Craig Crimmins has applied for parole, and been denied, every two years since 2000 for a murder he committed in 1980. He says that after his latest denial he has, for the moment, given up hope that he will ever be released.

Photo by: Adi Talwar

Craig Crimmins has applied for parole, and been denied, every two years since 2000 for a murder he committed in 1980. He says that after his latest denial he has, for the moment, given up hope that he will ever be released.

In May of this year, Craig Crimmins appeared before the parole board in New York for the eighth time. He has served nearly 34 years in prison on a 20-to-life sentence for murder. Every two years since the year 2000 he has gone before the board, and every time he has been denied.

“I tell you, it’s easier to do two years than it is to do the two days you have to wait after seeing the board,” Crimmins said during a recent interview at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Walkill. Crimmins was convicted in 1980 for killing Helen Hagnes Mintiks, a violin player at the Metropolitan Opera House, where he worked as a stagehand. The woman went missing during intermission at a performance and was later found naked and bound at the bottom of an air shaft. For weeks before police identified Crimmins as the killer, the New York City tabloids ran story after story about, “The Phantom of the Opera Killer.”

Thirty-four years ago, Crimmins was a 21-year-old illiterate drug and alcohol abuser with no prior criminal record who told the judge, “Something in my head just snapped.” Today, at 55, he is a humbled inmate who earned an Associate’s degree in substance abuse counseling and works in the prison commissary. “Every time they turn me down, it’s always about the nature of the crime, nothing about who I am now or what I’ve done since then,” he says. “I could have cured cancer, they wouldn’t care.”

What is obvious to Crimmins and many people who follow the criminal justice system is the simple fact that crimes that receive a disproportionate amount of media attention are judged more harshly by parole boards than similar offenses that are off the public radar.

Parole appears to be getting harder to get in New York State. As the state’s prison population has fallen in recent years—it dropped 14 percent from 2007 to 2013—in part because of reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws, it is likely that the typical inmate seeking parole today committed a more serious crime than the average parole applicant in 2005.

But the decline in parole approvals is still striking: From 2005 to 2013, the percentage of parole applicants who won approval fell from 52 percent to 24 percent.

An unwritten rule

While precise figures are difficult to nail down, between 2010 and 2013 the board saw an average of 10,000 parole applicants annually from a prison population hovering around 85,000. They turned down, on average, three out of four applicants.

“It’s not like it’s written down anywhere, but every board member knows, if you let someone out and it’s going to draw media attention, you’re not going to be re-appointed,” said Robert Dennison, a former parole board chairman and commissioner. And Dennison should know. He became commissioner when a vacancy opened up after his predecessor presided over the release of Kathy Boudin, who was sentenced to 20-years-to-life for her role in a botched robbery in 1981 of an armored car in Rockland County that resulted in the deaths of two police officers and a security guard.

On her third appearance before the board, Boudin was granted parole in 2003. The governor at the time, George Pataki, publicly denounced the decision and within months replaced the former chairman, Brion Travis, with Dennison. The two commissioners who voted to release Boudin were also replaced on the board.

“So everybody knows, if you like the job and you want to keep the job, you don’t vote to release people who are going to wind up in the media the next day,” Dennison says.

The decision-makers

Being a parole board member is by most estimates a pretty cushy gig. The current base salary is over $100,000 per year for roughly three days’ work per week plus the added perks of health benefits, a state car with a placard and per-diem hotel and meal expenses.

Jim Murphy is a former county legislator in Schenectady County and a longtime volunteer with the New York chapter of CURE, Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants, a national organization started in Texas in 1972 that now has chapters in 40 states. For the past four years, Murphy has been tracking the statistics of the parole board and plugging them into spreadsheets to determine the patterns in the parole process that are apparently not tracked by the board itself.

He believes he will soon be able to show a pattern emerging that can predict which parole board commissioners are more or less likely to grant or deny parole. “A good number of these people—not all of them—but a good number seem to be making their decisions based on the politics of the case.

“To me, the biggest issue is, philosophically, what is the parole board meant to do? The parole board’s role was not meant to re-judge the crime; the parole board’s role was to determine whether a person is ready for release or not,” he says. “As it is, many members of the Parole Board just look at the crime and determine whether that sentence was long enough.”

When media publicity about a past crime is compounded by impact statements from victims’ families, parole is virtually impossible for someone with a sentence ending in a “to-life” suffix. A conundrum for prisoners and their advocates is the fact that those parts of their parole files are sealed.

