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Victims’ Family Outraged By Parole of Killer Linked to Daughter’s Slaying

January 6, 1990 GMT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ The parents of a murder victim said Saturday they are outraged by a legal system that paroled the killer who police say killed their daughter and 10 other women.

″He should suffer like my baby did,″ said Diane Stanisci, the mother of 29-year-old Elizabeth Gibson, hose body was found Nov. 27 outside Rochester.

Arthur J. Shawcross, 44, was charged with murdering eight women in the Rochester area since March 1988. Police say he is linked to three other slayings, including Miss Gibson’s. Those will be presented to a grand jury.

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Most of the deaths have been tied to prostitution or drugs; most of the victims had been strangled.

Shawcross settled in Rochester after he was paroled from prison in 1987. He was convicted of strangling an 8-year-old girl in 1972 in Watertown, 150 miles northeast of here. He served 15 years of a 25-year sentence before he was paroled on his seventh attempt.

″The punishment should fit the crime,″ said Bruno Stanisci, Miss Gibson’s father. ″I think that after killing that little girl, his life should have been taken. What about the rights of the people who are dead?″

New York state does not have a death penalty.

Police had been investigating the deaths or disappearances of 16 women, but now say that five of the slayings are not related to the others.

″That hurts me,″ said Alnora Carter, the mother of 27-year-old Jacqueline Dicker, whose killing last summer has not been linked to Shawcross.

″If they don’t find nobody that murdered my daughter, I don’t know what I’m going to do.″

Shawcross seemed to be leading a normal life since he was released from prison April 30, 1987, said Edward Elwin, executive director of the state’s parole division. He kept regular appointments with parole officers and worked for a food service company.

″Since he was paroled, he lived a very conforming life as far as parole was concerned,″ Elwin said.

Police said Shawcross became a suspect when investigators in a state police helicopter spotted Shawcross’ car close to where a victim’s body was recovered.

Elwin said he expects a public outcry over Shawcross’ parole, but he defended the decision to release Shawcross.

If Shawcross had not been paroled in 1987, he would have been automatically released from prison last year because of good behavior during his jail term.

″You can say, ‘I can hold him for another two years’. Or you can say, ’He has been good for 15 years. What good will it do to keep him two more?‴ said Elwin.

Shawcross pleaded innocent Friday to the eight murder charges and was ordered held without bail.

″I feel better knowing they got him, but I don’t feel better knowing what they’re going to do with him,″ Dianne Stanisci said in a telephone interview.

″He’s going to go to jail and the taxpayers are going to have to support him,″ she said.