AURORA, Ill. — A convicted murderer has registered as a sex offender in Aurora days after his release from prison.
Thomas Kokoraleis, now 58, was a member of the infamous and sadistic “Ripper Crew” that killed as many as 18 Chicago-area women in the 1980s. Authorities said the group consisted of Kokoraleis, his brothers and two others.
Kokoraleis was released from prison Friday after serving half of a 70-year sentence for killing Lorraine “Lorry” Borowski in 1982. Kokoraleis and Borowski were both 21 at the time, according to state records.
Kokoraleis told local police he plans to live at the Aurora-based halfway house Wayside Cross Ministries. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry lists his home address in Wheaton.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin sounded the alarm Monday in an email to constituents, saying he was “blindsided” by the news Kokoraleis would be living in Aurora.
“In light of the unspeakable nature of the crimes committed by the Ripper Crew,” the mayor said in an email, “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.”
The director at Wayside said Kokoraleis is a changed man who is no longer to be feared. If it wasn’t for a halfway home like Wayside, the director said, the ex-con and the public would be in much closer contact.
Some residents said they were still fearful.
“It’s not easy to hear this news and have this man in front of us,” resident Gustavo Salmeron said. “Honestly, I’m afraid. But we cannot do too much. It’s something we have to accept, and unfortunately, it’s not in our hands.”