An Elgin man who killed, dismembered and dumped his mother into Lake Michigan and a Chicago lagoon — act that a judge said demonstrated “irretrievable depravity” — was sentenced Monday to 75 years in prison.

Before he was sentenced, Brian Peck, 60, repeated the story he told at his trial in February — that he killed Gail Peck, 76, in self-defense in 2017 after his mother attacked him with a knife in a bedroom in the Elgin townhouse where they lived.

Peck admitted he cut up his mother’s body and placed the remains in suitcases to dispose of them because he didn’t think police would believe his self-defense story.

Peck’s account did not get a sympathetic ear from Cook County Judge Joseph Cataldo.

“What kind of a human being could look at their mother … and dismember her body like that?” Cataldo asked.

A jury listened to Peck testify for four hours, but only needed two hours of deliberations to find him guilty of first-degree murder, dismemberment and concealment of a homicide.

In victim statements given before sentencing, friends of Gail Peck remembered her as a lively person who enjoyed dining out and going to shows at the Drury Lane Theatre.

Sherry Orrcio, a friend of Gail Peck’s, called Brian “a horrible human.”

“How could you value your mother so cheaply,” she asked.

In his statement before sentencing, Peck said, “I loved my mother with all my heart and soul,” and that he had moved in with her and paid all her bills after she started having financial problems. Peck also told the judge that he could still contribute to society, and said he had devised a long-range hybrid jet engine.

He also said he had devised a “gravity bomb” capable of creating small black holes. He said it was “his greatest invention.”

Peck had several prior convictions for domestic violence involving Gail Peck, who was a single mother and Peck her only child.

The judge sentenced Peck to 50 years for the murder, and consecutive terms of 20 years and five years for the dismemberment and concealment charges.

Peck killed his mother in October 2017 and then reported to police she had gone missing while taking their dog for a walk. But in the days after her disappearance, a fisherman in Chicago’s Lincoln Park lagoon hooked a suitcase containing the victim’s body parts, which led to the charges against Peck.

Evidence was presented at the trial that linked Peck to the suitcases and other items he purchased to dispose of the woman’s remains.

Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter for The Courier News.



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