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Man who got away with murder charged with perjury

October 24, 1997 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Mel Ignatow was just a couple weeks from freedom after five years in prison on federal perjury charges. Prosecutors, however, planned to keep him in jail because they believe he got away with murder.

A grand jury indicted Ignatow Thursday on state perjury charges and a $40,000 bond was set. That should be enough to keep Ignatow in custody beyond his scheduled Oct. 31 release from a federal prison in Michigan, prosecutor Dave Stengel said.

Ignatow, 59, is infamous in Kentucky for a crime for which he was acquitted _ the brutal torture slaying and rape of his 36-year-old fiancee, Brenda Sue Schaefer.

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After film surfaced showing him torturing Ms. Schaefer, he could not be retried for murder because of constitutional protections against double jeopardy.

In 1988, Ms. Schaefer failed to return from a date with Ignatow, a Louisville businessman. His former girlfriend, Mary Ann Shore-Inlow, testified that she took pictures as Ignatow tied Ms. Schaefer to a coffee table, sodomized her and killed her.

Despite her testimony, Ignatow was acquitted. One juror said there simply wasn’t enough evidence to link Ignatow to the crime.

Ten months later, the owners of Ignatow’s former home found the film in a heating duct.

In 1992, Ignatow pleaded guilty to the federal perjury charge for lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury.

Now, state prosecutors want to try Ignatow for lying during testimony in the 1989 trial of Ms. Schaefer’s employer, who was convicted of harassing Ignatow after her death. Ignatow could face another 10 years in prison if convicted.

Stengel said his office had received pleas from the public to prevent Ignatow’s impending release.

``We get calls from citizens every day. One today just said, ’Please, do the right thing,‴ Stengel said Thursday.

In an interview with a Louisville television station, Ignatow said he wasn’t surprised about prosecutors’ renewed interest in him.

``I wouldn’t be surprised at anything they would try to do but ... it doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to accomplish what they’re going to try.″