Serial killer Ralph Harris was found guilty by a jury on March 3, 1999, for the August 17, 1992 slaying of a Chatham community resident, and was sentenced to death on March 26. In addition to the death penalty, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter -- who compared the Soth Side resident to John Wayne Gacy -- sentenced Harris to 60 years in prison for trying to kill Patterson's brother and another 15 years in prison for robbing both men.
Authorities believe Harris allegedly committed four murders in 1992. The murder spree was interrupted in August 1992 when Harris was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for an 1991 armed robbery. Harris was paroled from prison on Jan. 20, 1995. A month later he started raping and robbing women at gunpoint. Harris also was charged with killing two men in 1995.
Most of victims Harris allegedly murdered were older men. Harris robbed, raped and murdered to feed a drug habit, police said. In total Harris was charged with six murders, 13 armed robberies and six sexual assaults.
When he was charged, some Chicago police detectives noted Harris, who at the tiem of his arrest was 23, didn't fit the usual mold of a serial killer, having been raised in a stable home with good parents.