Don't release Elk Grove killer, retired lawman urges
In the midst of an international pandemic, retired Lake County undersheriff and former Elk Grove Village Deputy Police Chief Raymond Rose kept the vow he made more than three decades ago to do everything in his power to ensure convicted killers Patricia Columbo, 63, and Frank DeLuca, 81, remain behind bars for the rest of their lives.
Rose, one of the officers who investigated the 1976 killings of Columbo's parents and brother, testified Wednesday during an online "protest hearing" before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, during which he urged board members to deny Columbo's release.
A protest hearing allows victims and others to testify in advance of an inmate's parole hearing. Columbo's parole hearing will be scheduled for May or later in accordance with statewide COVID-19 precautions.
Former lovers Columbo and DeLuca each were sentenced to 300 years in prison for one of the Northwest suburbs' grisliest crimes: the May 1976 shooting deaths of Columbo's parents, Frank and Mary, and the death of her brother Michael, 13, who was stabbed 87 times with scissors.
In his presentation to the board, which included crime scene photographs, Rose said what he encountered in the family's Brantwood Avenue home remains vivid today.
"I see the crime scene, the horrific sight. ... They are always with me like they are always with the jurors, family and friends of the Columbos, the Elk Grove community and the officers who were there," Rose told the board members.
According to Rose, Columbo instigated, planned and participated in the crime, attempting to recruit two hit men eight months before the murders occurred. Eventually, Columbo, 19, manipulated DeLuca, her married 37-year-old lover, into killing her family by falsely claiming her father planned to have her and DeLuca killed, Rose said.
"She has never admitted she committed the crimes. She has never shown any remorse," Rose said in his statement, adding there is no atonement without an expression of culpability.
Elk Grove Village Police Chief Charles Walsh echoed Rose's sentiments in a separate letter to the parole board.
"To allow her freedom after she denied her parents and younger brother of life would be a mockery of our judicial system," Walsh wrote, adding the 200- to 300-year sentence the judge imposed on Columbo "made it obvious that the judge never intended nor foresaw the release of Patricia Columbo from prison."
Columbo has sought parole more than a dozen times, arguing she is a changed person and can be a contributing member of society.
DeLuca will appear before the parole board at a later date.