Suburban mom backing call for murderer registry

January 26, 2011 4:39:00 AM PST
Patty Rosenberg's daughter, Andrea Will, was a college student at Eastern Illinois University in 1998 when she was killed by an ex-boyfriend.

He was recently released from prison after serving half of a 24-year murder sentence. Today, Andrea's mother wants all convicted murderers registered when they are released from prison.

Next month, Andrea Faye Will would have celebrated her 32nd birthday. Instead her loved ones continue to grieve her death. They are now turning their efforts to hold the convict accountable after they've served their time in prison.

Every time Rosenberg speaks about her daughter it takes immense emotional preparation.

"The day my daughter Andrea left for college was one of the proudest in my life," Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg's daughter was murdered in 1998 by her former boyfriend Justin Boulay. On Tuesday, Rosenberg risked the pain of remembering and grieving her daughter's death to change the requirements for convicted murders.

"Andrea suffered a horrific death by strangulation by a telephone cord. She fought desperately for her life and lost," said Rosenberg.

House Bill 263 is being called Andrea's Law. The bill was filed by State Representative Dennis Reboletti. It would establish a registry for murders -- much like the sex offender registry -- so Illinois residents could find out if the convicted murderer lives nearby.

"I think it's gonna serve as a deterrent, as a watchful eye over these individuals, that they are not going to be able to sneak back into the community and begin their lives," said Reboletti, (R)-Elmhurst.

Last year, Andrea Will's friends and relatives worked to keep Boulay in prison. But in November Boulay was released after serving 12 years of a 24-year sentence.

The proposed law would require murderers in Illinois to register for 10 years after they are released.

"I believe this bill, Andrea's Law, will go a long way in making our state a safer place to be," said Andrea's college roommate Michelle Felde. "The public deserves to know."

"This bill would not only serve justice for Andrea, but all of the families who have lost a loved one at the hands of another," said Rosenberg.

At the time of Andrea's murder, a convict could have jail time cut for good behavior. That's what happened in Boulay's case. That policy has since changed.

Andrea's Law would apply to those who were convicted of a crime committed prior to 1998.

Boulay moved to Hawaii. The Hawaiian legislature is considering a similar database.