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Allegan County Child Killer Could Walk Free

Posted at 10:21 PM, Mar 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-01 06:16:28-04

ALLEGAN, Mich. (March 31, 2014) — A child killer and sexual predator that admitted his crimes is asking to be released.

Theodore Williams’ crimes date back to the 1960s, and at that time he admitted he would have killed more people.

He is being held in custody based on the Criminal Sexual Psychopath Act, an act that’s supposed to keep him locked up in a psychiatric hospital for life. The Criminal Sexual Psychopath Act was repealed shortly after Williams’ sentence.

However, the law allows him to request a trial every year to prove he’s “cured,” which gives him a chance to be set free.

Retired Michigan State Police detective Robert Golm sat face-to-face with Williams in 1967 as he casually described the brutal rape and murder of two young girls from West Michigan. “At that time he said, ‘I`m glad you got me when you did because if you hadn’t there would have been a whole lot more dead girls out there,’” Golm said.

The body of Sonya Santa Cruz, 7, was found first. That’s when, Golm says, Williams admitted to killing Laura Jo Sutliffe, 13. She had been missing for more than a year before Williams led detectives to her body.

A classmate, Sara Rouse, remembers the cases terrorized the entire community. “Whenever I would go someplace I think, ‘Well, is he going to get me too?’” Rouse said. She was questioned by police and the FBI when Sutliffe disappeared in 1966.

Rouse says she’s horrified every time Williams asks for a trial to be freed. He has already been denied several times.

Detective Golm is skeptical. “He says, ‘I’m cured now.’ Well, yeah, he was cured because he hadn`t been accosting any girls and killing any, because he was in custody.”

A petition was started to raise awareness and rally support to keep Williams in confinement.

Williams will be back in an Allegan County courtroom Wednesday, asking for a trial to determine if he should be set free.

Golm says if Williams is released he’s sure he would kill again.