Serial killers in America have been around since the 19th century. In 1897, a man by the name of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes confessed to 27 murders, targeting naïve and gullible women, though only nine of those murders were confirmed. Several of the women that the man better known as H.H. Holmes claimed to have killed were found to still be alive after his confession. Born in New Hampshire, the Chicago killer is believed to have been responsible for as many as 200 murders, but questions still arise regarding the exact total, which will most likely never be accurately accounted for.

Recent speculation suggests that Holmes was Jack The Ripper, based on the airing of a recent television show called "American Ripper" on the History channel.

This has resulted in controversy since Jack the Ripper was supposed to be based out of the U.K, whereas Holmes is considered America's first serial killer. Some believe it is a possibility, while others remain on the fence.

Holmes great, great grandson, Jeff Mudget, believes that he has found substantial evidence at the serial killer's gravesite. Although murders are unfortunately common throughout the world daily, Mudget finds himself drawn to this case akin to Holmes.

The 'Ripper Crew'

84 years later, still in Chicago, another serial killer formed a satanic "cult-like" organization comprised of other like-minded men praying on inexperienced young women. Ringleader Robin Gecht, who ironically had once worked beneath famed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, was the forefront of a group of three other men who would eventually be known as a unified group of serial killers.

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While Gacy was more fond of teenage boys and young men, the group of these four men preferred younger women. It is believed that Gacy was a mentor to Gecht, teaching him the tricks of the trade.

Between 1981 and 1982, these four men came to be known as the "Chicago Rippers," but the name most notably associated with them today is the "Ripper Crew." The satanic group lured women into a van and were responsible for mutilating, slaying, and assaulting what was originally calculated as eighteen women during these two years. Later confessions revealed that it was much more.

Gecht had a "satanic chapel" in a local motel where the group would brutally rape and torture these women, oftentimes cannibalistically dining on parts of their flesh. Once the ritual concluded, Gecht would use a knife to cut off the women's left breast and place it in a box. A member later identified as Thomas Kokoraleis by Beverly Washington, a surviving victim found without her left breast, later recalled that he'd seen at many as 15 breasts in the box collectively on one occasion.

With Washington's helpful description, the other three men's names were identified as crew leader Robin Gecht, Thomas's brother Andrew, and Edward Spreitzer.

'Chicago Ripper' members today

In 1999, Andrew Kokoraleis died via lethal injection. Spreitzer was supposed to receive the death penalty. However, a commutation occurred and he is now serving life in prison without the opportunity of parole. Gecht is up for parole in 2042.

The last member, Thomas Kokoraleis, cooperated with authorities to receive a reduced sentence. He was believed responsible for 20 hostile acts of kidnapping, violently torturing, and murdering women.

Per Fox News, Thomas is up for parole on September 29. He has served half of a 70-year sentence, which entitles him eligibility for parole per Illinois sentencing guidelines.

Son of victim Linda Sutton, who was murdered by T. Kokoraleis when she was 26, spoke out regarding the potential release of the notorious killer. "We were cheated out of a life with our mother. We want to keep him locked up the rest of his life." Furthormore, Antone Sutton asked where the killer would go upon release and if he'd just be freely walking the streets. Antone was nine when his mother was killed. Although Thomas was guilty of murdering Linda, charges were nullified once he cooperated with authorities.

Brother of Ann Borowski, a then 21-year-old victim of the satanic crew, commented on the potential release. "He doesn't deserve to be treated like a human being for the stuff he did to my sister and all the families and the women," said Mark Borowski per the Chicago Tribune. Ann's brother went on to say that it was "sickening" and "he has no business living." T. Kokoraleis was found guilty of the murder. However, that conviction was overturned because of a legal error.

Prosecutors are doing everything in their power to prevent the parole of Thomas Kokoraleis, who is now 57-years-old. His brother Andrew was the last inmate to be executed in Illinois back in 1999.