‘I’m shaking… this murderer is walking free:’ Suspected ‘Ripper Crew’ member released from prison
jessekarjalainen/iStock(CHICAGO) — Thomas Kokoraleis — a suspected member of Chicago’s “Ripper Crew” who went to prison for a woman’s 1982 murder — is now a free man.
Kokoraleis, 58, convicted of the murder of 21-year-old Lorraine “Lorry” Ann Borowski, was released from Illinois Department of Corrections custody Friday morning, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess told ABC News in an email.
“I’m shaking at the thought that this murderer is walking free among us. And without any legal restrictions except those imposed by the Illinois Sex Offender Reintegration Act,” Borowski’s younger brother, Mark Borowski, who was 12-years-old at the time of the killing, said at a news conference Friday.
“It makes me feel sick to my stomach,” said an emotional Mark Borowski.
The four-man “Ripper Crew” terrorized Chicago in the 1980s, killing up to 17 women in the area, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Lorraine “Lorry” Ann Borowski was abducted in broad daylight while walking from her apartment to work.
At Friday’s news conference, her mother, Lorraine Borowski, said her daughter was stabbed in the front and back with a glass ax.
Kokoraleis was sentenced to life in prison for the 1982 murder.
However, his conviction was “overturned based on the court improperly refusing to admit confessions of the co-defendants,” a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office told ABC News.
Kokoraleis then in 1987 agreed to a 70-year plea deal, the spokesman said.
“At the time, the law required the person incarcerated to get day for day credit for time served. That’s no longer the case, but at the time it was,” the spokesman said, so Kokoraleis served 35 years.
Kokoraleis was also given mandatory supervised release, which he served in the Department of Corrections, because it appeared he had nowhere to live, the spokesman said, so he served another 1.5 years.
“Kokoraleis completed his maximum sentence required by law and is no longer under IDOC supervision,” Hess said Friday, adding, “Kokoraleis will have to register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.”
One alleged “Ripper Crew” member has been executed and the other two remain in prison, according to the Tribune.
Now that Kokoraleis is free, Mark Borowski said he and his mother will always be looking over their shoulders. Mark Borowski said he’s “on edge”and will always be wondering if he’ll see his sister’s killer’s face on the street.
“I’m afraid,” said Lorraine Borowski.
“I will never understand how a man who was convicted of raping and murdering my daughter could be walking free in Illinois today. My daughter was an innocent victim,” she said. “Her murderer did not receive the justice that he deserved. But I believe in God and I have no doubt that God will deliver the final judgment.”
Kokoraleis has not made any threats to the family, attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the Borowski family, said at the news conference.
“Nothing could be done to prevent his release this morning,” she said.
Allred said Kokoraleis still has time left to register as a sex offender, so on Friday “he could be anywhere.”
Allred said she asked prosecutors if a no contact order is in place for Kokoraleis and the Borowski family, but “no such order exists because the murderer, Kokoraleis, has served his sentence and there is no case pending.”
Allred said she wants what she called a “flaw” in the Illinois law to be amended so that whomever is classified as a sex offender would have no contact with the victim, or the family of the victim if relatives request that order.
Mark Borowski said his sister is “my hero and my mentor and the best role model a brother could ever have. I’ll always miss her and never forget her.”
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