Suburban serial killer Mark Smith set to appear before parole board

A confessed serial killer who murdered two young women and a teenager in the suburbs in 1970 is scheduled to appear before a state parole board early next month.

Mark Alan Smith, who turns 75 later this month, will have a hearing before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board on July 3 to seek an early release from a 500-year sentence handed to him in 1971, a review board calendar shows.

The hearing comes after the board rejected Smith’s previous parole request in the fall of 2019.

Smith pleaded guilty to the killings of Jean Waldron Bianchi and Jean Ann Lingenfelter in McHenry County in 1971.

Bianchi, a 27-year-old mother of two, was kidnapped from a McHenry laundromat on Jan. 27, 1970, sexually assaulted, stabbed at least 17 times then left to drown under a bridge south of the city.

On May 27, 1970, Smith abducted 17-year-old McHenry High School student Lingenfelter, raped and strangled her and dumped her body in McCollum Lake.

He later confessed to raping and killing Janice Bolyard, a 23-year-old co-worker at a Des Plaines-area research facility, in February 1970.

Smith also was convicted of killing a 20-year-old woman in Mountain Home, Arkansas, in 1969. In addition, he confessed to killing eight young women in Germany while stationed there with the U.S. Army in the 1960s, though German authorities never prosecuted him.

According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, Smith’s projected parole date — without intervention from the prisoner review board — is Feb. 20, 2218.

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