14th Time Up for Parole

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

For those in Rockford in 1975 this is a murder that is hard to forget. Fifteen-year-old Joey Didier was on his morning paper route and was not seen again for 12 days until police found him dead. Now the man convicted of killing Joey Didier is up for parole for the 14th time.

Joey Didier was abducted and murdered during the winter of 1975.

Joey’s brother, George Didier says, "I couldn't imagine what my father and mother went through. The police chaplain came and took my father to the scene and two police officers had carried him back the house so he could tell us that they found Joey."

George was in his 20s at that time. He remembers his brother's murder vividly. Revisiting the past is something the Didier family has to do every three years.

George recalls, "Did he think he would die? Did he think he would be let go? How much did he suffer? It's heart wrenching to go through that."

Sixty-six-year-old Robert Lower is serving a 100 to 150-year prison sentence for kidnapping and killing Joey Didier. He was denied parole in 2002 and has been denied numerous times before.

In fact, lower has never received a vote from anyone on the Prisoner Review Board, but the board changes and the Didier family fears that new members might be in his favor.

George tells 23 News, "The best place for this man is to keep him in prison. He does not realize the depth of his own abilities to hurt children."

The Didier family is yet again collecting petitions to show the Illinois State Review Board that many believe this man is a danger to society.

George has this message to us, "As a community we can make a difference and hopefully keep our community and others safe from somebody like this."

Look for petitions in about 80 locations throughout Rockford. All of the Didier Greenhouses and Rockford City Hall are a few easy places to sign your support. The petitions have to be collected by January 7. Lower's hearing is set for January 11.


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