‘Lipstick Killer’ William Heirens Dies at 83

June 29, 1946, William Heirens

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the death of William Heirens, 83, who allegedly wrote “For heaven’s sake catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself” in lipstick on a mirror at a 1945 crime scene.

Heirens was convicted of killing Josephine Ross, Frances Brown and Suzanne Degnan, a young girl who was kidnapped and dismembered in 1946.

The Degnan killing is sometimes linked to the 1947 Black Dahlia case because Norton Avenue, where the body of Elizabeth Short was found, is three blocks from Degnan Boulevard. People who stare at maps for a long time have come up with the notion that Elizabeth Short’s body served as some sort of “pointer” to Degnan Boulevard and was intended as a clue.

Steve Hodel’s “Most Evil,” the latest installment in the ever-expanding franchise on Dr. George “Evil Genius” Hodel, explores this – well I can’t even call it a theory – to great length.  However, credit for originating this view belongs to a fellow who used to write to me under the alias of Jack Pico (he used another alias with Mary Pacios – I can’t recall what it is now).

Aug. 7, 1946, William Heirens

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1944, 1945, Black Dahlia, Chicago, Crime and Courts, Obituaries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ‘Lipstick Killer’ William Heirens Dies at 83

  1. Eve says:

    He will be in my “Queen of the Dead” next week–fascinating case! I have not made up my mind about whether he was railroaded or not.


  2. Pamela Porter says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier on Steve Hodel if he just made a list of deaths for which his father *isn’t* responsible.

    I’ll spot him Jesus Christ & Stalin. There can’t be *that* many others.

    (you need an eyeroll icon here)


  3. So Degnan is named after the girl? I’m always trying to figure out the source of the name for streets in South Central…


    • lmharnisch says:

      @Lawrence: I’m not certain of the origin of Degnan…. Since Lucky Baldwin originally owned the land that became Leimert Park, at least one street name comes from his descendants: Stocker — as in his daughter, Clara Baldwin Stocker. Other names are from Walter Leimert’s family. Olmsted is for the architects who laid out the neighborhood. Hubert was Walter H. Leimert’s middle name, I believe.


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