It was October 17th, of 1972 when investigators found the decomposed body of 19-year-old Pamela Fearnoy, beneath a lone tree in a field bordering the Kalamazoo River, a few miles west of Galesburg. Danny Ranes, 28, of Portage was charged in the crime, but he had an accomplice.

A total of four young women suffered at the hands of Ranes, but the then 15-year-old Brent Eugene Koster also admitted that he had been involved in that murder, along with three others.

According to an old news clipping, from the Holland Evening Sentinal, Ranes and Koster also had raped and killed two teenage women from Chicago. Claudia Bidstrup, Linda Clark, both 19 years-old. Their decomposing bodies were found “bound with ropes” on July 17th, 1972, also near Galesburg.

It seems that the killing spree began in March of that year. Residents, in Kalamazoo Township, had found a 17-month-old toddler wandering in the area. This led investigators to the body of his mother. 28-year-old Patricia Howk. Her body was found behind an elevator company. She also had been raped and murdered.

Brent Koster was found to be involved in the rape and murders of the Chicago women and charged with murder. According to the clipping, “Probate authorities waived jurisdiction over the boy so he could be tried as an adult.”

It is now 2020, 48 years since the tragic events. Danny Arthur Ranes is still serving a life sentence, at Lakeland Correctional Facility; however, the Michigan Department of Corrections has announced the parole of the convicted rapist/murder, Brent Koster.

Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting says he’s “very troubled by the Michigan Department of Corrections choosing to release an admitted serial rapist, serial murderer.” He says he and his staff will be reviewing the parole board’s decision “to determine what options we have.”

Meanwhile, Michigan residents are awaiting the arrival of Koster into their community.

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