Speck's mother and stepfather had separated, and his stepfather had moved to California.
Speck stopped using the name Richard Franklin Lindberg when he got married and began using the name Richard Franklin Speck.
Speck worked as a laborer for the 7-Up bottling company in Dallas for almost three years, from August 24, 1960 to July 19, 1963.
In October 1961, Speck met 15-year-old Shirley Annette Malone at the Texas State Fair.
Speck loathed his often drunk and frequently absent stepfather, who psychologically abused him with insults and threats. High School in part because he refused to recite in class because of a lifelong fear of people staring at him.
Speck, a poor student who needed glasses for reading but refused to wear them, struggled through Dallas public schools from fourth through eighth grade, repeating eighth grade at J. In autumn 1957, Speck started ninth grade at Crozier Technical High School, but failed every subject, and did not return for the second semester in January 1958, dropping out just after his 16th birthday.
When Speck's daughter, Robbie Lynn, was born on July 5, 1962, his wife did not know where Speck was.
The 21-year-old Speck was convicted of forgery and burglary and sentenced to three years in prison.The police traced the car to Speck and issued a warrant for his arrest for burglary on March 8.An arrest, his 42nd in Dallas, would mean another prison term, so on March 9, 1966, Speck's sister Carolyn drove him to the Dallas bus depot, where he caught a bus to Chicago, Illinois.Speck had begun drinking alcohol at age 12 and by age 15 was getting drunk almost every day.His first arrest, in 1955 at age 13, for trespassing, was followed by dozens of others for misdemeanors over the next eight years.The family moved to Monmouth shortly after Speck's birth.