‘Honeybee Killer’: Case Closed?

UPDATED 12/14/10 5:17 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A downstate man suspected of being the “honeybee killer” apparently tried to kidnap a prostitute in Chicago just hours before he was killed with his own gun while trying to rob an Orland Park tanning salon over the weekend.

Gary Amaya, 48, tried to handcuff and tie up a prostitute Friday night in Chicago, but she escaped, leaving her purse behind in Amaya’s pickup truck, police sources said.

Amaya might have tried to shoot the woman as she was running away.

Police found the purse, along with handcuffs and rope, inside Amaya’s pickup truck after he was shot and killed by a customer, Jason McDaniel, while trying to rob L.A. Tan in the 15600 block of South 94th Avenue in Orland Park.

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Sources have told CBS 2 News that authorities have determined that Amaya’s gun was the same weapon used in the so-called “honeybee shootings” in October.

Amaya also physically resembles the sketch of the killer that was released by police.

The Will County sheriff’s office would not officially confirm that information on Tuesday, and a spokeswoman said detectives are still working on the investigation.

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The “Honeybee Killer” shot at three construction workers near Beecher, Ill. killing one of them, and later shot and wounded a farmer in Lowell, Ind.

Orland Park is northwest of the Illinois-Indiana border area where an unknown gunman struck in the October attacks. Those drew national attention after the gunman asked one victim about honeybees.

Meanwhile, the man who shot Amaya is being called a hero. Jason McDaniel walked into the robbery in progress at the tanning salon and found one woman tied up. McDaniel says he tried to talk to Amaya, but he wouldn’t listen.

McDaniel says he told the man with the gun he had a baby daughter at home. But he didn’t care.

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The gunman told him, “You know what time it is.”

And McDaniel says he knew that meant somebody was going to die. That what was happening wasn’t just a robbery.

“Well, you know what was running through my head? All the negatives. No mask. Nobody wants to leave a witness after they see your face, of course,” McDaniel said. “What was running through my mind was how big that gun was. And he was holding the trigger. I was watching all that. And I said (to myself), as soon as I get the opportunity I have to do something or we’re all in trouble.”

McDaniel says he went for the gun when the gunman put it down for an instant.

And when McDaniel went home, “I cried. Cried and held my daughter.”

On Monday, investigators from Will County and from Lake County, Ind., searched Amaya’s home in the isolated, downstate hamlet of Rankin, Ill.

One of those injured in the October shootings hopes that Amaya was his attacker — because then he won’t have to worry that the gunman still is roaming free.

The “honeybee” gunman shot 64-year-old Indiana farmer Keith Dahl after first chatting with him about raising honeybees.

“Sure it would help, not just for me but for everybody,” said Dahl. “I think everybody worried about what could happen if this guy showed up again.”

Also Monday, Brian Dorian, the Lynwood police officer who was wrongly accused in the honeybee killings issued a posting on his Facebook page: “I have been praying every single night that they catch this guy since this first happened and for peace and closure to these poor victims.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

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  • FR

    Looks like Jason McDaniel might be a good presidential candidate as well as a true hero.

    • warren

      too bad honest, caring people can’t be president.

  • mike kerrigan

    good guys 1 – bad guys 0

  • RT


  • jeff

    The Honey bee guy was not expecting a muscular man to come into the shop when he started his plan. All I can say is Mcdaniel handled his business. In a situation like he was given everything is happening so fast and you have to think quickly go out fighting. Outstanding job!

  • southside

    Is this guy the nut case who did the Lane Bryant murders a couple of years back?

  • newsreader

    I have heard 3 VERY different accounts re: the prostitute.

    Go read the Tribune story where the prostitute claims he fired a gun at her; the Sun-Times story revealed he only said “give it up” and took her purse.

    This story is the 3rd different account.

    Does anybody know what really happened?

  • dm

    Someone needs to buy that man a beer. Hell, I’ll do it myself. Glad no one was hurt. Well, except the bad guy. Too bad the good guy didn’t have his own gun. Would have been safer for him, but this is Illinois after all.
    Unfortunately, the Lane Bryant killer had, shall we say, a different description, so this ain’t him.

  • Casinoboi

    Well Done by any chance you interested in law enforcement we could use about a billion of you guys but I for one will settle on a couple. I’m a criminal justice major I’d love the back up. If not thank you for your service & I vote for the highest honor a civilian can have be given to you. Take A Bow

  • bullmontana

    You did good, Jason. Given the opportunity I and many others would have done the same thing. I live about 13 miles east of Rankin. Never heard of this guy before. You did what you had to do – it was you or him. Have no regrets. I’m glad you came through the ordeal OK.

  • linda

    It’s too bad the the police sketch and Gary Amaya don’t look anything alike! Come on now, Amaya looks like a linebacker and the sketch looks like a much smaller man with no facial resemblenace!!! Perhaps Amaya was the Lane Bryant murderer since no one was able to give a description of that man!

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  • Megh

    oh my god i need to learn how to use a gun. i never want to react the way that receptionist did.

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