Illinois officials deny release for parole-eligible killer

Illinois authorities refused Friday to release a parole-eligible convicted murderer who is suspected of being part of the notorious “Ripper Crew” that brutally killed as many as 20 women in the 1980s, determining that he lacks an approved place to live.

Thomas Kokoraleis was scheduled to be released on parole after serving 35 years in prison for the 1982 slaying of a suburban Chicago woman. The Illinois Department of Corrections’ website still lists Friday as his release day.

Prisoners who are released on parole must have what is called an “approved host site,” meaning an address where parole officers can regularly find them. The Chicago Tribune reported Kokoraleis’ older brother said he will not be living with him or anyone else in the family.

Officials won’t be able to hold Kokoraleis indefinitely, even if he is unable to find a place to live. Sept. 30, 2020, is his discharge date, meaning the day he is no longer the responsibility of the corrections department or under the control of a parole office. And, just as his 70-year sentence was cut in half due to good behavior, his time on parole also could be reduced.

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