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Wolsieffer admits to killing wife (to be paroled after admitting he killed her)
Times Leader ^ | 3/29/05 | TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER

Posted on 03/29/2005 6:31:55 PM PST by Born Conservative

Parole board spokeswoman confirms admission factored into decision to free him.

WILKES-BARRE (PA) – He did it.

It took 19 years and six trips before the state parole board, but E. Glen Wolsieffer finally admitted it was him, not an intruder, who strangled his 32-year-old wife, Betty, to death in 1986.

The admission, made during Wolsieffer’s latest review, was among the reasons a five-person panel of the parole board cited in deciding to release Wolsieffer 13 years into his eight- to 20-year sentence for the murder, said Lauren Taylor, spokeswoman for the board.

Taylor said other factors listed in Wolsieffer’s approval were his participation in prescribed treatment programs, his behavior while in prison and a positive recommendation made by the Department of Corrections.

News of Wolsieffer’s admission stunned Betty’s 78-year-old mother, Marian Tasker, and others involved in the case that brought national attention to Luzerne County.

“It floored me,” Tasker said Monday from her Wilkes-Barre home. “I still can’t believe it. He was so adamant about it until now.”

Betty’s brother, Jack Tasker, 53, said the confession left him with mixed emotions. He’s relieved Wolsieffer has finally accepted responsibility, but he questions if the admission was brought on by remorse or Wolsieffer’s desire to get out of prison.

“It is some solace, but I wonder how much of it was part of the system,” Jack Tasker said. “I would hope that wasn’t the only reason.”

The Taskers and law enforcement officials had had successfully fought Wolsieffer’s parole for the past five years. Each year the board cited Wolsieffer’s refusal to accept responsibility as one of the reasons for the denials.

Jack Tasker said he’s trying to understand the board’s decision this year, but can’t help but feel disillusioned with the process.

“Now, all of a sudden he admits to it and he is paroled. That doesn’t seem right to me.”

He said he hopes Wolsieffer keeps one thing in mind as he restarts his life after his release.

“If he can only realize the life he ruined, the families he ruined. That’s the key thing I want to say to him,” he said.

Wolsieffer’s mother, Phyllis, his sister, Lisa Myers, and his daughter, Danielle, have stood by him over the years, insisting he was innocent. Myers said Sunday they were looking forward to his return.

Contacted Monday, Myers said she had “no reaction” to the news her brother admitted the crime. She said her mother felt the same, and did not wish to speak to the media.

“She just wants it all to go away,” Myers said.

Wolsieffer was convicted in November 1990 of third-degree murder after a jury brought in from Dauphin County rejected his claim that Betty was killed by an intruder who knocked him unconscious. Police said Wolsieffer was having an affair and strangled Betty in a rage as Danielle, then age 5, slept in an adjoining bedroom in their Birch Street home on Aug. 30, 1986.

The investigation languished for three years as police struggled to build a case against the popular dentist. During that time Wolsieffer’s brother, Neil, who responded to the home the morning of the murder, committed suicide by driving his car into the path of a truck as he was on his way to talk with investigators.

Wolsieffer, meanwhile, carried on with his life. He moved to Virginia with his daughter and Carol Kopicki, the woman with whom he was having an affair, and opened a dental practice. He was arrested there in Nov. 2, 1989.

The trial created a media frenzy that eventually spawned a book, “Murder at 75 Birch St.” and a television movie of the same name.

Luzerne County District Attorney Dave Lupas said he is saddened for the Tasker family but hopes it can take some solace in knowing it helped prevent Wolsieffer from being released after serving the minimum sentence.

“Everyone knew this day was eventually coming,” Lupas said. “The opposition was successful in keeping him locked up five years past his minimum.”

William Keller, a Wilkes-Barre attorney who co-prosecuted Wolsieffer, said he thought Wolsieffer would have been released on his first parole try in 2000. He said he never thought Wolsieffer would admit to the crime.

“I guess he’s finally seen the light after five years of being denied by the parole board,” Keller said.

It was unclear when Wolsieffer will be released from the state Correctional Institution at Frackville, where he is serving his sentence.

Taylor said Wolsieffer must go through a number of administrative procedures before he is transferred to a halfway house. Those procedures include screening for drug use and providing a sample of his DNA – a regulation of all parolees convicted of certain crimes. Those procedures usually take one to several weeks, dependent upon when bed space becomes available at a halfway house.

Taylor said it’s not known yet to which halfway house Wolsieffer will be transferred, but typically inmates are sent to the facility closest to their home. In Wolsieffer’s case, that would likely be a facility located in Scranton.

It’s also unclear whether Wolsieffer will be able to regain his dental license. Wolsieffer’s license was revoked based on his conviction.

Brian McDonald, spokesman for the Department of State, which oversees various public health professions, said a homicide conviction does not automatically preclude a person from reapplying for a license, but it certainly would be considered by the dental board when deciding whether to reinstate it.

“I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s something that could hinder one’s application,” McDonald said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: dentist; wolsieffer

1 posted on 03/29/2005 6:31:56 PM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative
"OK OK oK...I did it!....Can I go home now?"



2 posted on 03/29/2005 7:07:53 PM PST by nothingnew (Why do all CHARLITE posts end up in "bloggers/personal"?)
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To: Born Conservative

It's a good thing ol' Glen wasn't a serial murderer. They'd probably give him a car, a house, a sweet job at the post office...

3 posted on 03/29/2005 7:24:42 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: Born Conservative

How crazy are people? I hope that parole boards gives him each and every one of their addresses so that maybe he'll come for them when he wants to kill again.

4 posted on 03/29/2005 8:04:13 PM PST by Ruth A.
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To: Born Conservative

Doesn't make sense to me...If I tell you I'm a murderer, I get out of prison...If I tell you I'm not, I stay in prison...Of course I'll admit it whether I'm guilty or not...

5 posted on 03/29/2005 8:57:28 PM PST by Iscool
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To: mhking

Whacked-out-parole-board ping.

6 posted on 03/30/2005 5:48:27 AM PST by Born Conservative ("Mr. Chamberlain loves the working man, he loves to see him work" - Winston Churchill)
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