They called him "Corporal Urinalysis" when Andrew
Urdiales was in the Marines. He was said to have an "odd twitch",
and that he couldn't carry on even small talk with business owners
at the stores and restaurants he frequented near the Southest Side
home he shared with his parents at 9709 S. Commercial Ave. in
Chicago, IL. He did however manage to kill at least 8 women, and
abduct and rape a 19 year-old girl before finally being caught and
confessing in 1997.
Andrew Urdiales was a loner, he was an average
student and graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton IL in 1982,
with the title "social outcast", and though he had few friends, it
didn't stop him from attending a high school reunion and telling a
former schoolmate that he had killed 2 prostitutes in California.
He joined the marines not long after high school and
was stationed in Souther California. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine
Corps "with fantasies of learning to defend himself and to destroy --
not out of patriotism," said Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychiatry
professor at Yale and New York universities and co-author of 'Guilty by
Reason of Insanity', who testified during his first trial.
He later confessed to killing 5 women while in
California, and raping and abducting another woman. He was promoted
several times while serving in the military, until at the rank of
Corporal his men refused to take orders from him and he was eventually
During his time in the military, Urdiales also fell
in love with a 15-year-old girl whom he impregnated, but he was afraind
of her parents and any military disipline, so they agreed she would have
an abotion. " 'I loved her and still love her,' " Urdiales told Dr.
Lewis, " 'but the law and the state of California and the righteous and
the Marine Corps might not see it that way.' "
Andrew Urdiales was given an honorable discharge from
the Marines, but later sought psychatric help from a Chicago vetran's
hospital. Infact, on April 12th, 1996, a veteran's hospital psychologist
urged him to "become more open about expressing anger", this was just
two days before he killed a woman.
During his trial, family members and Dr. Lewis
testified that mental illness ran rampant on both sides of his family,
that he had been physically and emotionally abused by his parents,
sexually abused by his sister and a male cousin, that he had been picked
on insessantly in school and later in the service.
Prosecution experts said he was "brain-damaged" and
suffered from Tourette's syndrome, also that Urdiales heard voices,
which were sometimes delivered "in code" and led him to "go on missions"
when he could crack the code.
Urdiales returned to the Chicago area permanently in
1996, just months after killing his last victim in California and became
a security guard. On April 14th, 1996 he killed Lori Uylaki, 25, of
Hammond, and dumped her body in Wolf Lake which straddles the border of
Illinois and Indiana.
On July 13th, Andrew Urdiales ran into Cassandra
Corum, 21, of Hammond at a bar on Michigan Avene in Hammond. The two
rode in his pickup truck to Wolf Lake and had sexual intercourse. Corum
said something that made Urdiales mad, though during his trial he could
not remember what.
Urdiales said he started hitting Corum in the face
with his fist and open hand, and she became afraid and started to panic,
he took out his handcuffs and forced them on her, handcuffing her hands
behind her back. He tore her clothes off and taped her mouth with duct
tape, then headed south on Interstate 55. Urdiales exited about 100
miles south of Chicago and drove to a park. He shut off the lights and
removed the handcuffs and duct tape, Corum, who was still naked, got out
of the truck.
"Andrew Urdiales said Cassie walked to the back of
the truck and turned to face him to say something," testified a
detective. "Andrew fired his gun and hit her in the face. Urdiales said
he was still angry with her for fighting with and biting him, so he got
his knife and stabbed her. He did not remember how many times, the knife
did not have much blood on it, so Urdiales put it back in the truck."
He then carried Corum to a bridge and dropped her
into the Vermilion River. Cassandra Corum's best friend Donica Coffman,
testified that she dated Urdiales and remembered him as being "a nice
guy." Also, when Corum turned up missing, Urdiales had cried and helped
her pass out missing person posters.
Not one to sit idly by, Andrew Urdiales headed to the
Northside of Chicago where he picked up Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago on
Aug. 2, 1996. Urdiales saw Huber walking with a plastic garbage bag full
of clothes and asked her if she needed a ride. They rode in Urdiales'
pickup truck to the El tracks at 1036 W. Irving Park Road.
