ROCKFORD -- Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato will travel to Springfield Thursday to insure one of the city's most notorious killers stays behind bars.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board will hold a hearing for Simon Peter Nelson on whether he should be granted parole.
Nelson was convicted of killing his six children and the family dog with a knife and rubber mallet back in 1978. Nelson said he snapped after he got off the phone with his wife, who apparently told him she wanted a divorce.
After killing his children ranging in age from 12 to 3, Nelson drove to Milwaukee where he was captured by police. He was convicted and sentenced to 100 to 200 years in prison and became eligible for parole in 1986.
The fact that a State's Attorney needs to spend so much time and effort on the possibility of parole for a man who committed such heinous crimes is a frustration for both prosecutors and the family members of their victims. Bruscato has sought ways in the past to extend the periods between parole hearings for those sentenced to long terms for brutal crimes to lower the impact on victims' families.
For instance, during the parole hearing for convicted child killer Robert Lower, the family of the victim collected thousands of signatures opposing Lower's parole. In part because of their efforts, the parole board agreed not to reconsider Lower's parole for another five years rather than the typical three year period.
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