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Weger Gets Parole On 24th Try

Illinois Department of Corrections

The Illinois Prisoner Review Board approved parole for the man serving life in prison for the notorious “Starved Rock Murders” half a century ago.

Credit Illinois Department of Corrections

Chester Weger had his annual date with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. His 24th try at parole. This time, the Chicago Tribune reports it was granted with a 9-4 vote.

Now 80, Weger is one of the longest serving inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Retired reporter Steve Stout wrote a bookabout the case. He calls the parole board’s decision “wrong and foolish.”

“Chester Weger will always be a convicted killer in the Starved Rock Murder case," Stout said. "Today’s parole decision does not eliminate his guilt or change the status of his guilt in any way.”

In 1960, Weger was a 21-year-old father of two who occasionally worked at Starved Rock Lodge. He confessed to the murders of three women from Riverside, then later recanted; and he has insisted he’s innocent ever since. The three friends were on a hiking and birdwatching getaway at the park in Utica. The trial attracted national attention at the time because the crime was so brutal … and the women were considered “socialites,” married to Chicago business executives.

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Susan’s parents should have known she’d end up in radio: her favorite toys were tape recorders, cameras, notepads, and books. Many years later, she’s an award-winning reporter at her favorite radio station. Formerly WNIJ’s News Director, she asked to return to the role of full-time reporter/anchor/utility player in 2010 (less paperwork, more reporting!). Her #1 goal is to tell the most compelling stories in the fewest words possible…all the better if a little humor can be thrown into the mix. It should come as no surprise, then, that she can whip up a haiku for any occasion. She also enjoys the Detroit Tigers, learning pioneer skills (Gardening, canning, and the like. Just in case.), traveling with friends, and pretending she’s going to get around to playing her theremin.