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Curtis Brownell was considered for parole in Febuary 2008 by the Prisoner Review Board. Read the heart wrenching story below and view the petition opposing his release. Then following is extensive media coverage from the Rockford area press. NEWS FLASH - PAROLE DENIED!! Victims are spared an annual review!

A THANK YOU from the victims family:

Friends and Loved Ones,

Today the Illinois Prison Review Board met and voted 10 - 0 AGAINST releasing Curtis Brownell.  They also gave us a 3 year resetting date which is the greatest victory.  According to the newspaper reporter that was there, discussion was held between the members that Mr. Brownell is a "poster child" for someone who should never get out of jail.  But, please remember that this board changes members sometimes and what is true today may not be true in 3 years.  However, we are praising God for this victory as well as thanking each of you for your hard work.  It was impressive to the Board the overwhelming evidence that people do not want this person in free society. We bless each of you and thank you.  In our own power, Gary, Earl and I as well as the other victims could not have done this.

In His Service,
Debby B

Dear -
Louise Betts was my sister.  She was 16 (just 1 month short of her 17th), my mother dropped Louise off thinking she would walk a couple blocks to meet a girl friend.  The date was 9/27/77.  Louise began hitchhiking and was picked up by Curtis Brownell.  He drove her around Rockford for a time, then to remote location in Boone County when he raped and strangled her leaving her body in a the cornfield.  Mother reported her missing the next morning but because she had run away previously the authorities were not real anxious to look for her. 
On January 31, 1978 Curtis Brownell abducted a woman from a Rockford Laundromat, drove her to within 1/2 mile of where he killed Louise, raped, pistol whipped her, threw her out of the car and drove his car over her at least twice.  She was 7 months pregnant with her first child.  The only thing that saved them was a recent heavy snowfall, their bodies were cushioned by the snow.  She played dead and he left her.  She was able to get help and survived.
Less than a month later he followed another woman and her 2 year old to a 7-11, scaring her enough to take down his license number and report him.  He was arrested for the 2nd rape and was in jail awaiting trial when Louise's body was found on 3/31/78.  At that time he confessed to killing Louise.  He was tried in Boone County for Louise's murder and the death penalty was assessed twice, once by a judge and once by a jury, but overturned both times by the Illinois Supreme Court.  Now his sentences for the Boone and Winnebago County crimes range from 410 years to 1,300. 
Information is pretty sketchy from the Review Board.  Mostly my parents made the appearances while they were alive.  My mother passed away in 1997 and my father in 2004.  My brothers and I all live in Texas now but have many extended family members still in Rockford.  It is my understanding, only from hearsay information that Brownell has never received any votes for release.  I don't know if that is accurate or not.  We are really concerned over this hearing because he has been moved from Dixon Correction (Minimum security) to Graham Correction (medium security, but lots of programs for people getting out, including a "sex offender rehabilitation" program).  It appears to us that he has maneuvered himself there in another attempt to claim he is rehabilitated. 
I am attaching a petition we drafted along with copies of photos of Louise and scans of some of the newspaper articles.  I am working on scanning in all the articles I have.  We would welcome any type of involvement.  People can sign petitions and send them directly to the review board, or send them to me and I am preparing a packet to present to the review board.  The Rockford Register Star has an on-line petition at and did a 90 second segment that they ran twice and they will be putting up an on-line petition.  

Any help anyone can give us would be appreciated.  Our review board hearing is set for 2/4/08 and the en banc is set for 2/14/08. 

Debby B.


The Betts clan traveled from Texas to Illinois on February 3 and spent most of February 4 waiting to testify before the Prisoner Review Board.  Thank you for lifting us up.  God worked in many ways.  We had safe travel and got to express our fears and feelings.  I think that we were heard. 

We would continue to solicit prayers.  The decision will NOT be made by the Review Board until February 14.  We would ask that you pray for wisdom and discernment for the board members and that they not be fooled.  It was confirmed to us that the reason Mr. Brownell has changed facilities is so that he can attend an intensive "sexual offender rehabilitation program."  Unfortunately I think this makes his next review even more important than this one.  Would you like this "rehabilitated" offender living in your neighborhood conducting his "rock hauling business" with his dump truck?

But thank you with the sincerest thanks that [our family] can muster.  Without your help we could not have done the hard work necessary to present the board with over 3000 signatures and many personal letters.  It makes me awed again that my God has inspired each of you to step up and lift us up when we were far too weak to do this for ourselves.  Thank you is insufficient but it is all we have.

I am enclosing a link to the Rockford Register Star article that very well tells the story of how our day was yesterday.

In His Service,
Debby B

PRESS COVERAGE from the Rockford Register Star opposing release of Brownell: "Survivor of attack urges board to reject killerís parole" "For the 12th time murderer/rapist up for parole"

"Remembering Louise Betts"

More than 1250 have signed the petitions opposing release . . .