PROVIDENCE, R.I. – About 200 people gathered at a busy street corner in South Kingstown Saturday to protest the imminent release of confessed child killer Michael Woodmansee.
Woodmansee, now 52, is scheduled for release in August after serving 28 years of a 40 year sentence. Good behavior and a prison job lopped a dozen years off his sentence.
"I think it's absolutely asinine," said Melinda Foreman, a relative of the victim. She worries that other children will be at risk if Woodmansee is set free. "I don't see why he wouldn't," she said. "The man is very sick."
Many of those at the protest were children when five year old Jason Foreman disappeared in 1975. Despite an exhaustive search, the case went unsolved for seven years until Woodmansee attacked another boy who escaped a similar fate.
"I remember the fire trucks and the bullhorns calling his name," said Joseph Cook, thinking back on the massive 1975 search.
"It rocked the community to its core," said Sharon Lillibridge Raymond who was in junior high school at the time of the crime.
Inundated by phone calls demanding Woodmansee's continued incarceration, the Corrections Department is now having Woodmansee psychiatrically evaluated with an eye towards having him involuntarily committed.
The Foreman family has expressed an interest in amending the good behavior law to exclude violent offenders. But even if such a law were passed, it would not apply retroactively.
Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org.