CHICAGO (CBS) — The mayor of Aurora said he was blindsided that Thomas Kokoraleis, a convicted murderer and sex offender, is Aurora’s newest resident. He lives at Wayside Cross Ministries, and the mayor is calling it a risk the city shouldn’t have to take.
Busy parks and several schools all within close proximinty present concerns for Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
“In light of the unspeakable nature of the crimes committed by the Ripper Crew, I would hope that Wayside would reconsider the decision that brought Kokoraleis to Aurora,” Irvin wrote in a Facebook post.
Kokoraleis went to prison for the 1982 abduction, rape and murder of Lorry Ann Borowski.
He was part of the so-called Ripper Crew, which was responsible for the mutilation and murders of as many as 18 women.
Kokoraleis was released last week after serving half of his 70-year sentence.
Gustavo Salmeron owns the Mexican restaurant across the street from Wayside Cross Ministries.
“It’s concerning to me,” he said. “But there’s nothing I can change about it.
Salmeron said he worries not only for his business, but also for his daughters, who are often at the restaurant.
“Everybody deserves a second chance, but still you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I hope everything is going to be good. I hope everything is okay.”
The mayor also wrote, “As it stands from my perspective it is a risk the people have Aurora shouldn’t have to take.”
The recovery center responded, “Wayside Cross Ministries (WCM) did not seek out Thomas Kokoraleis upon his release from prison. He came to us seeking our help.”
The Department of Corrections has no issues with Wayside, which said about a third of its population is recently released inmates.