A convicted killer released from prison this week and now living in Aurora said he just wants to be "left alone."
Speaking for the first time since his release, reputed Ripper Crew member Thomas Kokoraleis told the Beacon-News he wants "no contact with the families" of the cult's murder victims.
"I just want to be left alone and do my thing here," he said.
Just steps away from the heart of downtown Aurora, Kokoraleis now calls the Wayside Cross Ministries home.
But the mayor of Aurora has condemned the ministry’s decision to take in the recently freed convicted killer, saying he has heard much "outcry and discontent" from thousands of residents.
"The citizens of Aurora don’t want this individual living in our city," Mayor Richard Irvin said.
Frightening to some is that within weeks, after completing the required 30 days in the transitional facility, Kokoraelis could be walking the streets of Aurora. While he is required to register as a sex offender, some restrictions do not apply.
"When you think about sex offenders or predators who can’t come near playgrounds or be around children, most of those occurred after he was convicted," said Aurora police Sgt. Bill Rowley.
but Kokoraleis insisted he "will not be a threat."
"I want to be a better Christian. And I will do my best to become a productive member of society," he said in the interview while wiping at tears. "I will not be a threat to Aurora and their citizens. I swear to that. I am willing to work hard to change my ways."
Kokoraleis was convicted as part of a sadistic four-man group that preyed on young women in the early 1980s. The gang abducted, tortured and sexually mutilated their victims as part of a satanic cult. They are thought to be responsible for murdering as many as 18 women.
Kokoraleis was released Friday after serving half of a 70-year prison sentence for the murder of 21-year old Lorry Ann Borowski.
Representatives from Wayside Cross Ministries say they understand the mayor’s concern but had a moral obligation to take Kokoraleis in.
“We hope the mayor’s office will also appreciate what we stand for and allow us to stay true to our mission in empowering the afflicted and the powerless through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the ministry said in a statement.
The mayor said he understands Wayside’s perspective. But while he believes in the power of rehabilitation, Kokoraleis living in Aurora, he says, is a risk his city should not have to take.