JOLIET (AP) – Police say the strangulation and attempted dismemberment of two Illinois men, allegedly at the hands of four young adults, is one of the most heinous cases they’ve seen.
Three of the people arrested were playing video games when police arrived at a Joliet home, where the bodies of Eric Glover and Terrence Rankins were found Thursday.
“This is one of the most brutal, heinous and upsetting things I’ve ever seen in my 27 years of law enforcement,” Police Chief Mike Trafton said. “Not only the crime scene, but the disregard for common decency toward human beings.”
Police said Glover and Rankins, both 22 and from Joliet, were lured to the home of 18-year-old Alisa Massaro and then robbed and killed. Officers discovered the bodies of Glover and Rankins on Thursday when they were called to the home, where they found Massaro playing video games with Adam Landerman, 19, and Joshua Miner, 24.
The three, who are all from Joliet, were arrested on first-degree murder charges. Bethany McKee, 18, of Shorewood also faces first-degree murder charges. All are being held on $10 million bond and appeared in court Monday.
“It’s demonic,” Rankins’ mother, Jamille Kent, said. “This is evil.”
Joliet is a city of about 150,000 people located about 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.
Trafton said Massaro, Landerman and Miner were “very much surprised” when police walked in on them Thursday. McKee had left the house but police arrested her later in nearby Kankakee.
Kent said her son and Glover had been friends for five years. Family members said they called police Thursday night after they hadn’t heard from the two since Wednesday.
“It’s just senseless,” Glover’s mother Nicole Jones said. “It’s hard for me to say the words.”
Glover graduated from Joliet Central High School and had made the honor roll and participated in football, wrestling and track, his family said. Rankins, described as “a very outgoing, loving, fun person” by his mother, gradwuated from Joliet West High School.
Phillip Massaro, Alisa Massaro’s father, said in a brief phone interview with The Herald-News in Joliet that 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. “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.”
Massaro’s lawyer, George Lenard, did not immediately return phone calls to The Associated Press for comment Monday. Charles Bretz, attorney for McKee, declined comment.
Public defenders for Landerman and Miner could not be reached. No one answered the phone at the public defender’s office in Will County.
Joshua Miner’s mother, Melodie Miner, told The Herald-News that “there’s no way my son can do this.” Miner previously was convicted of residential burglary, according to the newspaper.
Charles Pelkie, spokesman for the Will County State’s Attorney’s office, said State’s Attorney James Glasgow will personally prosecute the case, as he did in the case of Drew Peterson, the former police officer who was convicted of murdering his third wife.
Pelkie would not discuss any details about the investigation, but he did address the issue of race. While the two victims were black and the four suspects are white, Pelkie said there is no information at this point that indicates race was a factor in the killings of Glover and Rankins.
Also, Landerman’s mother, Julie Larson, is a Joliet police sergeant, but Pelkie said she will not be involved in the investigation of the case in any way.