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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



1981 Murder Solved
Ex-Wife Turns in Killer; Possible Gay Affair Behind Murder
by Brian Archey

This article shared 5273 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
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On March 16, 1981, Patrucinio Las Pinas, a native of the Philippines and a U.S. citizen since 1975, was found dead in Chicago's Riis Park, at 6320 W. Fullerton Ave., from multiple stab wounds.

The weapon was a large hunting knife that had been used to stab Las Pinas in his left arm, his forehead, the side of his head, and was finally left embedded in his skull—it had entered through his eye.

For more than two decades, investigators had no leads or suspects, until last June when the Grand-Central District police station received some new information.

Joseph Wenglarz's ex-wife, Debra, showed up at the police station, in June, and implicated him in the 1981 murder. The two had been married from 1982, on the day Debra gave birth to the first of their five children, until 1996. Wenglarz reportedly confided in Debra shortly after the murder—before they were married.

According to Cook County Assistant State's Atty. Michael McHale, Debra remained silent about the murder because she feared retribution from Wenglarz. She has claimed that a concern for her children's well being drove her to tell the authorities about her ex-husband's involvement in the murder.

Wenglarz and his ex-wife have been involved in a bitter custody battle since their divorce in 1996—records indicate that, during the divorce, Wenglarz accused his wife of severe, and continual, mental cruelty.

According to the State's Attorney's Office, Wenglarz, then 18, and Las Pinas, 40, had 'sexual encounters,' which reveals it was not an isolated incident of homosexual behavior, rather a pattern of sexual contact between the two. He then ambushed Las Pinas, walking home from the store, because he feared that their sexual relations would be exposed. After the stabbings, with the knife lodged in his skull, Las Pinas reportedly begged Wenglarz to remove the knife but Wenglarz left it in and fled the scene—leaving his occasional lover to bleed to death in the park.

Wenglarz was arrested Jan. 31, 2003, at his home in Newman, Ill., and appeared in Cook County bond court Feb. 4. Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Myles ordered Wenglarz, now 40, to be held without bond during the Violence Court hearing.

Wenglarz has made statements to police and prosecutors allegedly admitting to the gruesome stabbing of Las Pinas. Sources claim that a 12-page confession, detailing the incident, was signed.

Apparently his ex-wife wasn't the only person Wenglarz confided in because, according to McHale, Wenglarz's daughter and former brother-in-law have told authorities that he also admitted the murder to them—in the context of bragging.

Gay-related murders have increased since 1981, and the motives are usually the same: to keep a homosexual affair a secret, to punish someone for a perceived homosexual come-on, or to 'do the world a favor.' In Alabama, Billy Jack Gaither was beaten with an ax handle, thrown on kerosene-soaked tires, and set on fire. The suspects in the case confessed to the murder, claiming that Gaither had made unwanted sexual advances toward them. Wyoming's Matthew Shepard was beaten and crucified for similar reasons. In several cases, the murderer gets caught because they feel the need to boast about the slaying—which appears to be the case with Wenglarz, 22 years after the murder.

This article shared 5273 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
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