Michigan panel grants parole to man convicted of killing 3
Kalamazoo – A man who was a teenager when he admitted killing three young women in 1972 has been granted parole by the Michigan Parole Board nearly a half-century after the slayings.
The parole board notified the victims’ relatives that Brent Koster, 64, was granted parole on Nov. 10. The Kalamazoo area man will be released from prison on Jan. 21 after serving 48 years, according to parole board records, WWMT-TV reported.
Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said in a statement that he’s “very troubled by the Michigan Department of Corrections choosing to release an admitted serial rapist, serial murderer.” He said he and his staff will be reviewing the parole board’s decision “to determine what options we have.”
“In my opinion the risk to our community is simply unacceptable. I’m not aware of another person with such a horrific history having ever been released anywhere,” Getting said.
Koster, who’s currently housed at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, was eligible for release consideration under provisions of Michigan’s lifer law.
He had pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder for the 1972 killings of 19-year-old Chicago resident Linda Clark and Claudia Bidstrup in exchange for his testimony to help convict Danny Ranes in a total of four murders.
Ranes, 77, is serving four life terms in prison and is not eligible for parole.
Koster was 15 when he and Ranes, then 28, raped and killed Clark and Bidstrup in July 1972 after the women stopped for gas at a Kalamazoo service station where Ranes was working.
The next month, Koster and Ranes raped and killed 18-year-old Pamela Fearnow, after picking her up as she was hitchhiking.
Koster’s testimony helped convict Ranes in the killings of Clark, Bidstrup, Fearnow and also Patricia Howk, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in March 1972.