In fact, any correspondence to the parole board opposing the release of an inmate is kept in a confidential folder that prisoners cannot access, whether the letters are from victims, their relatives or the judges and prosecutors. Other items frequently placed into a folder include newspaper clippings, but inmates have no way of knowing the entirety of the information the board commissioners are using to arrive at their decisions. Crimmins says he has heard that his victim’s parents have both died and that her former husband re-married and moved somewhere in Europe. A search of online databases turned up no information as to their whereabouts.

Attempts at reform

In December 2013 the New York State Assembly Committee on Corrections conducted a hearing on the parole system, during which Columbia Law Professor Philip M. Genty took state officials to task for failing to follow through on reforms that were implemented in 2011. That year the Legislature amended Article 259 of the Executive Law mandating parole officials to, “… establish written procedures incorporating risk and needs principles to measure the rehabilitation of persons appearing before the board.”

“Despite a clear legislative mandate, the board has, to date, failed to promulgate new regulations containing the written risk and needs assessments procedures required by [law],” Genty told the committee. “As a result, the Parole Board is still operating under an obsolete set of regulations dating back to 1980. This is simply inexcusable.”

State Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell who chairs the Committee on Corrections, says that the Parole Board has taken the position that they don’t have to comply with the legislature’s mandate; a challenge is pending before the New York State Court of Appeals. O’Donnell also says he is proposing legislation in the upcoming 2015 session to address the issue.

“I do have a bill that would eliminate one of the things that the parole board seems to use for high profile cases, that ‘releasing them would deprecate the seriousness of the offense,’ which to me essentially means that the parole board gets to re-sentence someone,” he says.”

The media role

O’Donnell is particularly concerned about the situation facing inmates like Crimmins, convicted of high-profile crimes in which judges did not impose a maximum sentence but where parole commissioners continue to sit in judgment of the inmate’s freedom.

“One of the problems is the family of the defendant hears ’20’ and the family of the victim hears ‘life,'” O’Donnell notes. “The other problem, and it’s a problem with the media, is that they don’t seem to understand how the system works.”

That sometimes means the parole system is blamed for releasing people over which it had no control. “Many sentences release inmates to the supervision of the parole division without them ever appearing before the parole board, like the man who stabbed two children in a housing project elevator in Brooklyn this summer. A similar case is the recent killing of Rochester police officer Daryl Pierson, the first officer from that city to be killed in the line of duty since 1959. While several media outlets ran headlines and stories employing the phrase, “recent parolee,” few went to the trouble of explaining that the killer, Thomas Johnson, had served time, was released to parole, violated his parole, served an additional year and was wanted for yet another parole violation when the shooting occurred. He never saw a parole board.

O’Donnell agrees that just because a crime is high-profile doesn’t guarantee that release for inmates serving long sentences is automatically appropriate. John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman, faces not just public outrage over killing a music icon, but “a legitimate fear on behalf of Yoko Ono and her children that that would be a threat to their safety,” O’Donnell says.

“But somebody who was high on drugs and got involved in a robbery where someone died, I don’t necessarily believe that that’s the case so I think the board should be required to make more substantive determinations, particularly when they’re so vastly beyond the minimum.”

The cost of incarcerating prisoners in New York is about twice the national average according to a 2012 study released by the Vera Institute for Justice. In a survey of 40 states which participated, the national average was $31,286 inmate, while New York State’s was about $60,000. The cost of supervising an inmate on parole is estimated at about one-tenth the cost of keeping them in prison.

Some see board as too soft

Not all state legislators share O’Donnell’s views. In a clear example of the downstate-upstate divide, state Sen. Michael Nozzolio has derided the parole board as being too soft on releasing inmates. While O’Donnell’s district covers the upper-west side of Manhattan, Nozzolio’s covers a swath of New York between Rochester and Syracuse. After the board released an inmate named John Edward Brown six months shy of his three-year sentence for assaulting his infant son, Brown murdered his 34-year-old girlfriend Helen Buchel and her 12-year-old daughter Brittany Passalacqua in Geneva, in the center of Nozzolio’s district.

“It is unconscionable that these horrific crimes could have been prevented if the New York State Parole Board had taken a harder stance on crime and against individuals who commit violent and horrific crimes against society,” Nozzolio said shortly after the 2009 murders. “Clearly the New York City-driven agenda to release criminals into our streets has failed.” Brown is now serving a 40-years to life sentence.

