Saturday, March 02, 2002

Laskey's parole opposed

Correspondents line up unanimously against murderer

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More than 400 people have sent letters and e-mails to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office urging the state parole board to deny parole to the man police believe is the Cincinnati Strangler.

        Posteal Laskey Jr., 64, has been incarcerated for the murder of a Price Hill secretary since 1967.

        Although Mr. Laskey, a one-time cab driver, laborer and bass guitarist, was never charged or convicted except in the one case, authorities believe he is responsible for one of the most infamous series of killings in Cincinnati history.

        Six women between the ages of 51 and 81, in Clifton, Walnut Hills, Price Hill and downtown were found strangled, some raped, over the course of a year beginning in December 1965.

        Mr. Laskey was convicted of killing Barbara Rose Bowman, 31, who was choked and stabbed.

        His ninth hearing before the Ohio Adult Parole Authority will take place Tuesday at Orient Correctional Facility near Columbus.

        On Friday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said citizen response has been overwhelmingly against Mr. Laskey's release.

        “The public is resolute on this issue. They demand that Posteal Laskey be kept in prison for the rest of his life. There is not a single exception in communication from the public,” he said.

        Some of the correspondence, he added, is among the “most strongly worded comments this office has received regarding any defendant at any time.”

        The amount of response shows how deeply Cincinnati was affected by these incidents, Mr. Allen said. His office expects to receive as many as 500 letters.

        In most parole hearings, the prosecutor's office receives about 50-100 messages. The only other case that received this kind of volume of response was the parole case of Percy Wilson in December.

        Mr. Wilson was convicted of the 1979 murder of Cincinnati police Officer Melvin Henze. In that case, about 400 letters of dissent were received. Mr. Wilson's parole was denied.

        Copies of the letters have been forwarded to the parole board for consideration during Mr. Laskey's hearing. More correspondence is expected to be delivered to the board on Monday, officials said.

        To send e-mail to the parole board regarding Mr. Laskey, go to the prosecutor's Web site.


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