 6/17/1942 and sent to St. Bedes school where he was on two years probation. In 1944, his mom had hysterical paralysis again when her mother died. Heirens probation was concluded on 1/19/1945, and the family moved. That fall, he entered Chicago University, studying to be a civil engineer or radio technician.

The murders began on 6/03/1945. At 9:00 AM CWT, Mrs. Josephine Ross, 43, a widow, was stabbed in the throat and face and her head repeatedly battered. An attempt had been made to clean her up with the body washed and cuts covered with band-aids.

On 9/27/1945, 6:00-7:00 AM, Evelyn Peterson, a former army nurse was severely beaten with a metal bar as she woke in the morning. Her arms were bound with a lamp cord and she had a fractured skull - but survived.

On 10/01/1945, Veronica Hudzinski was shot in the shoulder through the widow, as she sat writing a letter: she survived.

On 12/05/1945, a bullet shot through the kitchen window of Marion Caldwell that grazed her skull.

On 12/10/1945, 9:00 AM, the naked body of Frances Brown, 31, a secretary, was found lying over her bathtub, washed clean of blood. A knife was driven through her throat and she was shot twice. A message was scrawled in lipstick on the wall that read, "For heaven's sake catch me before I kill more. I can not control myself."

On 1/07/1946, Heirens abducted Suzanne Degan, age six, from her bed at 00:35 AM, and suffocated her. The child's body was taken to a neighbor's basement and dismembered, c. 2:30 to 3:30 AM. The limbs were washed clean of blood, wrapped in rags and bags and separately dumped in various sewer outlets.

Heirens was arrested on 6/26/1946, 6:00 PM. After four days questioning he was booked for murder and assault on 7/01: he confessed on 7/25. His trial began on 9/04/1946 and lasted two days before he was found guilty and sentenced to three consecutive life terms. His request for a retrial was denied. He went to the state prison at Joliet, IL.

In Heirens room, police found two suitcases filled with pistols, surgical equipment, war bonds and jewelry. He had pictures of Hitler, Goering, Goebbels and other Nazis. His reading material leaned heavily toward masochism, fetishism, sadism and flagellation. His only means of achieving orgasm was through burglaries which had become his means of sexual release.

He died at the UIC Medical Center in Chicago on 5 March 2012.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Family : Change in family responsibilities February 1932 (Brother Jere born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family trauma 1934 (Mom had hysterical paralysis, ill)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1938 (Locked in car trunk two hours)
  • Crime : Assault/ Battery Perpetration 17 June 1942 (First arrest)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family trauma 1944 (Mom had hysterical paralysis)
  • Social : Deinstitutionalized - prison, hospital 19 January 1945 (Released from probation)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Homicide Perpetration 3 June 1945 at 09:00 AM (Beat, stabbed and killed Mrs. Josephine Moss)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Assault/ Battery Perpetration 27 September 1945 at 06:00 AM (Beat, fractured skull of Evelyn Peterson)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Assault/ Battery Perpetration 1 October 1945 (Shot Veronica Hudzinski, she survived)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Assault/ Battery Perpetration 5 December 1945 (Shot Marion Caldwell, she survived)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Homicide Perpetration 10 December 1945 at 09:00 AM (Stabbed, shot to death, Frances Brown)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Homicide Perpetration 7 January 1946 at 12:35 AM (Suffocated to death Suzanne Degan, age six)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Secrets revealed 25 July 1946 (Confessed to murders)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Crime : Trial dates 4 September 1946 (Three life sentences)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death, Cause unspecified 5 March 2012 in Chicago (Age 83)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from T. Pat Davis (who rectified to 8:24 PM)


  • Traits : Body : Race (White)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Bone (Broken arm)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (Tonsillectomy)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Psychotic Episode (Aware of his duality)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Schizophrenia (Dementia proecox)
  • Family : Childhood : Memories Bad (Mom mentally-physically ill a lot)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (First of two boys)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Homicide serial (Sadist and serial killer)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Prison sentence (Three life terms)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Torturer/ Sadist (Tortured and dismembered victims)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Thief/ Financial crime (Thief)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Western (Devote R. Catholic)
  • Personal : Birth : Difficult birth (Forceps, long and difficult labor)
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases (Serial killer; book about case)
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book