Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Alcohol - Barroom altercation - Retaliation
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: April 13, 2001
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: July 4, 1958
Victims profile: Bartender Jeffrey Weides, 38, and patron Richard Bartlett, 48
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 2002. Commuted to life in prison eithout parole on January 12, 2003

Luther Casteel

At JB's Pub in Elgin in 2001, Casteel was booted out for harassing female customers and employees. Roaring drunk and enraged, he shot straight home, shaved his hair into a mohawk and changed into military fatigues, armed himself with several guns and returned to the bar.

Screaming, "I am a natural born killer," he shot bartender Jeffrey Weides and customer Richard Bartlett to death and wounded 16 others before being wrestled to the ground by bar patrons and employees.

At his trial, Casteel almost dared a Kane County jury to impose the death penalty.

"I'm not someone who asks for mercy or pity for my actions," he said during a stunning half hour of testimony. "I have absolutely no fear of anything anyone can put upon me."


Casteel found guilty of 35 of 37 charges

By Sara Burnett - The Daily Herald

November 2001

Luther Casteel knew just what he was doing when he drove to JB's Pub armed with four guns and opened fire, killing two men and injuring at least 16 others, a Kane County jury said Wednesday. Jurors found Casteel guilty of 35 of the 37 charges stemming from the April 14 shootings at the Elgin bar, including charges of first-degree murder for the deaths of patron Richard Bartlett and bar manager Jeffrey Weides.


Gunman Kills 2, Injures 21

The New York Times

April 15, 2001

A gunman opened fire in a crowded bar early today, killing two people before he was subdued by customers. At least 21 other people were injured.

The police said that employees had ordered the man, Luther V. Casteel, 42, of Elgin, to leave the bar, JB's Pub, and that he returned with several guns. Mr. Casteel was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and other charges.


Luther "Luke" V. Casteel

April 15, 2001

The man accused of shooting 18 people in a crowded bar outside Chicago was an ex-con obsessed with guns and the movie "Natural Born Killers" who shaved his head and donned fatigues before the attack. 

Police said 42-year-old Luther "Luke" V. Casteel was asked to leave JB's Pub for hassling a female patron and returned a little more than an hour later carrying two handguns, two shotguns and 200 rounds of live ammunition. Once he started shooting witnesses said he laughed and screamed: "I'm the king, how do you like me now?" Two people were killed and 16 others wounded by gunfire.

The victims were bartender Jeff Weides, 38, and patron Richard Bartlett, 48, both of Elgin, a blue-collar neighborhood about 35 miles west of Chicago.

Casteel was described by acquaintances as a divorced construction worker. Police said he had served 13 years in prison on a 1978 armed robbery conviction.



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