The gnarly issue of reforming the way parole is handled has been batted around in the state legislature from both perspectives for decades, yet little by way of substantive reform has taken hold. Like so much of Albany’s work product, bill after bill gets proposed with great fanfare then dies a slow quiet death in committee. The most recent is Senate Bill 1128 and its companion in the Assembly, 4108, known as the Fair Parole Act, which would modify interview procedures and mandate the disclosure of parole records. It was introduced and referred to committee in January 2013, died there, and re-introduced at the beginning of this year and referred back into committee, where it died again this year.

“They’ll never pass that bill, it doesn’t stand a chance,” says Dennison, the former board chairman. “Let’s face it, if you’re an elected official and you’re seen as coddling prison inmates, your opponent is going to pounce all over you with that. Forget about the fact that there’s a larger, more nuanced argument to be made about the long-term interests to society as a whole.”

Rare court challenges

When an inmate is denied parole, he or she has the right to appeal the decision, first at the administrative level and then in the courts, but it is virtually unheard of for a New York State court to overturn a parole board decision.

A prime example was the recent case of Samuel Hamilton, who was denied parole for the seventh time in August of 2012. Hamilton and two friends set out to mug a man who turned out to be an off-duty transit police officer named James Carragher in 1982. One of Hamilton’s accomplices got into a gun battle with Carragher, who was shot dead. Hamilton was also shot and captured, while the other two escaped. Hamilton denied knowing that Carragher was a police officer and refused to cooperate with the police in identifying the other two men. Although the prosecutor acknowledged that Hamilton was unarmed and not the shooter, Hamilton was convicted of murder and given 18-years-to-life in prison.

When he went before the parole board in 2012 he had letters of support from more than 20 corrections officers, a former prison superintendent and the prosecutor who put him away. He had earned a Master’s degree in prison, mentored and volunteered in numerous programs and was by all accounts a model prisoner. Still, the three-member parole panel denied his parole 2-1. Of the two commissioners who voted no, one was a retired police officer, and the other was a former assistant district attorney.

Hamilton filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, and in July of this year a five-judge appellate panel voted 3-2 in favor of the parole board. Justice Christine Clark who wrote the majority opinion cited a passage of law that is used again and again in parole denials, that reads: “…the Board must consider whether there is a reasonable probability that, if such inmate is released, he [or she] will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that his [or her] release is not incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for law.”

“So long as the Board violates no positive statutory requirement,” the judge wrote, “its discretion is absolute and beyond review in the courts.”

But the two judges who disagreed penned scathing dissents of the decision. “I believe that our own Court has established an overbroad rule in appeals from denials of parole. The majority asserts that this clearly extraordinary case is not susceptible to reversal upon judicial review; we have then wholly abdicated our critical judicial function, and the courthouse doors are closed,” wrote Presiding Justice Karen Peters.

Her colleague, Justice Elizabeth Garry, wrote a single paragraph dissent that read, “No sound basis supports this individual’s continuing incarceration. While our review powers are limited, they should not be applied in a manner that is so inordinately deferential as to render the appellate review process a mere sham.”

Interestingly enough, a few weeks later on August 19th of this year, a three-member parole board voted unanimously to release Hamilton.

In Crimmins’ case, when asked whether he thought he would have been paroled long ago had he killed a citizen in his Bronx neighborhood, he replies, “I think it’s more about the location than the person, and the media coverage, of course. That place is a playground for the rich and famous. The fact that it happened there is why I’m still here.”

He says that after his latest denial he has, for the moment, given up hope that he will ever be released. “You know, you always hear that in this country justice is supposed to be blind, but I don’t know. Every time I walk into those parole hearings….,” he reaches up his right hand and mimics the motion of lifting a blindfold just slightly above his right eye, “…I think she peeks.”

66 thoughts on “Even Model NYS Inmates Face Steep Barriers to Parole

  1. Poor Craig. I mean, he only sexually assaulted, beat and dragged his victim to a rooftop where he stripped off all her clothes as she begged for her life and then threw her down a three-story air shaft to her death.

      • I totally agree…this was a heinous, cruel, bizarre crime. I’m amazed that he is allowed parole hearings…he should have been put to death for what he did!

    • Licentia, you are SO right. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get what he caused that poor woman to suffer. You know what,… you tortured and killed her and robbed her of her life… YOU DON’T GET TO BE RELEASED. That’s it.

      • actually you do get to be released, as the laws which govern our nation declare.
        Since you missed it, this article was about what a sham parole boards are in showing that our justice system works, and I don’t remember reading the part of the article asking for uneducated people’s opinions on outcomes of a human being’ life.

