PLATTSBURGH -- Convicted child killer Albert Rock has been denied parole for the 11th time in 20 years.

Rock, 63, who used to live in Schuyler Falls, met with the Parole Board last month at Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York. This time, he actually appeared, unlike the last three times, when he declined to speak to the board members in person.

"I'm pleased with the outcome," said Deborah Conners, sister of Laura Conners, who was 6 when she was abducted and raped by Rock on June 28, 1967.

He was convicted in 1972 but has either been in prison or psychiatric hospitals since his arrest the day after the murder.

DENIES CRIMES

According to the transcript of his most recent parole hearing, Rock denied killing Laura with a hatchet or sexually molesting her.

"I have no sexual offense against me at any time with this charge or anything else," he told commissioners.

"I struck the child with my truck, I panicked, took the body, and I took it to a gravel pit instead of the hospital," Rock said.

"It almost rendered me speechless," Deborah said of the transcript. "I could not believe what I was reading."

Laura's body was found curled in a shallow grave near Mother Cabrini Shrine in Peru. Rock had drawn a map for police at the time of his arrest leading them to the little girl's body.

She had been sexually molested, her jaw was broken, and bones in her arms were fractured. She was killed with a hatchet.

"That truck could not have caused what happened to her," Deborah said. "I read the autopsy report. I sat through the trial. I saw the pictures."

TRAGIC EVENTS

On a sunny day in 1967, Deborah was babysitting Laura. They had been to the beach, and Deborah headed upstairs to change.

She said she had a bad feeling that something was wrong and rushed downstairs, only to find Laura gone.

Rock was taken off a bus in Saratoga the day after the murder and confessed to police.

He had been released from a mental hospital 10 days before Laura was murdered.

Documents from the hospital said he was a danger to himself and others. He had been sent to the mental hospital for observation after trying to abduct an 11-year-old girl in Saratoga.

Rock was found unfit to stand trial and was institutionalized until 1972, when he stood trial without a jury before the late Judge Robert Feinberg.

Feinberg did not buy Rock's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to life.

WANTS V.A. CARE

Rock, who is now disabled and in a wheelchair, told Parole Board members he would be going to a Veterans Administration facility if he were released.

"It's an institutional transfer," he said.

Members questioned him about whether it would be a secure facility or if he would be able to just leave anytime.

He said it is a voluntary program, but if you try to leave, you are thrown out of the program and sent back to court.

Commissioner Debra Loomis continued, saying, "But still, you could walk out and leave and go wherever you wanted?"

Rock said he didn't know.

PAROLE DENIED

In denying parole for 24 months, the commissioners wrote: "After careful review of the record, this interview and due deliberations, parole is again denied for the following reasons: serious and sexually deviant nature of the circumstances, your instant offense, murder whereby records indicate you abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered a 6-year-old girl.

"During the interview, you demonstrated little remorse and accepted no responsibility for your deviant actions.

"All factors considered, early release is unwarranted."

Deborah, who has been fighting Rock's release since 1997, said: "He's ill, he's disabled, but he's still breathing. I have no sympathy.

"My family will be there again in two years."

Rock began seeing the Parole Board in 1987.

botsford@westelcom.com

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