Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Oct. 21, 2020

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Parole officials interview convicted killer

Warren Forrest suspected of several Clark County slayings in 1970s

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A state sentencing board on Tuesday continued its probe into whether a convicted killer from Vancouver suspected of slaying several women in the 1970s should be paroled.

A panel of two from the Washington Indeterminate Sentence Review Board interviewed Warren L. Forrest at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen. The interview was the final step in the process to determine whether Forrest, now 61, has shown significant signs of rehabilitation.

The Columbian does not have details about Tuesday’s meeting, as it was not public.

The board is expected to make a decision in four to six weeks; if it decides in favor of Forrest, he could be paroled in 2014.

But that outcome looks doubtful, an observer predicted.

“After talking to (board members), I’m pretty sure he’s not going anywhere,” said Starr Lara, the sister of one of Forrest’s suspected victims. “They told me yesterday that they take very seriously what he’s done.”

Lara testified on Monday in Lacey before the parole board, decrying Forrest’s possible release. Her 16-year-old sister, Jamie Grissim, was believed to be one of Forrest’s first victims, according to 1970s police reports.

Forrest, an Army veteran and former Clark County parks employee, was the suspect behind the disappearances of six young women in Clark County between March 1972 and October 1974. He was convicted of one of the homicides and received a life sentence in 1979.

His conviction, however, left open the possibility of parole. This is the first time he’s being considered for parole.

Robin Riley, assistant to the Washington Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, said an outright release is not likely and that the board would first consider a less restrictive prison or work release program. And if he was paroled in 2014, he would first have to enter a prison program that teaches inmates how to reintegrate into society, she said.

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