An illiterate Brooklynite, born on 1947, Spencer was arrested on an arson charge at age 13, committed to an institution for mental defectives after two months observation at Bellevue Hospital. Released in 1962, he continued therapy as an out-patient until April 1964. Two months later, on June 21, he was charged with raping a Bronx woman at knifepoint, released on $500 bond after formal indictments were handed down. On August 22, he assaulted Constance Thompson in an elevator, threatening to mutilate her infant son if she would not submit to rape. Interrupted by the building superintendent, Spencer fled on foot, but Thompson saw him on the street a month later, trailing him home and then calling police. In custody, the 17-year-old rapist confessed to two murders and ten sexual assaults. One victim, 29-year old Charlotte Lipstick, had been raped and killed in her Brooklyn home on May 29, 1964. The other, Mary Payne, age 83, was murdered in the Bronx on Labor Day. Spencer's surviving victims included a five-year-old girl, but he could offer no motive for the crimes. "I don't know why I do it," he explained. "I get headaches, pass out, and I hear funny noises." Indicted on two counts of murder, plus the rape of Constance Thompson, Spencer was returned to Bellevue for psychiatric evaluation. Pronounced sane by staff psychiatrists, he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to prison for life.