Illinois Attorney General tried to delay parole for Ray Larsen, convicted of the 23-shot murder of Chicago teenager Frank Casolari in 1972

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The Illinois attorney general’s office tried unsuccessfully to delay the parole of Chicago child killer Raymond Larsen, 76, who ended up in jail after less than two months for failing to fulfilled his parole conditions, according to recently released files.

Minutes from the April meeting of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board – when it granted Larsen parole – indicate that the attorney general’s office attempted to delay the decision for 90 days in order to that he could be assessed as a possible “sexually violent person”.

Such a discovery could have kept him in prison.

Larsen had told prosecutors he was “looking for something to shoot” in 1972 when he shot dead Frank Casolari, 16, who was fishing in the Schiller Woods Forest Preserve near O’Hare Airport.

But nearly five decades after the murder, Larsen’s lawyer Mira de Jong told the board in April that the murder was ultimately not premeditated. She said Casolari told Larsen to turn down his radio “because it scared the fish away”, which the teenager threatened to call the police when he refused, they argued, then Larsen shot him. above.

The boy’s naked body was discovered under branches and debris in the woods. He had received 23 bullets.

Raymond Larsen.
Illinois Department of Corrections

De Jong told the council that Larsen had an abusive father who was a Chicago outfit debt collector, whom Larsen learned to hot wire and steal cars as a child and was sent to juvenile custody at 13. years. According to the parole board minutes, he grew up with “a group of reckless young men who would steal and burglarize to satisfy their own selfish desires.”

De Jong said he had changed for the better in prison, converting to Buddhism and that he would lead a “quiet life” if he was paroled.

After years of refusal, the council voted 9-3 on April 29 to release Larsen on parole.

Officials declined to say why Larsen was paroled and have repeatedly delayed release of April meeting minutes, which show board chairman Craig Findley and members Max Cerda, Edith Crigler, Lisa Daniels, Oreal James, Virginia Martinez, Aurthur May Perkins, Drella Savage and Eleanor Wilson voted for his parole. Jeff Mears, Donald Shelton and Joseph Ruggerio, a former DuPage County district attorney, voted no.

Larsen was last released on parole in 2018, when the board voted 12-0 to keep him in jail. Council member Salvador Diaz said at the time: “There is something about inmate Larsen that makes him a repeat offender, and he may be at high risk of reoffending.”

After his release, Larsen moved to a halfway house in West Pullman and was told to keep in touch with his parole officer. But the Illinois Department of Corrections issued an arrest warrant on May 15 against his arrest after parole officers lost contact with him. He was found on May 19 and returned to the halfway house.

But he disappeared again on May 20. On May 28, Chicago police arrested him on the North Side. He had taken a Greyhound bus to Cincinnati without permission to visit a woman, officials said, but, unable to see her, returned to Chicago.

At the end of May, when Larsen was a fugitive, one of Casolari’s relatives told the Chicago Sun-Times: “What is our state doing? How do you lose this guy?

Frank Casolari.

Frank Casolari.
Chicago Daily News

On June 22, a three-member panel of the Prisoner Review Board revoked Larsen’s parole.

The board may reconsider whether he should be paroled next year.

In 1969, Larsen was sentenced to six months after a rape charge was reduced to a battery.

After being arrested on May 18, 1972 – a day after killing Casolari – he was charged with murder in the teenager’s death and sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl who was with Larsen in a stolen car when ‘He was stopped.

At the April and June council meetings, four detainees were paroled and nine were refused. Those paroled included an armed robber and two other killers, including Zelma King, 79, who shot three people in an apartment building on the south side in 1967.


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