        • The law in this case is 20 years to life. Why do you assume someone else is uneducated? The nature of his crime was horrific and he is paying the price for that horrific crime. The human beings’ life that mattered was the one he brutally murdered. He should have gotten life without parole and this would all be a moot point. I’m uneducated as well, only have a Masters’, sorry for that.

    • I’ll hope Graig crimmins NEVER EVER get out of jail, his poor victime is unther the ground for ever. Sorry for my poor English

    • Amen to the sentiment. The writer makes it seem as though, gee it was so long ago and look what he’s accomplished. Who knows what Helen could have done with the 34+ years of life this pos has had. He went to prison for murder, not education and reform. Liberals need to start bleeding for victims not murderers. Victims aren’t losers and killers aren’t winners!

    • Crimins is a sociopath. He spends every waking moment manipulating people to gain something for himself. Remorse is a feeling normal people possess that he will never possess. The associate degree, the counseling of other prisoners – it’s all a ruse to fool the parole board. Besides, if released, what will he do out side prison that he can’t do inside prison.?

  2. I found my way to this article in a rather circuitous route. It began with a search of Jacob Riis and after reading about a murder where the body was found in an airshaft we come to Mr Crimmins. If you are trying to generate sympathy for such a model prisoner, I would suggest using someone who is not still lying about his case. He makes it seem like it was an accident, her falling over the edge but likes to leave out the “bound” portion of the story. Instead of wasting time on this guy, how about a story of where might Helen Mintiks be today?

  3. I think we should all question our rush to make harsh judgments about an event, we really know very little details about, not having been there inside the offenders head and body. Being an ex-prison warden, I am finding myself being very intrigued at the current brain research diminishing our favored belief in “free will.” The problem is that our criminal justice system is based wholly on the assumption of individual responsibility and accountability, and with violent offenders, our response is all emotional and not very rational at all. The bottom line here is that the parole board’s only job is to make release decisions about an offender’s readiness to live a law-biding life and not be a risk to public safety when released…not to mete out justice or retribution.

    • Anyone who did what he did shouldn’t have the luxury of living in prison and taxpayers paying every day for his meals and care he should’ve been executed I don’t give a damn about his brain problems he didn’t deserve to live brain problems or
      not in normal society ever again. When he takes his last breath he can take his Case to the Almighty

        • What “Wow”? A beautiful and talented woman was sexually assaulted and died in fear at the hands of this shithead. This stupid guy needs to sit for the rest of his life in prison for that. Period.

          • “Wow” in that the commenter above indicated that even if Crimmins had a mental issue that limited his culpability, he still ought to be punished as if he were fully responsible. Whenever people are driven purely by rage in total ignorance of facts, I always say “wow.” I say “wow” a lot.

          • Just watched this case on cbs £ felt compelled to see if he got parole yet, delighted to see he didn’t, he’s still making excuses, once he puts his hands up & admits everything then H I’d start 20yr from that point,

    • Obviously as a prison warden you know about criminals. However, my question is when does that poor woman get parole from that grave she is in. When she is paroled from her grave then Crimmins should be paroled from prison. It’s not about whether he is ready, it is about justice. There was a day in NY when he would have been sent to the electric chair in Sing Sing.

  4. Mrs. Helen Mintiks cannot be released from the grave she is in. I promising life cut short. Her parents and husband grieved. He mentioned that her parents are dead and her husband remarried and moved to Europe. So what. He should have been executed as God demands in The Bible. He should never be released. The punishment for murder if not death should be life without parole.

  5. If anyone wants to have sympathy for this most sadistic, cold blooded rapist and murderer… please contact me (her cousin) for the case file and just what happened to Helen.

    He didn’t just “snap” what he did to her before and after death (after she pushed him away for assaulting her) is horrific and deliberate.

    He went out of his way to torture and murder her and deny her any sort of dignity even in death.

    He WAS given sympathy, he was not sentenced to death.

    • I have just again watched Helens incredibly awful story. What I’m struggling with is the complete lack of remorse this vile waste of human skin and air has for his actions. He acts like it was Helen’s own fault that she died that day, I mean, how dare she reject his fumbling advances, she was only happily married and a decent lady who wasn’t going to allow herself to be treated as a piece of meat. I very much struggle to understand why this disease on the face of the earth wasn’t given the death sentence? We don’t have this law in Britain now, mores the pity, but if we did, I would, with a very clear conscience, want it served upon this lump of evil. I hope Helen’s family will fight for ever more to keep Crimmins rotting in his cell, even if he does get three meals a day and all the health benefits he needs, he wants to be free. Deny deny deny him of this. Scum, he is utter scum.

