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Video Released of Suspected 'Honeybee Killer' Shooting

Video Released of Suspected 'Honeybee Killer' Shooting

Surveillance Video Capture

Chicago Tribune via Yellowbrix

December 17, 2010

LAKE COUNTY, IL – Until he walked into an Orland Park tanning salon Saturday carrying rope and a Colt .38 Special revolver, Gary Amaya’s name had never surfaced in the hunt for the “honeybee” killer, authorities said Thursday.

Amaya, 48, was killed Saturday with his own weapon by a heroic L.A. Tan customer not long after telling a 19-year-old female employee, “I’m going to make this comfortable for you” as her hands were bound, police said.


Gary Amaya. (AP Photo/Orland Park Police Department)

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas confirmed Thursday that ballistic testing on Amaya’s .38 Special — which had the serial numbers filed off — matched slugs taken from the October shootings in Illinois and Indiana that left one dead and two seriously wounded.

And a Lowell, Ind., farmer “unequivocally identified” Amaya as the man who shot and robbed him of about $60 after asking about honeybees, said Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

But authorities are awaiting the results of forensics evidence testing — including on DNA — before they will definitively say whether Amaya was behind the “honeybee” shootings. Police charged a Lynwood police officer with murder in connection with the case in October, then dropped the charges days later.

Amaya’s motives remain a mystery. Authorities haven’t recovered any journals or other writings, and interviews with his family, friends and a former employer have failed to shed any light on the matter.

“Nobody can give us a clear motive, not a possible motive, no motive at all,” Kaupas said.

Police have had difficulty tracking Amaya’s movements because he didn’t use credit cards. Amaya is originally from south suburban Sauk Village, which explains why he seemed to have at least some familiarity with the area despite living in tiny downstate Rankin, police said.

Kaupas said Amaya moved there in 2006, leaving a Morris hunting lodge where he had been caretaker for about a decade to join his mother, who was dying of cancer.


Photo courtesy Will County Sheriff's

Amaya had helped care for honeybees while at the Morris hunting lodge, Kaupas confirmed.

Authorities apparently found little of use when they searched Amaya’s Rankin home this week, though Kaupas later said investigators were still sorting through items to see if Amaya was linked to other crimes.

Among the items found were clothing, rope, ammunition, a shotgun that had been taken apart and a rifle, a Will County Sheriff’s spokesman said.

In the light blue Chevy pickup Amaya left outside the tanning salon, police found handcuffs, rope, a baseball hat and a skullcap, Kaupas said.

They also found a purse that belonged to a Chicago prostitute who said Amaya robbed her and fired a gun at her on the West Side just hours before he entered the Orland Park tanning salon.

The woman told police she ran from Amaya’s truck after he tried to handcuff her.

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