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Ohio's worst mass murderer denied parole on his second try



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



COLUMBUS (AP) -- The man who committed the worst mass killing in Ohio history when he gunned down 11 relatives on Easter Sunday in 1975 was denied parole Thursday, a state prisons spokeswoman said.

James Ruppert, 71, will not get another hearing until 2015, said JoEllen Lyons, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Ruppert went to his mother's house in Hamilton on March 30, 1975, and killed her, his brother, sister-in-law and the couple's eight children. He had three pistols and a rifle. Police said he was broke and wanted to inherit both families' estates, then be judged insane and released when he was cured.

He was convicted of 11 counts of murder but an appeals court granted a new trial. In that trial, he was convicted of murdering his mother and brother but found innocent by reason of insanity in the nine other deaths.

Ohio had no death penalty in 1975 and he was sentenced to life in prison. He has been imprisoned since 1982 and currently is at the Allen Correctional Institution in Lima. He also was denied parole in 1995.

Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said the case is remembered in Hamilton and the city should be relieved that Ruppert will remained locked up at least 10 more years.

"The very, very heinous crime he committed rocked our community and to this day, people still talk about the tragedy of that event," Piper said. "It's left a scar. It would be our prayer and our hope that he's never released from prison."




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