Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
On August 21, 1976, Glueckert left her Mount Prospect home to attend a rock concert some 30 miles away on a farm outside Huntley. When she never returned home, a massive search began.
Based on interviews with witnesses and Barbara's friend, police pieced together what happened that night. On Saturday, Aug. 21, 1976, Barbara Glueckert was walking home from St. Raymond de Penafort Church around 5:30 p.m. when a man pulled up in a Buick Electra and asked her if she'd like to go to a party in Des Plaines. Barbara gave him her phone number. The man called her later and arranged to meet Barbara and a friend outside Jake's Pizza on Northwest Highway. The friend told her parents she would be going to a sleepover at Barbara's house. Barbara told her mother they would be at a party down the block.
At Jake's, they met the man, who identified himself as "Tom Edwards." He asked them if they'd like to go to a rock concert on a farm (near Huntley) instead of a party in Des Plaines. They said yes. While driving west on I-90, the girls grew alarmed by how creepy the man seemed and by the things he said. Once they arrived at the concert, Barbara wanted to hear the music. Her friend met a boyfriend. The girls split up.
As midnight approached, Barbara's friend found "Tom Edwards" and asked if he had seen Barbara. He told her Barbara had gone home with someone else. Would she like him to take her home? She said no and found another ride. She didn't realize she'd been lied to until later.
Police soon tagged Thomas Urlacher, the 24-year-old Algonquin man who drove the girls to the concert, as their chief suspect in Barbara's disappearance. Urlacher had a record of sexually assaulting young girls, most of whom declined to press charges. Authorities issued a warrant for Urlacher's arrest on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving alcohol to Barbara's friend. That's all the police had on him.
He was found with a letter he wrote that said he "put the girl in the ground ... Now I am going to go to jail for murder.” The suspect was extradited back to Illinois. On March 16, 1977, prosecutors dropped the charges. For 27 years, Urlacher avoided prosecution for murder, though the Glueckerts won a civil wrongful death case against him.
In April 2004, drug dealers shot and killed Urlacher in Pueblo, Colorado, during what police called a drug deal gone bad.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Mount Prospect Police Department
Beacon News - IL, USA
The Daily Herald