Aurora mayor's statement urging Wayside not to house Ripper Crew killer
In response to the decision by Wayside Cross Ministries of Aurora to accept "Ripper Crew" murderer Thomas Kokoraleis as a resident, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin issued his own statement Monday evening. It was titled "A Risk The People Of Aurora Shouldn't Have To Take."
After a nearly a week of news reports that convicted murderer Thomas Kokoraleis would be residing in Wheaton following his release from custody, the City of Aurora was blindsided over the weekend when Kokoraleis notified the Aurora Police Department he would be living at Wayside Cross Ministries in downtown Aurora.
Kokoraleis plead guilty to the 1982 murder of 21 year-old Lorraine Ann Borowski of Elmhurst. The laws in effect at the time of the crime required Kokoraleis to serve only half of his 70-year prison sentence. Kokoraleis, his brother, and two others were part of the Ripper Crew and were suspected in the disappearances of 18 women between 1981 and 1982.
The safety of the Aurora community is my primary concern. Following shortly behind that concern is my desire to see Aurora continuing to thrive as a place where people and families will want to spend time and enjoy all this great City has to offer. While I appreciate the many good things that Wayside Cross Ministries does in our community, their decision suggests that they do not fully appreciate the impact Kokoraleis' mere presence will have on the community as a whole.
In light of the unspeakable nature of the crimes committed by the Ripper Crew, I would hope that Wayside would reconsider the decision that brought Kokoraleis to Aurora -- particularly given the Ministries' close proximity to parks, churches, and day care centers. I absolutely disagree with Wayside Cross Ministries' decision to allow Kokoraleis to reside at their facility in Aurora.
As a former prosecutor, and later as a defense attorney, I've seen firsthand that persons can and do emerge from incarceration changed for the better. However, I've also seen the opposite unfortunately occur as well. As it stands from my perspective, it is a risk the people of Aurora shouldn't have to take.
Mayor Richard C. Irvin
City of Aurora