05/03/2012

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Parole for Kan. cop-killer George Rainey?

We've worked cases like these a half dozen or more times, and we've got a a pretty outstanding success rate

Here we go again.  A parole board in Kansas will soon hear public comments on George Rainey — the man convicted in the 1981 murder of Kansas Highway Patrolman Ferdinand “Bud” Pribbenow. 

Patrolman Pribbenow had spotted Rainey driving almost 100 miles per hour (in a 55 mph zone) on the Kansas Turnpike. During the ensuing traffic stop near El Dorado, Rainey shot that intrepid law enforcer in the chest and neck, killing him.

Before he was finally apprehended, Rainey shot at — and presumably, missed, according to my research — other officers who had pursued him. 

What Does ‘Life in Prison’ Mean?
Earlier this week a law enforcement officer with a local police department in the Topeka metropolitan area left me a voicemail indicating that he’d read about this issue in the Topeka Capital-Journal.  He wanted to enlist the assistance of the nearly half million law enforcement professionals who are PoliceOne Members, and I am more than happy to help him achieve that objective. 

Rainey — who henceforth shall be referred to only as Hutchinson Correctional Facility inmate #0035366 — was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Patrolman Pribbenow, and given “five to 20 years on a conviction for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer committed that same day in Sedgwick County,” said that Topeka Capital-Journal article. 

I simply cannot comprehend how “life in prison” can translate into anything other than “life in prison," but time and again parole boards entertain the notion of freeing some of the nation’s most dangerous and violent criminals — criminals like the murderous inmate #0035366. 

It certainly doesn’t translate to 30-plus years and out.

As was so eloquently stated by my good friends over at ODMP, “He is a cold blooded killer who would endanger society by being released.”

Make Your Opinion Known
Most folks on PoliceOne know that this is not the first time I’ve written on the issue of keeping cop killers in jail.  We’ve been doing this stuff for a while

A few years back, we successfully helped to prevent the parole of Anthony Wayne McIntosh, who had been convicted of murdering 22-year-old police officer Jeffrey Phegley in 1987. As recently as January we helped to prevent the parole of would-be cop-killer Ollie Tate. Now 79, Tate had been up for parole despite his attempted murder of Tony Luketic, an Ohio police officer — as well as Luketic’s mom — back in 1995.

As I mentioned at the start of this artice, we’ve worked cases like these several times now, and so far we’ve got a a pretty outstanding success rate.  Let’s keep that up, shall we? 

From On Premises to Online
If you happen to be a resident of the great state of Kansas, please be advised that public comments will be heard on 21 possible parolees — including inmate #0035366 — at three different venues this month.  They are:

Monday, May 21st at the Kansas City (Kan.) City Hall (from 1000 hours to noon) in Kansas City
Tuesday, May 22nd at the Finney State Office Building (Room 3080 from 1100 to 1300 hours) in Wichita
Wednesday, May 23rd at the Landon State Office Building (Room 106A from 0830 to 1030 hours) in Topeka

If you’re not able to speak your mind in person — and that would be the vast majority of you — the good folks over at ODMP have a simple online letter you can fill out. 

Further, the Kansas Department of Corrections will accept a written form (downloadable here) sent to:

Prisoner Review Board
Landon State Office Building
900 S.W. Jackson
4th Floor – Room 452 South
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1220

Please be advised that the Kansas DOC offers the following instructions for completing a written comment form:

“Please use the offender’s name, number and facility if known. On the relationship line, please note your association to the offender. Use the comment lines to provide the Board information not already included in the offender’s file. The Board will have information available on institutional adjustment and programs, therefore you will not need to cover these areas unless you have additional information.”

Kansas DOC says also that when you’re commenting in opposition of parole, you should “state any special conditions you would like the Board to consider in the event that the offender is granted parole.”

It’s fairly obvious to anyone reading PoliceOne what that “special condition” would be, as far as we’re concerned. 

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a three-time (2011, 2012, and 2014) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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