FILE – This undated photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows Thomas Kokoraleis. The convicted killer who is suspected of being a member of the infamous “Ripper Crew”, who brutally murdered as many as 20 women in the 1980s.
(Illinois Department of Corrections via AP)
CANTON, Ill. – CHICAGO-A member of “The Ripper Crew” – a sadistic cult who stalked the streets of Chicago in a red-orange, in the 1980s looking for women to kidnap, torture, maim and kill, was released Friday from an Illinois prison after serving only 35 years of a 70-year sentence.
Thomas Kokoraleis, now 58, is one of the four men accused of being part of a satanic sect responsible for the sex slayings of up to 20 women as well as the fatal shooting of a man.
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Kokoraleis was convicted in 1982 of the murder of 21-year-old Lorraine “Lorry” Ann Borowski. A judge sentenced him to life in prison, rejecting plaintiffs ‘ request for the death penalty. But a state appeals court voided the conviction in 1986, citing legal errors.
The court ordered a new trial, and Kokoraleis pleaded guilty in exchange for a 70-year prison sentence.
A warning of Illinois’ victim-notification system was issued at 6:22 pm, Friday to brands Kokoraleis had been released. His whereabouts are not immediately known, but he has three days to register at a new address. According to the state, address, public registry as part of Illinois’ sex offender registry.
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Kokoraleis had taken place at the medium security Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton, about 30 miles west of Peoria in central Illinois.
Kokoraleis’s younger brother Andrew was executed by lethal injection more than two decades ago at the age of 35. The other two defendants in the case have been exhausted, an appeal will already be eligible for parole when he is 89 years old.
Mark Borowski, the brother of the Truck Ann Borowski who was abducted after walking a few blocks in the full daylight of her apartment to work, told The Chicago Tribune: “There is nothing else that we can do. We fought as hard as we could. I can’t even imagine that someone would be able to get.”
Psychiatrists and psychologists who have experience with Kokoraleis said that he is not sexually violent, and painted him as a hapless follower with a low IQ who, in the investigation of the police to help his brother.
“There is nothing else that we can do. We fought as hard as we could. I can’t even imagine that someone would be able to get.”
— Mark Borowski, the brother of the victim’s Truck Ann Borowski
The police and the prosecutor to rebut the idea and say Kokoraleis is a dangerous man who admitted in detail to be present during the three attacks, including the one against Borowski. During the trial, Kokoraleis claimed he made the details in his taped confession, but prosecutors claimed that he’s not smart enough to remember the details, if he is not actually present.
Jason Sweat, spokesman for the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, said the state is required by law to a release Kokoraleis because he had the maximum possible amount of time on his punishment. Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess said Friday Kokoraleis not more under the agency supervision.
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Kokoraleis does not follow the typical parole conditions because he completed the mandatory supervised release period in prison.
Family members of a number of victims who fought back in when they heard the end of 2017 of Kokoraleis’ expected release. Their efforts led to a period of 18 months delay his first parole date.
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Attorney Gloria Allred said in a press release that the victim’s family members scheduled at a Friday afternoon press conference at a suburban Chicago hotel to speak about Kokoraleis’ release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.