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updated: 8/24/2011 5:34 AM

DuPage to dismiss charges against killer

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  • Paul Runge, formerly of Carol Stream, is believed to have killed seven people. Prosecutors are dropping charges in the July 1995 slayings of two sisters in Hanover Park.

      Paul Runge, formerly of Carol Stream, is believed to have killed seven people. Prosecutors are dropping charges in the July 1995 slayings of two sisters in Hanover Park.

 

DuPage County prosecutors plan to dismiss two cases today against a man suspected or convicted in seven Chicago-area serial killings, State's Attorney Robert Berlin confirmed.

Paul Runge, 41, formerly of Carol Stream, has been awaiting trial for the July 1995 slayings of two sisters in Hanover Park, who were among seven alleged victims.

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On Tuesday, Berlin confirmed his office plans to dismiss charges against Runge today, but he declined to comment until the move could be presented to a judge. Runge attorney Neil Levine also had no immediate comment.

Runge already is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for raping and killing Yolanda Gutierrez, 35, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica Muniz, in their Chicago apartment in 1997.

In March, Cook County prosecutors dismissed additional charges against Runge for the 1995 murder of 24-year-old Stacey Frobel of Carol Stream, and the 1997 killings of Chicago residents Dorota Dziubak, 30, and Kazimiera Paruch, 43. At the time, they cited Gov. Pat Quinn's decision days earlier to abolish the death penalty and commute the sentences of 15 death row inmates, including Runge.

Runge is accused in the DuPage case of murdering sisters Dzeneta Pasanbegovic, 22, and Amela Pasanbegovic, 20, who had emigrated to Hanover Park after fleeing war-torn Bosnia.

Although the sisters' bodies were never found, authorities said Runge has confessed he handcuffed, bludgeoned, raped, tortured and strangled the women after hiring them to clean his home, then in Glendale Heights. Authorities said Runge began killing in January 1995 after he was paroled early from a 14-year prison term for raping and beating a 14-year-old girl during a 15-hour span inside his family's home. He confessed to the subsequent murders in 2001, after advancements in DNA technology led to him as a suspect, authorities said.

Following his conviction in the Gutierrez and Muniz murders in Cook, Runge's other five cases had been delayed while he appealed, albeit unsuccessfully.

Runge is in custody at Pontiac Correctional Center, according to state records, and is not expected to appear in court today.

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