      • I totally agree! I watched the episode on Motives & Murders & was horrified at the totally outrageous attack she suffered! To make unwanted advances toward a woman, aggressively put his hands on her, then, have the unmitigated GALL to be offended when she responds negatively, this guy has no insight into his own behavior! He is exactly where he belongs, where people can defend themselves when he decides he wants something. Oh? What’s that you say? It hasn’t happened SINCE?! Hmmm…wonder why not?? Could it be because there are no 99 lb. women within arms’ reach where he lives now?! Yeah. He was a very young person when he committed this crime, no doubt it had happened before, but the women involved in his previous attacks didn’t report it. That’s why the individuals
        like this guy should be reported because they will escalate their aggressive behavior if they’re not held accountable.
        And as for the parole board not paroling him, I’ve been to prison 4 times for theft type cases, and I didn’t make parole every time, and there was ZERO attention to MY crimes by the general public so that’s NOT an excuse. Blame it on anything and everything you want. Why not try the fact that you We’re/are a predator, even at 21, when you had hardly lived through much at all, you were destroying an innocent woman, who gave you the AUTHORITY to kill her, to destroy her husband and family’s life having to learn how she suffered, she never hurt a soul, everyone who met her said she was very kind, thoughtful, talented and smart!! All of the things you were/are NOT and never WILL be, no matter how long the parole board makes you stay in prison.
        This article isn’t the entire story of your life and/or your version of what happened, but I certainly would think that since you blame the media and the attention to the case garnered for being denied parole, that you would take the opportunity to USE the media to your advantage and act like a human being by demonstrating REMORSE and HORROR at what YOUR HANDS HAVE DONE!
        But DID you? Did you say that you pray every night that God will forgive you for taking His child and destroying her? Did you mention how you have written letters to her husband/family every year, multiple times a year, on her birthday, Christmas, New Years’ Day, Easter, on the anniversary of her death, imploring them to forgive you for the tragedy that you caused them by your selfish and sickening fury that you walked around with day in and day out, ignorant in so many ways, yet never attempting to better yourself and your lot in life. You never reached out to this kind woman asking for any kind of assistance, you never gave her the chance to help you. Instead, you decided that she didn’t deserve to live, and you decided to destroy her within seconds of meeting her.
        So, yeah, the killers in our prisons who kill for NO reason, who rape and TRY to rape just because they FINALLY have a woman trapped and overpowered, Yeah, THOSE are the ones who cannot convince the parole boards with their certificates of completion, their altruistic deeds they have FINALLY decided to participate in; we all know the reasons for THAT stuff, it’s to convince the board that they have bettered themselves.
        The parole board SHOULD see before them a broken man, the horror of what he did visible on his sleeves, the shame on his face, the sorrow in his eyes for a beautiful life lost at his hands.
        If he has the nerve, the man should ask for mercy, but he won’t, for he knows he isn’t deserving, he showed no mercy to this nice lady.
        Our penitentiaries are designed for folks EXACTLY like Mr. Crimmins.
        For when folks like HIM are around, you best keep your eyes wide open!!

    • Please accept my condolences for your loss. I just watched Helen’s story on Motives & Murders and was deeply saddened and horrified at her suffering at the hands of this sick, twisted freak of nature. I would call him a monster, but that would be to give monsters a bad name. At such a young age he had already become so incredibly vicious, Lord only knows who else he had victimized prior to Helen! I posted a very long comment down below, (not sure where it is, precisely) I had not seen your comment. I certainly hope he never gets out. The outrageousness of his attack in that building where hundreds of people were all over, that tells you how very out-of-control he WAS!! Anyone could have walked in on him attacking her at any minute, but did he care?? NO! He is a SAVAGE!!
      It’s certainly telling that he has managed to CONTROL his impulses since he has been in prison!!
      I hope he NEVER, EVER sees the light of day again! That is what is meant by the “ life” portion of the sentence! Best wishes for you and your family.

  6. You’ve got it wrong, Craigy poo poo. YOU SHOULD BE DEAD! In a just world without the … liberals running the shows, YOU WOULD BE DEAD, FRIED, JUICED, GASSED, HUNG! Be grateful you still breathe the air you aren’t worthy of, you … misogynist psychopath! ROT IN HELL! Have a nice day.

