CHICAGO (CBS) — No more delays – Starved Rock killer Chester Weger is set to be released from prison next week.
For Chester Weger, 81, it will mark the first time he has been free since his arrest nearly six decades ago. He is serving his sentence at Pinckneyville Correctional Center.
In November, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board voted 9-4 to grant him parole. All 24 of Weger’s previous requests had been denied since 1972.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams Reports On Weger Being Granted Parole
Weger first confessed to killing three women at the Starved Rock State Park in March 1960. The headlines screamed: “Triple Killer Tells All,” and “Starved Rock Confession.”
Weger, then 21, told police he had murdered three middle-aged women from the Chicago suburbs, eight months after their badly beaten bodies were found at the Starved Rock State Park.
Weger was called the Starved Rock Killer. He was convicted of murdering Lillian Oetting at the state park. He also allegedly killed Oetting’s two companions, Mildred Lindquist and Frances Murphy, but was not tried for those murders after he was sentenced to life in prison.
The three women were found, partially nude, and bludgeoned to death in St. Louis Canyon. Media called it “the canyon of death” and the killings set off a national media frenzy.
Weger later insisted he had been coerced into making the confession. In multiple interviews with CBS 2’s John Drummond – the most recent in 2010 – Weger insisted that he was not involved in the killings.
He said he was coerced into making the confession — threatened, he told Drummond, by the sheriff.
Drummond said Weger said the sheriff told him, “‘You’re going to ride the thunderbolt, Chester!’ meaning he’s going to get the electric chair.”
In that 2010 interview, Drummond asked Weger, “Why not show some remorse – say you did it even if you didn’t and get out?”
Weger replied: “Why should I feel remorse then if I never killed them? I mean, I feel sorry for the people being dead, but I’m not going to admit that I done something I never done.”
Watch John Drummond’s 2010 Interview With Chester Weger
After the Prisoner Review Board granted Weger’s parole in November, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul tried to delay it.
But an evaluation found that Weger could not be held indefinitely as a violent sex offender.
Weger is scheduled to live at a halfway house on Chicago’s Near West Side.