Chicago "Lipstick Killer" William Heirens Dies

Heirens confessed to killing two women in 1945 and a 6-year-old girl in 1946

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    AP
    FILE - In this July 2, 1946 file photo, William Heirens, center, a 17-year-old University of Chicago student, sits in a Chicago courtroom being questioned in connection with slaying of 6-year-old Suzanne Degnan. He is flanked by Chief of Detectives Walter Storms, right, and police Sgt. Tim O'Donnell. Heirens, who was dubbed the "Lipstick Killer" after three murders in Chicago in the 1940s and who became Illinois longest-serving inmate, died Monday, March 5, 2012, at a Chicago hospital. He was 83. (AP Photo, File)

     An 83-year-old man who was dubbed the "Lipstick Killer" after three murders in Chicago in the 1940s and who became Illinois' longest-serving inmate has died.

    The Cook County medical examiner's office told the Chicago Tribune William Heirens died Monday at a Chicago hospital after officials at Dixon Correctional Center found him unresponsive in his cell. An autopsy is planned.

    Heirens was a 17-year-old University of Chicago student and petty burglar when he confessed to killing two women in 1945 and a 6-year-old girl in 1946. The child's remains were scattered in Chicago's sewers.

    Investigators at one of the women's homes found a message scrawled in lipstick that read: "For heaven's sake, catch me before I kill more."

    Heirens later said he'd only confessed to avoid the electric chair.