Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales

April 1, 1997—Another Lucky Break


On April 1, 1997, Officer Fryer received a call about a man and a woman fighting at a motel, then known as the American Inn, at 4000 Calumet Avenue in Hammond. According to police, Urdiales told an officer that the woman, a prostitute, had stolen something from him. The prostitute, however, also known to the police, told Fryer that Urdiales was "kind of kinky" and that the altercation arose because Urdiales had wanted to take the woman to Wolf Lake, handcuff her in the back of his pickup and have sex with her. Fryer told the prostitute, "Geez...don't do that. We're finding girls up there dead."

Map with Wolf Lake locator
Map with Wolf Lake locator

Fryer wrote a police report about the incident and filed it, but did not arrest Urdiales or the woman. Instead, he later ran a computer check on Urdiales that encompassed known infractions involving him in Hammond, including the November 1996 incident involving the unauthorized possession of a handgun. Fryer then wrote a supplemental report that included all of the information he knew about Urdiales to date, and forwarded it to the detective division. Because Fryer had made the Wolf Lake connection to the murdered prostitutes, copies of the reports were in turn forwarded to homicide detectives with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) with the hope that the information might be useful to them. Following their review of the documents, CPD Detective Don McGrath asked Hammond police for Urdiales' confiscated revolver.

Upon receipt of the weapon, McGrath took it to a gun expert. After a thorough examination, the ballistics test results showed that it was the same gun that had been used to kill Laura Uylaki, Cassandra Corum, and Lynn Huber. McGrath now knew for certain that he had a serial killer on his hands.

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