Toledo serial killer could file for judicial release as early as Tuesday

By  | 

TOLEDO (WTVG) - An update to a story we've been following for decades. The Cook brothers went on a killing spree that terrorized this city for years. As part of a plea agreement, Anthony Cook was sentenced to life behind bars. Nathaniel Cook has a chance to get out of prison after serving 20 years. As we first told you last week, those 20 years are up.

Nathaniel has a parole hearing scheduled in April, but his attorney can file for what's known as a judicial release before then. That could happen as early as Tuesday, something we first talked with the families about several years ago, and now that day is almost here.

Anthony and Nathaniel are sibling serial killers. From the crime spree to their convictions, this case has spanned decades, "They were terrible crimes. Vicious, wicked deeds and there was no explanation for any of it."

Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates has been a part of this story for nearly forty years, "Now we come to the crossroads of what's going to happen. I really can't tell you what is going to happen, and that's because I truly don't know."

What may be about to happen is why family members of some of the victims are speaking out, "He tortured them, literally tortured them. I understand there was a plea agreement, but you're just going to let him out? God, I hope not. I am going to work to try to make sure that doesn't happen."

One of the murders Nathaniel confessed to under the plea agreement was the death of Connie Sue Thompson, "She was just out of school. She was planning to become an airline stewardess. She had the world at her fingertips, and like the other victims she had it all taken away from her."

Deanna Thompson is Connie Sue's sister-in-law, "Everybody wants to focus on the possibility of him getting out. What about the possibility of him staying in? Let's focus on that. I believe there's a chance he could stay locked up."

Under the plea agreement, Anthony and Nathaniel revealed details of their crimes. Anthony was sentenced to life in prison, Nathaniel would be eligible to get out in 20 years. Prosecutor Bates says she asked the victim's families to make the decision. She says they all agreed to take the deal in order to get some answers, "Is there a chance he could be out of prison this year? I don't know. I just can't say. It could happen, that's the best I can say. "

While she doesn't know how Nathaniel's case will play out, Prosecutor Bates does expect some answers soon. However, there are still a lot of questions including what would happen if he is released, "There are some things we could do that will control his behavior. There could be an electronic monitoring device that controls where he goes. He could be classified as a sexual predator, and required to report in for the rest of his life."

If he is released, Bates says those decisions would not be up to her, they will be made by the court. Like many of the victim's family members, Deanna has made it her mission to work to keep Nathaniel behind bars. While his case may go before a judge again soon, Deanna believes Nathaniel will eventually face a higher judge, "God will deal with him one day, and hopefully he sends him right to the devil."

Once again, Tuesday is the first day Nathaniel's attorney can file for judicial release. That does not mean it has to happen on Tuesday. If he does file for judicial release, we're told the entire process could take weeks or even months.

Many of you have asked why Anthony and Nathaniel were not sentenced to life without parole or even death. According to Prosecutor Julia Bates, those were not options in the law at the time of their crimes. They are of course options for sentencing today.

We will continue to bring you the latest on any developments with the case.