Friday, June 13, 2003

Admitted killer loses chance for parole

By Charles Wolfe
The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Mel Ignatow, who was acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, then admitted he did it, was turned down Thursday for parole from a prison sentence for perjury.

The Kentucky Parole Board ordered Ignatow to spend at least two years, eight months more in prison before applying for parole again.

Ignatow began a nine-year sentence in January 2002. With current credit for good behavior and education, he would complete the sentence in December 2007, according to Department of Corrections records.

The perjury charge arose from Ignatow's complaint that Schaefer's employer, Dr. William Spalding, threatened him in a letter after Schaefer disappeared in 1988. Ignatow said Spalding thought he was responsible and hoped to provoke him into leading people to Schaefer's body.

Later, another of Ignatow's former girlfriends showed the FBI where Schaefer's body was buried and secretly tape-recorded Ignatow, who nevertheless was acquitted in 1991 of her killing.

The jury's verdict left prosecutors incredulous. A year later, new owners of Ignatow's former residence found Schaefer's jewelry in a heating duct, along with the camera film on which Ignatow documented her torture and death.

Tom and Mike Schaefer, the victim's brothers, said Ignatow missed another opportunity to apologize Thursday.

"What we saw today was vintage Ignatow - his arrogance and his thinking he could just pull one over on everybody," Mike Schaefer said.

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