The killer convicted of murdering a Rockford paperboy has died behind bars.
Joey Didier was raped and strangled by Robert Lower in 1975, when he was 15 years old. For the Didiers, his death will now help them move on from a painful incident they have had to relive 19 times, every time Lower was up for parole. They would have had to petition again in 2019.
“My phone was beeping and I had listened to the message and it was just like, wow,” said Diane Didier-Adolphson, Joey Didier’s sister. “I just started crying because it was emotional. We’ve been waiting for this news for quite a few years now. It’s bittersweet.”
“The crimes that were perpetrated against him were just tragic and that’s never going to bring him back. We can’t live in the past and the negativity. Joey’s in a better place right, he’s happy.”
After her parents passed, she took it into her own hands to keep Lower in jail. She says Lower’s passing brings relief, but she’s forever grateful to the community that supported her and her family, signing their petitions to keep Lower behind bars.
“There’s so many wonderful people out there that just make sure your journey and your gut feeling, you know, we have to do this. You have to forge ahead and Joey would want us to do this, and especially my mom and dad would want us to do this because we wouldn’t want any other family to go what we went through.”