An arguement insued, and Urdiales grabbed her by the
hair and pushed her to the ground, he then grabbed his gun and fired
several times, hitting her only once. Urdiales said he put her and her
clothes in his truck and drove south because "that seemed like the right
way to drive," Recalled the detective who took his confession. "Urdiales
remembered feeling frustrated and driving with the window open".
When he got to Wolf Lake Urdiales took off her
clothes and stabbed her multiple times before pushing her into the water.
After throwing the clothes Huber was wearing in a Dumpster and leaving
the garbage bag full with the Salvation Army, Urdiales drove to his
Southeast Side home and went to sleep.
On November 14th, 1996, Andrew Urdiales was stopped
by Warren Fryer, a Hammond Indiana patrolman, for being parked outside a
known drug house at 831 Becker St., with a well-known prostitute. He
called for backup. As the officers approached the pickup truck Fryer
described Urdiales' demeanor as "cooperative, average" and said he
noticed "nothing unusual."
After Urdiales explained he served in the Marines,
Fryer spotted the revolver and yelled "gun" in a loud, stern voice, he
said. Another patrolmen grabbed the gun, it was a snub-nosed, chrome-plated
.38 special, fully loaded with six shells. Police explained Urdiales did
not have the permit required to possess the gun in Indiana. He was
subsequently arrested and the gun confiscated.
Before police towed Urdiales' truck, they found a
sleeping bag and gym bag containing duct tape. Officer Fryer added "The
interior of the bed and cap were spotlessly clean. They were as clean as
you would wash the outside of your car." Under cross-examination, Fryer
said the truck and cab "looked as clean as if they had come out of the
showroom... unusual for the norm."
Almost six months later, on April 1, 1997, Officer
Fryer responded to a complaint about a man and a woman fighting at the
American Inn, at 4000 Calumet Avenue, in Hammond. While Urdiales
complained to another officer of an alleged theft, Patricia Kelly, a
known Hammond prostitute involved in the dispute. "She said, 'This guy's
kind of kinky. He wants to take me in the back of his pick-up truck,
handcuff me and (engage in anal sex)' ". Fryer, who by then knew of the
murders of Uylaki and Huber said, "My immediate response was, 'Jeez,
Patricia, don't do that. We're finding girls up there dead.' "
When Fryer returned to the Hammond Police Department
at the end of his shift, he conducted a computer search of the city's
records on Urdiales, including the Nov. 14th seizure of his gun, and
prepared a supplemental report he forwarded to detectives.
Assistant State's Attorney Alison Perona, who
prosecuted the Wolf Lake murders, described Urdiales as a "savage,
predatory, cunning killer" who was caught by a "combination of bad luck
and good police work. The woman said Andrew wanted her to go to Wolf
Lake, let him tie her up and have sex with her," Perona said. "The
officer immediately made the connection -- sex, bondage, lake."
On April 7, 1997, Chicago Detective Don McGrath
received word of the American Inn incident from the Hammond, Indiana
police detectives. They also turned the gun over to him, which he took
to gun expert Robert Smith who confirmed it was the same gun used to
kill the three women.
On April 22, 1997, McGrath and his partner, Detective
Raymond Krakausky, set up surveillance in an alley about a half-block
south of Urdiales' parent's home. Andrew Urdiales emerged about 9am,
headed to his job as a security guard. McGrath and Krakausky approached
him, and told him they were interested in the November 1996 case in
which Urdiales' .38-caliber revolver was seized. Urdiales said the case
had been resolved, but agreed to come to Chicago's Area 2 police
At first Urdiales said he did not recognize photos of
Huber, Uylaki or Corum, McGrath asked him where he got his revolver, and
Urdiales said he bought it in Calumet City for $300 about five years
earlier. He also said he had maintained control of it since he had it.
McGrath told Urdiales the bullets used in all three murders were traced
to his gun. Urdiales took his security badge off, loosened his tie and
started to untie his shoe laces, he said. "I guess I'm not going to be
going to work today."
Andrew Urdiales was convicted in the murders of Lori Uylaki and Lynn
Huber in 2002, he was given the death penatly, but it was commuted
by Govenor Ryan, along with all other death row sentences shortly
after the ruling. In April 2004, he was tried and convicted in
Pontaic County, IL for the murder of Cassandra Corum. He will later
be extradited to California to face trial for the murders of 5 other
women, and an abduction and rape.
