The family and friends of Eric Glover and Terrence O. Rankins are grieving after the two were found dead in a Joliet home Thursday. Emily Florez reports for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.
Police say four young adults — one the son of a Joliet police sergeant — lured two friends to a house, robbed and strangled them and then played video games until police arrived.
After attempting to dismember the bodies Thursday afternoon, the suspects “continued the party atmosphere,” Police Chief Mike Trafton said.
“This is one of the most brutal, heinous and upsetting things I’ve ever seen in my 27 years of law enforcement,” Trafton said Friday. “Not only the crime scene, but the disregard for common decency toward human beings.”
Adam M. Landerman, 19; Alisa R. Massaro, 18; Bethany L. McKee, 18; and Joshua F. Miner, 24, were charged about 4 p.m. Friday with six counts of first-degree murder for the Thursday deaths of Eric Glover, 22, and Terrence O. Rankins, 22, at Massaro’s house, 1121 N. Hickory St. All four are being held in lieu of $10 million bail.
Police were notified about 4 p.m. Thursday about two dead bodies at the house, and officers noticed movement inside the house so they went in, Trafton said. He said Landerman, Massaro and Miner were playing video games and were “very much surprised” when police came in. McKee had left before police arrived but was picked up by authorities in Kankakee, police said.
Autopsies performed Friday by the Will County coroner’s office determined that Glover and Rankins were strangled. Police would not say who is suspected of physically killing them.
Police Cmdr. Brian Benton said detectives believe Glover and Rankins were robbed of money they’d brought with them to the house, and no one besides the suspects and victims were present.
All four are charged under a theory of accountability for planning and participating in the robbery that led to the deaths of Glover and Rankins, State’s Attorney James Glasgow said.
Trafton confirmed that Landerman is the son of Joliet police Sgt. Julie Larson, who did not participate in the investigation.
Phillip Massaro, Alisa Massaro’s father, said he was in disbelief.
“All I can say is it’s a terrible thing that happened, and I can’t believe my daughter had anything to do with it,” he said in a brief telephone interview. “I don’t know what happened. I just don’t know what to say. I can’t really talk about it. I’m too devastated, and I can’t talk about it.”
Melodie Miner, the mother of Joshua Miner, also said she could not believe her son was involved in the killings, saying “there’s no way my son can do this.”
Police would not specify what evidence has been recovered, but two vehicles were impounded and a police dog searched the center median of Interstate 80 near Houbolt Road Friday afternoon as part of the investigation.
Miner was previously convicted of residential burglary and was arrested for criminal damage to property.
Glover was arrested by Joliet police in December 2009 on charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of ammunition and marijuana possession. He served three weeks in jail for reportedly failing to appear in court on those charges.
Glover was a solid student and three-sport athlete during his days at Joliet Central High School, reflecting the values of his parents and inspiring his younger brother, his family said Friday night.
“He was an excellent child in all senses of the word,” Bobby Jones, his stepfather, said. “If Eric was here today, which he is in spirit, I can see Eric smiling because I’ve always felt that way about him.”
“He was a good son, he always listened,” said Nicole Jones, his mother, as his family mourned his death at their Joliet home.
Glover graduated from Joliet Central in 2008, capping off a school career in which he made the honor roll several times and participated in football, wrestling and track. Earlier in his school years, Glover played basketball at Woodland Elementary School and basketball and wrestling at Washington Junior High School.
Glover also played in minor league football on the Bolingbrook Buccaneers and the Illinois Gators, his family said. His younger brother, Drakkar Williams, plays outside linebacker at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif.
“Besides my dad, he taught me most of the stuff that I know on the football field,” Williams said. “He taught me how to hit, he taught me to strive for my goals and to never give up in adversity.”
Mark Johnson, of Joliet, another younger brother, said Glover was a positive person, a good influence who did not want his siblings getting in trouble and a funny person with a good personality.
“The last thing I said to him was, ‘I love you,’ and he gave me a hug,” Johnson said. “For something like this to happen is tragic for our family. We’ve got to stick together and take it day by day.”