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Column

Will Starved Rock murderer be released soon?

Parole board already let one mass killer go

An editorial in a major newspaper caught my attention today. The editorial reported on an Illinois mass killer walking free after the Illinois Parole Board, the same board that will be deciding Chester Weger’s fate in the fall of this year, by an 8-to-4 vote decided that this mass killer could be paroled immediately and, at the end of the month of April, began walking the streets as a free man.

In my opinion, at the next parole board meeting, Chester Weger, the Starved Rock murderer, will come before this same board and will likely be free and walking the streets of LaSalle, Peru and Oglesby, never having admitted killing anyone, taking away from their families the three ladies who provided no reason to anyone to beat them to death as Chester Weger did in 1960.

Carl Reimann is the mass killer who was released by the parole board on an 8-to-4 vote. For those of you who are not aware of who that man is or what he did, let me just quickly say that he is a monster. This man, along with his girlfriend, visited a Yorkville steakhouse with a semiautomatic pistol, took $640 from the cash register, and took money from the five people who were the only customers in the restaurant at that time.

No one in the restaurant gave this man any difficulty or reason to shoot his semiautomatic pistol methodically, carefully, and slowly, shooting all of the customers, all of whom died, including a 16-year-old child.

Can you image what the families of these five victims felt like the day that this parole board authorized the release of this maniac? This maniac was released, after originally being confined and convicted in 1972, from the Dixon Correctional Center. This is the same facility in which the Starved Rock murderer, Chester Weger, is currently imprisoned.

Reimann’s confinement began in 1972, 12 years after the Starved Rock murderer’s confinement. Can anyone believe that this board releasing this killer would do anything other than release another killer to the streets of our county?

Weger has never admitted to committing the Starved Rock murders. How can any reasonable person assume that Weger is in any way rehabilitated, since he has never acknowledged the murders he committed, nor shown any remorse, to the families of the three victims, who for the past 50 years have been in a state of grief from husbands all the way down to great-grandchildren for the unnecessary void of their beloved wives, mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers in their lives.

I have been in the justice system for almost 60 years, both in the criminal and civil areas. I truly believe that both the civil and criminal systems of justice in this state are not what they should be. The invasion of the justice system has been regular and consistent by non-lawyers, politicians, groups such as the NRA, Chambers of Commerce and yes, the parole boards.

While I am not certain, I will be surprised if any of the eight board members who voted to release Reimann, and who will vote to release Weger, have any legal background at all, or have had any tragedy or catastrophes happen in their lifetimes such as that which happened to the victims of Chester Weger and the five families victimized by the mass killer Reimann.

I will do what I have done for almost every year for the past 45 or 50 years come November. I will continue to write and be interviewed by the Illinois Parole Board members and will adamantly, and as forcibly as I can, object to the release of the Starved Rock murderer.

Note to readers: Anthony C. Raccuglia practices law in Peru and was the lead prosecuting attorney in Weger's murder trial.

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