Las Vegas Sun

December 3, 2021

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Murderer in prison since 1959 makes 19th visit to Parole Board

CARSON CITY -- Jack Rainsberger, once sentenced to death for the slaying of a Las Vegas woman, went before the state Parole Board Monday to seek his freedom for the 19th time.

Rainsberger, 63, has been in prison since March 1959 -- the second longest serving inmate in the state.

Rainsberger was sentenced to death for the murder of Erline Folker, a secretary, in a Las Vegas parking lot. At the time he said he heard voices telling him to kill her.

Edward Folker, son of the victim, wants to keep Rainsberger behind bars for the rest of his life.

"I'm not playing God," Folker, a Clark County fireman, said Friday. "But he took my mother's life. He should not have the same freedoms as you and me."

In recent years, the Henderson resident has attended each one of Rainsberger's Parole Board hearings to oppose his release.

In 1972, Rainsberger's death penalty was commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole because of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidating capital punishment laws. The state Pardons Board in 1977 agreed to reduce the sentence to allow Rainsberger to seek parole.

He has tried 18 times. In 1993, the Parole Board agreed to release him to Delancy Street Foundation, a halfway house treatment center in San Francisco. But the organization would not accept him and the parole was rescinded.

Rainsberger, who has suffered some health problems in recent years including a heart attack, is back in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center.

Three members of the Parole Board conducted the hearing. They will now bring the case back for a fourth member to consider before taking a vote. A decision is expected in seven to 10 days.