'In for life: out on parole', violent predators released early into our community

SEATTLE- When you hear someone has been sentenced to life in prison, you would think that means someone being locked up forever.  That's not true here in Washington state.

There are more than 250 violent “lifers” locked up who have the chance to be released.  We learned about this fact a few months ago, when we profiled the release of child rapist and attempted murderer Donald Hooper, who was sentenced to life, but then paroled.

That's when we discovered, there are dozens of other criminals even worse than him who have the opportunity to get out of their life sentences.  It all boils down to when the crime was committed.  If it was before the summer of 1984, judges handed down these open-ended life sentences.  After 1984, that all changed.  Offenders had to be given a set number of years behind bars, life without parole  or the death penalty.

Tonight you'll hear from a woman whose story of survival will blow your mind.  She was just 18 years-old when a classmate broke into her home, raped her and stabbed her parents to death.

“He made me leave the house with him.  It was a wet, cold December night.  I was in my socks and as we were leaving the house I saw my father lying there in the entry and my mother in the flower bed,” said the victim.

That offender, Larry Knox, received two life sentences but has already been paroled on the first one.  Tonight you'll hear more from his victim, as well as the head of an important review board called the ISRB that decides which of these predators gets paroled and who doesn't.  Also, the director of that board answers my tough questions on why they released Donald Hooper, that  violent child rapist we reported on this summer.

That's tonight in part one of “In for Life: Out on Parole” on Q13 FOX News at 10:00.