Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

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Parole for killer after 41 years

CARSON CITY -- Jack Rainsberger, in prison for 41 years for the 1958 killing of a Las Vegas woman, will be released in September.

The state Parole Board says Rainsberger, 65, is no longer a threat to society.

"He's in a wheelchair," board Chairman Don Denison said. "He's an old man, and he can't hurt anybody anymore."

Rainsberger was convicted of the killing of Las Vegas secretary Erline Folker, who was stabbed six times in a parking lot for $10. At the time, Rainsberger said he heard voices telling him to kill the woman.

The son of the victim, Edward Folker of North Las Vegas, who was 5 when his mother was killed, said he doesn't think Rainsberger should be freed.

"I don't like that he has the same freedoms," he said.

But Folker, who in the past opposed the parole, did not this time.

"I've got a new wife and a new family and I have a new life. He already wrecked one part of my life. I don't want him to wreck this.

"And nothing that I do would bring back my mother."

Rainsberger was originally sentenced to death. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned capital punishment laws and his term was reduced to life without the possibility of parole in 1972. The state Pardons Board granted clemency in 1976 to allow him to apply for parole.

He has been before the Parole Board more than 20 times, and in 1993 the board agreed to release him to the Delancy Street Foundation in San Francisco, a halfway house treatment center. But the center rejected him.

He will be released from the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City on Sept. 1 to begin serving his parole in Ohio. If he doesn't fulfill the conditions of parole, he will be returned to prison.

Rainsberger's health has suffered since a 1996 heart attack.

Only one inmate of the current state prison population has served a longer term than Rainsberger. He is Raymond Shuman, who entered the prison system in 1958, a year before Rainsberger entered.