Crimes Commited by Andrew Urdiales:
* Late 1980s - Urdiales has confessed to the
murder of a prostitute in San Diego sometime between 1987 and 1989.
The victim was a white female in her late 20s or early 30s. Urdiales
told police he shot her.
* July 17, 1988 - Cathedral City, Calif., police find
Julie McGhee, 30, a local prostitute, shot in a remote area of town.
Police say evidence found at the scene matches Urdiales' confession;
murder charges are pending.
* April 15, 1989 - Palm Springs police find Tammie
Erwin, a 19-year-old prostitute, dead of gunshot wounds.
* Date unknown, 1991 - Orange County Sheriff's Police
investigate the murder of a student at Saddleback Community College in
Mission Viejo. The victim had no known history of prostitution and had
* March 11, 1995 - Palm Springs police find Denise
Maney, a 32-year-old prostitute, dead of several wounds, possibly from a
knife or a gun.
* Sept. 28, 1992 - Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
kidnapped and raped 19-year-old Jennifer Asbenson, after she took a ride
to work from a stranger.
* April 14, 1996 - Lori Uylaki, 25, of Hammond shot
and stabbed, dumped in Wolf Lake on the Illinois/Indiana border.
* July 13, 1996 - Cassandra "Cassie" Corum, 21, of
Hammond, was found in the Vermillion River in Livingston County, Ill.
she was shot.
* Aug. 2, 1996 - Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago, also
found dead in Wolf Lake killed by gun shot wounds and stabbed.
Man convicted in murders of Hammond women
charged with California killings
Friday, August 7,
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A man convicted of triple
murder in Illinois including the deaths of two Hammond women was
charged Wednesday with the killings of five Southern California
women in cases dating back to the mid-1980s.
Orange County prosecutors accused Andrew Urdiales,
45, of Chicago's Southeast Side, of murders in Orange, Riverside and
San Diego counties.
He was convicted in Cook County in 2002 in the
murders of Cassie Corum, 21, of Hammond and Lori Uylaki, 25, of
Hammond and in 2004 for the murder of Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago.
A written confession to Corum's murder was
presented to the jury during the trial. Urdiales said he picked Corum
up in Hammond and drove her south on Interstate 55 to Livingston
County, where he shot and stabbed her, then dumped her body into the
He is appealing a death sentence in Illinois and
will be extradited to California after the appeals process is
Urdiales was a U.S. Marine stationed in Southern
California between April 1984 and April 1991. Authorities say he
murdered one woman in Orange County, two women in Riverside County and
one woman in San Diego County during that time period. They allege he
killed the fifth woman while vacationing in Palm Springs in 1995.
Urdiales moved to Illinois after his discharge and
police arrested him in 1996 in Hammond after they spotted him
loitering in an area known for prostitution. A search of his truck
turned up an unlicensed firearm.
Ballistics tests on the gun found it was the same
weapon used to shoot and kill three women who were murdered in
Illinois in 1996 and 1997. Detectives say they then were able to link
Urdiales to the Southern California murders, including one where
police recovered DNA from a condom left at the crime scene.
In Southern California, Urdiales will be tried in
the murders of 23-year-old Robbin Brandley, who was stabbed 41 times
while leaving a jazz piano concert in 1986; 29-year-old Julie McGhee,
31-year-old Maryann Wells, and 20-year-old Tammie Erwin, all of whom
were shot; and Denise Maney, 32, who was tied up, sexually assaulted
and stabbed to death.
Authorities have not decided whether they will
pursue the death penalty in the California cases, all of which will be
consolidated and handled by Orange County prosecutors.
Urdiales told authorities he killed the women
because he believed them to be prostitutes and he believed he was
Evidence presented in the Cook County trials
revealed Urdiales was raped by his sister numerous times as an
adolescent. Defense witnesses testified a fall down the stairs as an
infant while in the arms of his sister may have resulted in brain
Prosecution experts disputed that claim, saying he has a "reduced
mental capacity" and is a sexual sadist who hates women but is not
Illinois Supreme Court upholds
serial killer's death sentence
Serial killer Andrew Urdiales is
heading back to death row because of a ruling Friday by the Illinois
The court also allowed a lawsuit
against the parent company of a refinery where two workers died in a
fire, and ruled the state Corrections Department wrongly charged
indigent prisoners a copayment for health care.
