UPDATE (3/27/14): - The Illinois Prisoner Review Board denies parole for Curtis Brownell.
The PRB recommended unanimously that Brownelll be denied parole. He'll have another chance in five years.
Robert Lower's parole was also denied earlier this year.
ROCKFORD - Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato speaks out about four convicted killers who could be released from prison.
Robert Lower, Curtis Brownell, Calvin Madison, and Simon Peter Nelson are all due for a parole hearing. Lower's parole will be discussed Thursday. Bruscato says he will testify at all four hearings to make sure they continue serving in prison.
All four men were convicted in the 70s.
Lower killed 15 year-old Joey Didier in 1975. Didier was a newspaper carrier who vanished during one of his shifts. His body was found in a cabin in Jo Daviess County. Didier had been sexually assaulted and hung. Lower was sentenced to 100-150 years in prison.
Brownell has been in prison since 1978. He kidnapped 17 year-old Louise Betts while she was trying to hitch a ride home in 1977. Brownell picked her up. Her body was found several months after she disappeared in a field in Boone county. Brownell also kidnapped a pregnant woman from a Rockford laundromat and sexually assaulted her. She and her baby survived. Brownell is serving a sentence of 100-300 years. His parole hearing is in March.
Madison killed John Hogan at a gas station in 1970. Hogan was a gas station attendant. Madison was robbing the place. Madison then took Hogan to the station's bathroom and shot him several times in the head. He's serving a sentence of 75-150 years in prison. Madison's parole hearing is set for March.
Nelson murdered six of his own kids in 1978. He said the violent crime was sparked when his wife told him over the phone she wanted a divorce. None of the kids were even teenagers. Nelson is serving a 100-200 year sentence. His hearing will take place this summer.
"Our community and the surrounding areas have not forgotten about these horrible crimes" says Bruscato. "One of the best ways to [keep them in prison] is to collect petitions and other communications and put them in front of the Prisoner Review Board because I believe that they take that into account."