|“||A black female was picked up, blindfolded and gagged. Robin shot her point blank in the head. Put chains around her neck and legs, attached two bowling balls and threw her in the water. I understand her body was not found.||”|
— Edward Spreitzer
Not much is known about the Crew prior to the killings, other than their leader, Robin Gecht, was employed at PDM Contractors, which was coincidentally owned by fellow serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy. Gecht had been also accused of molesting his own sister. On May 23, 1981, the Crew abducted their first known victim, a prostitute named Linda Sutton. Her body was found ten days later after police responded to a call about a bad smell at a motel outside Chicago. Initially believing that the smell was coming from a dead deer, police found Sutton's body in a field behind the motel. She had been handcuffed, stabbed, mutilated, and had her left breast amputated. Because of her body's condition, police only managed to identify her thought digital and dental records. Despite efforts to identify her killer, the case went cold. A year later, on May 15, 1982, they abducted another woman, Lorry Borowski, just as she was about to open the realtor's office where she worked. While investigating the case, Detective Commander and hypnotist John Millner decided to hypnotize several people who were in the area at the time of Lorry's disappearance. One of them recalled seeing a red van at the mall parking lot, but this turned up nothing. With no important leads, Lorry's case went cold. Her body was discovered five months later in a cemetery in Villa Park. Over the course of four months, the gang abducted and killed several more women in the Chicago area. Days after killing Lorry, Shui Mak was abducted from Hanover Park and her body was not found for four months.
Two weeks later, they abducted a prostitute named Angel York and mutilated her while she was still alive before throwing her out of the van. York survived and gave a description of her attackers, but it failed to produce any leads and the case went cold. Months later, they abducted, strangled, and stabbed a teenage prostitute named Sandra Delaware before dumping her body in the Chicago River. A month later, they killed a woman named Rose Davis and dumped her body in an alleyway; her body had injuries almost identical to those inflicted on Delaware. A month after killing Davis, they abducted their last known victim, prostitute Beverly Washington, and mutilated her body. She was found by a railroad track on December 6, barely alive. She was able to give a description of the men who attacked her and their van. Gecht was eventually arrested and almost released due to a lack of evidence, but further investigation revealed that Gecht had rented a room in a motel with three friends, each with adjoining rooms. The manager of the hotel told police that they appeared to involved in some kind of cult. Shortly after, police identified the other men, Edward Spreitzer and the Kokoraleis brothers; they soon confessed to the murders. After a series of trials, Gecht, Spreitzer and Thomas Kokoraleis were sentenced to life in prison. Thomas' brother, Andrew Kokoraleis, on the other hand, was executed by lethal injection; he was the last inmate to be executed in Illinois.
Spreitzer and the Kokoraleis brothers would drive around the city in their van in search of victims. When they found a potential victim, mostly prostitutes, they would take them to Gecht's apartment, which he called the "Satanic Chapel", where the victims would be beaten, tortured, raped, and mutilated in ritualistic ways. Their victims would then be killed in a variety of ways, such as stabbing, strangling, shooting, or even hacking with an ax; Gecht would read passages of the Satanic Bible as his partners brutally killed the women. In every case, they would remove the victim's breast with a wire garrote while she was still alive, masturbate into the flesh, chop it into pieces, and devour it. After killing them, they would dump the bodies in alleys, under bridges, and in forests located in the outskirts of the city.
- May 23, 1981: Linda Sutton, 28 (raped, mutilated, and stabbed)
- Unspecified dates:
- Cynthia Smith (abducted and mutilated; survived)
- At least eleven unnamed prostitutes (all raped, mutilated, and killed by unknown causes)
- May 15: Lorraine "Lorry" Borowski, 21 (mutilated and killed by unknown causes)
- May 29: Shui Mak, 30 (raped, mutilated, and killed by unknown causes)
- June 13: Angel York (abducted and mutilated; survived)
- August 28: Sandra Delaware (raped, mutilated, stabbed, and fatally strangled)
- September 8: Rose Beck Davis, 30 (raped, mutilated, and stabbed)
- September 11: Carole Pappas, 42 (possibly; abducted, mutilated, and killed; death ruled as an accident)
- October 6:
- Beverly Washington, 20 (abducted and mutilated; survived)
- Rafael Torado and an unnamed man (possibly; both shot; the second man survived)
- Note: John Wayne Gacy once said that he did not work alone and had an accomplice. Though this claim was never concretely proven, the individual in question is most likely Gecht.
- Unspecified dates:
On Criminal Minds
The Ripper Crew is partially similar to The Johnson County Brotherhood. Both teams were a pack of serial rapists and abductors who targeted women associated with sex trade and took them to their leader's house, where they would beat and rape their victims. Also, some of the Crew's victims were killed by strangulation, the same M.O. Kosina used to kill his victims. In addition, while the Ripper Crew wasn't mentioned in Tribute, they may be one of many infamous serial killers in Chicago marked by Reid as possible killers whose M.O.s could be copied by Michael Peterson.