Urdiales has confessed to killing
eight women in Illinois and California between 1988 and 1996 and is
serving a life sentence. He was originally condemned to die for two of
those murders, before then-Gov. George Ryan commuted his sentence
because of flaws in the state's death penalty system.
Friday's ruling involves the death
of the eighth woman, Cassandra Corum of Indiana, who was shot and
stabbed to death in 1996.
Urdiales appealed his death
sentence in that case on the grounds that, among other things, the trial
judge was wrong to reject his plea of guilty but mentally ill. Urdiales
had not yet been convicted of Corum's death at the time Ryan commuted
his death sentence in the other cases.
The Supreme Court, however, found
that the judge did nothing wrong when he concluded that Urdiales was not
mentally ill. The court noted that defense witnesses didn't agree on
what illness Urdiales supposedly suffered and that his crime involved
Despite Friday's ruling, Gov. Rod
Blagojevich has ordered the Corrections Department not to conduct any
executions, continuing the moratorium begun by Ryan.
The Supreme Court also allowed a
case to proceed against Clark USA, owner of Clark Refining and
Marketing. Clark Refining owned an oil refinery in Blue Island where a
fire broke out in 1995, killing two workers.
Ordinarily, the refinery's parent
company could not be held responsible for the actions of its subsidiary.
But the families of the dead workers argue that Clark USA ordered budget
cuts that undermined the refinery's safety and that some executives at
the parent company were involved in overseeing those budget cuts.
The families want to try to show in
court that Clark USA should be held liable for the deaths.
The Supreme Court agreed they
should have that chance, holding that sometimes a parent company can be
responsible for a subsidiary's actions. It ruled that the case can go
Clark did not immediately return a
call seeking comment.
The court also held that the state
Corrections Department has violated the law by charging indigent inmates
a $2 copayment for routine health care.
The Corrections Department began
charging in 2002 under a law that says indigent prisoners are exempt
from paying. The department adopted the policy that inmates without
money would not be charged immediately, but the fee would be kept on the
books and charged if the inmates ever earned anything for their prison
But the court ruled that exempt
means exempt. Copayments can't be kept on the books indefinitely and
charged if a prisoner eventually gets money.
Two justices dissented. They say
the department's policy was a reasonable way to interpret the law.
Urdiales challenges death
sentence with mental illness claim's
September 15, 2006
SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- A convicted
serial killer said his death sentence should be overturned because he
should have been found guilty but mentally ill.
Andrew Urdiales' attorney made that
argument Tuesday before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Urdiales was convicted in May 2004
and sentenced to die for the 1996 slaying of a 21-year-old Indiana woman
whose body was found in the Vermilion River. He has also confessed to
killing seven other women in Illinois and California between 1988 and
His lawyer said his defense team
presented adequate evidence for the Livingston County judge to find he
was mentally ill at the time.
But a lawyer for the attorney
general's office said the judge correctly agreed with a state expert
that Urdiales' actions were not excused by mental illness.
The two sides also argued over
whether Urdiales' constitutional rights were violated when he was
shackled to the defense bench during the trial.
April 29, 2006
Andrew Urdiales, a former Marine
and Gulf War veteran, was sentenced to death by a Livingston County jury
for the 1996 murder of 21-year-old Cassandra Corum of Hammond, Ind.
Urdiales was previously sentenced to die in 2002 for the murders of two
Chicago-area women, but that sentence was commuted to life in prison
when former Gov. George Ryan cleared death row in 2003.
The Urdiales case fits several
patterns identified by the Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment,
which published a two-year study outlining the flaws in the death
penalty and the larger criminal justice process. Most notably, Urdiales
had a history of serious mental health problems, which were ultimately
rejected as mitigating factors.
Both the prosecution and defense
conceded that Urdiales had a difficult childhood of physical abuse and
neglect. His oldest brother was killed in Vietnam when he was just 3-years-old,
driving his mother into withdrawal. Urdiales was later sexually abused
by his sister, and further bullied, taunted and teased growing up.
