Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. (RSOL) denounces the brutal murders of Gretchen and Charles Parker and calls for immediate action to be taken to render sex offender registries less effective as vigilante hit lists. We specifically ask South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to use her executive powers to remove registrants’ street addresses from public view until the Legislature can consider a more comprehensive remedy.
Charles Parker and his wife were cruelly slain by gun and knife this past Sunday in their home in rural South Carolina. The man and woman who murdered them gained access to the home by pretending to have a broken-down vehicle. They openly admitted committing the murders because Mr. Parker was a registered sex offender due to a conviction in 1991 for sexual misconduct.
The investigating officers “do not believe there was a motive for Mrs. Parker’s killing other than the fact that she was his wife…. He also told us that it was a good thing we arrested him last night because he had planned to kill another sex offender [on the] registry today.”
Vigilante murderers who target those on public sex offender registries need only turn on their computers and enter a zip code to get an instant list of potential victims along with their addresses. The registry has been used in just such a manner in a series of similar and horrific murders, and it is well past the time that it was stopped.