As a child William Heirens thought that all sex was dirty. Later he channeled his sexual desires into dressing up like a woman and masturbating to pictures of high ranking Nazis. Not surprisingly, he later committed numerous fetish burglaries and three murders from which he claimed to have derived immense pleasure. Heirens was a 17-year-old student at University of Chicago when he was arrested in 1946 for the murder and dismemberment of a 6-year-old girl, whose remains were found scattered in the Chicago sewers, and the separate murders of two women who caught him ransacking their homes. The then-mayor of Chicago, Edward Kelly, called the little girl's slaying "even too horrible for a maniac."
At one of the crime scenes he wrote on the wall with lipstick: "For Heaven's sake catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself." He was caught on June 26, 1946. In his trial he said his crimes were perpetrated by his alter ego "George Murman." No one believed him and he as sentenced by a Cook County court to three consecutive life terms without parole. To this day, Heirens thinks Murman is the guilty one and writes notes to and about him.
On April 4, 2002, Heirens -- now 73 -- asked a clemency board to release him from jail claiming that he was wrongly imprisoned. Heirens, who is believed to the longest-serving prisoner in Illinois, said he gave a false confession under duress from police and prosecutors who were under intense pressure to solve the 1946 killing spree. According to Willie, he was given a spinal tap without anesthetic, injected with truth serum, subjected to round-the-clock police interrogation and isolated from his parents and his lawyer. Steven Drizin of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern said Heirens' case has "all the earmarks of a wrongful conviction." He asked the 13-member board to "right wrongs which the courts have failed to right." Heirens' supporters have said he is a diabetic and is no threat to society.