Urdiales spent 90 hours with Veteran's Administration counselors from
1991 to 1996 dealing with his anger and depression that stemmed from his
Urdiales' lawyers believed that he
suffers from mild bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and
"deficits" of brain activity that affect his judgment. A physician
testifying for the defense said that the cortex of Urdiales' brain is
smaller than the normal brain, and that he has lost a lot of brain
The state, however, maintained that
Urdiales does not have an organic brain disorder, but rather suffers
from Tourette's Syndrome and an unspecified personality disorder that
impairs his relationships. Psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz said that
Urdiales is simply a sexual sadist who hates women.
In the decision that ultimately
came down to experts vs. experts, Judge Harold Frobish rejected
Urdiales' insanity defense and his attempt to plead guilty but mentally
ill. Urdiales became the third person sentenced to death in Illinois
since Gov. Ryan's commutations.
Prosecutors want documents in Urdiales appeal
Some technicalities from the 2004 trial in Livingston
County of a serial killer were dealt with Thursday in the courtroom of
Livingston County Circuit Judge Harold Frobish.
The technicalities dealt with information about possible
pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity that could have come before
jurors in the trial of Andrew Urdiales.
Urdiales, 41, of Chicago, was convicted here in 2004 of
the murder of Cassandra "Cassie" Corum of Hammond, Ind. Urdiales had
picked Corum up in the Chicago area and transported her downstate on
Testimony in his trial revealed that when he got to the
Pontiac area Urdiales became tired and decided to find a remote area and
murder Corum. He took her out to an area west of Pontiac along the
Vermilion River and near the Sportsman's Club where he killed her and
left her nude body in the river.
Urdiales, before his trial here, had previously been
convicted of the murders of two other women in Cook County. He received
the death sentence in all three murder cases. Still pending against him
are murder charges in California involving several other women. Urdiales
is housed on Death Row at the Pontiac Correctional Center.
Before Thursday's proceedings could even begin Charles
Schiedel and Daniel Schuster defense attorneys appointed to handle
Urdiales' appeal before the Appellate Court asked Frobish that Urdiales
not be retrained in the courtroom.
"We object to Mr. Urdiales being handcuffed. Because he
needs to be able to write," said Schuster.
Frobish ordered correctional center officers present in
the courtroom to free Urdiales' right hand from the handcuffs.
"There was an incident at the trial when Mr. Urdiales had
his hands free and he cleared off the defense table and spilled water,"
"The jury wasn't present at that time so it was not part
of the trial," said Schuster.
"I made my arguments for him to be handcuffed at all
times on the record of the trial," said Frobish.
The reasons for Thursday's hearing were insanity-related
documents that the state prosecutors are seeking to have made part of
the record in Urdiales' appeals.
Claire Labbe of the Illinois Attorney General's office
asked that the trial record be supplemented to include the documents
which dealt with the possibility of an insanity defense by Urdiales.
The defense attorneys in the appeals process filed
documents stating that they do not want the documents to become part of
"This document was not presented to the jury, it is not
in the common law transcript and was not filed with the circuit clerk's
office. We ask the court today to defer on this and let the state
Supreme Court order it be released," said Schuster.
"This court is the best place to decide this issue
because this court handled the document," said Labbe.
"I am persuaded by the state to release this document and
also the proceedings from today's hearings. In advance of trial I gave
counsel and the state a list of questions that would be asked of
potential jurors. Question number 20 was 'do you have any views on
insanity as a defense?' A follow-up question was 'in this case if the
defendant has said he was insane could you find him not guilty by
insanity?' This document was read to the jury after being approved by
the defense and state. Jurors were selected one person at a time," said
"The defendant also offered to plead guilty by insanity
when the jury was deliberating. I asked his defense attorneys why he
wanted to plead guilty when the jury was deliberating and the attorneys
told me that he was making the offer over their objections," said the
"What the defense is really trying to do here is to have
it both ways. First you wanted an insanity defense and now you want it
excluded. There was no error made by the court here or when the state
pointed out in closing arguments at the trial Mr. Urdiales was not
insane. The defense is dead wrong on this issue," said Frobish.