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DV Pilot police & fire

Father of slain Bergen girl wants killer kept behind bars

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Christopher Righetti, who was convicted of raping and murdering Kim Montelaro nearly two dozen years ago, could be called before the State Parole Board within the next month, authorities said. In turn, local police and members of the community are asking others to join a letter-writing campaign opposing Righetti’s release on behalf of the slain New Milford girl’s parents.


“Time is of the essence,” said Patricia Molloy, principal of Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, where Kim went to school. “The hearing could occur any time between now and August 19th.”


Kim

It was August 1976 when Righetti — then 16 — abducted the 20-year-old honor student from the parking lot of the Paramus Park Mall and took her to a wooded area, where he raped her and stabbed her six times in the chest.

Behind bars, Righetti — who turned 39 last Wednesday — joined powerlifting teams and set a state corrections record in 1996 with a 1,000-pound squat, part of a state-record total lift of 2,105 pounds.

“Back when this first happened to us, I was angry,” Anthony Montelaro said in an email. “This man snuffed out my young daughter’s life, and the pain was indescribable. No question about it — I wanted revenge.

“Now, as the years have passed, the pain of our loss is still there,” he said, “but I have gotten to a point where I do not want revenge or retribution. All I want is justice, not only for Kim’s sake, but for the sake of the entire community.

“Kim’s life was taken from her, and now, her killer must be penalized for the rest of his life. He should never, ever be paroled.”

To which Principal Molloy added: “We firmly believe that God forgives even the worst sinner, but we also believe that justice demands that society protect itself from individuals who value human life so lightly.”

New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro, who wasn’t on the force yet when Kim was killed, still remembers “the absolute horror as the details of the crime became public.”

New Milford PBA Local 83 has taken up this cause and is hoping to enlist the County PBA Conference and State PBA, he said.

“Righetti needs to serve the same life sentence that he imposed on the Montelaro family,” Papapietro said.

Mr. Montelaro and his wife, Alice, now in their 70s and living in Florida, will come to New Jersey to address the parole board, with their son, Paul, on August 12. They’re hoping for a repeat of their success in 2003.

Righetti


Meanwhile, emails have continued to pour in to KeepBergenSafe.com , a grass-roots victims’ right group.

“We have already received hundreds of letters via email, and will be delivering these letters directly to the Parole Board as soon as possible,” said Bob Schroeder, a Washington Township resident who founded the group.

You can also individually oppose Righetti’s release by writing to the New Jersey State Parole Board at PO Box 862, Trenton, NJ 08625 to the attention of Tanya Milton, Victim Services Coordinator.

Addtional information can be found at keepbergensafe.com .


If you would like to send a personal note to Mr. & Mrs. Montelaro, you can send an email to info@keepbergensafe.com and it will be forwarded, Schroeder said. Please write “To the Montelaros” in the SUBJECT line.

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