  7. The trouble with the American judicial system, is that scum who without a doubt have committed a heinous crime, get a slap on the wrist by getting a life sentence AND in many instances, are even eligibile for parole after serving as little as 20 years, instead of being executed. The death sentence should be mandatory in ALL, repeat, ALL states, for capital murder and other heinous crimes. AND the convicted pos should be put to death after one appeal has been turned down. There is abs so friggin loot lee no reason why lepers of society who have been sentenced to death, should then live for 5-30 years, doing appeals. UNSAT.

  8. Cimmins writes in another article about prison life, “Can you imagine being murdered for a package of cigarettes, it happens in here”. How little insight and remorse he has for his actions, in that he cannot see the oxymorons in his words. He cannot comprehend the horrid reality that he killed an innocent woman for no reason, but rather in the act of trying to sexually impose himself on her because it was as he desired. I ask a more relevant question: Can you imagine murdering a brilliant and innocent woman because someone felt like it? This atrocity was committed by a dangerous bully and still he’d be a danger to any woman who crosses paths, as there’s no cure for a malignant narcissists. Life in prison should be life in prison, some people by their actions loose their right to live freely among people, and left to many he’d have/would be executed for his crimes. Drugs and alcohol are no defence for maiming and torturing a woman for spurred sexual advances. He has been granted all the mercy he deserves and more, he’s alive and should never be left to roam free again. A sad story but Craig C. is the author of his own woes.

    • He absolutely SHOULD be able to imagine being murdered for a pack of cigarettes~~he, of all people should be able to recall just how little a life can be snatched away for~~try NOTHING!!
      You know, why you murdered that lovely young woman at The Met back in 1980?! Remember that, Craig?! What did HELEN do to cause her horrific murder?! How about you look at YOUR ACTIONS, CRAIG!!
      Thanks to the brilliant detectives of the NYPD Homicide Department the rest of us can walk around without fearing that YOU will attack us, beat us, rip our clothes off, drag us around by our hair, tie our hands and feet, throw us down on concrete and asphalt, tear the tampon out of us, ATTEMPT to rape us, throw us over a railing, where we fall THREE stories down an air shaft, crushing our skull, shattering both legs & many ribs, to our death!!!
      Yeah, Craig, YOU did that, and the reason for that? She had the NERVE to refuse your aggressive, adolescent and uncouth grabbing of her body with your filthy hands! THAT’S WHAT!!
      Murder Most Foul!
      Have a seat, Mr. Crimmins.
      I wonder how long you would continue all your WONDERFUL, altruistic deeds there in prison, you know, helping your fellow prisoners learn to read, add and subtract, all the Bible study correspondence courses you take, if the parole board were to tell you that you will never, ever be granted parole.
      I’d love to be a fly on the wall of your cell. Have a seat, Craig, make yourself comfortable.

  9. Ha! “The 1980s The Deadliest Decade” brought a lot of people here… that’s what I can conclude judging by the dates when comments were posted.

    Horrific murder story and very evil murderer. I agree with most here: life in prison is all the mercy he deserves. He got to live… Helen didn’t.

  10. I just watched a documentary on this horrific and senseless murder. Craig went out drinking beers wth his buddies between the matinee and evening performance. Described as an illiterate who abused drugs and alcohol. This murder deserved media attention. She was ALIVE when Crimmy kicked her off the roof. Naked and ALIVE when she landed on scaffolding. Snapped her thigh bones. Rot in jail.

  11. Somebody will kill him if he ever gets out because people will not allow him to live in their community. He is a sociopath and incurable. He should be put to death now. He can never be rehabbed.

  12. Who cares he went out drinking if your a murder and rapist that’s what you are. I have gone out drinking plenty and not once did a criminal act enter my mind let alone rape and murder. He Deserves to stay in prison where he is for the rest of his life !!!

    • Let Crimmins move in with you. I bet you’d change your tune about releasing that scum after 10 years if it was your Mom, Sister or Wife. People who rape and murder innocent victims need to spend the rest of their pathetic lives in custody. Crimmins should’ve been snuffed out 15 minutes after he was found Guilty by the Jury.

  13. The poor guy left a trail of broken people who loved her when he murdered a woman for resisting his drunken rape attempt. He should be released when she returns from the grave. He deserves every day in hell. He can be forgiven but not released. He can serve as a deterrent to other rapists and murderers. Perhaps an appeal process can be set up where he can be executed.

  14. So we are supposed to rejoice that this scum is a model prisoner?! Why wasn’t he a model citizen? Oh that’s right because he is a violent deranged psychopath. He deserves life and hope they never let him out.
    My condolences to Helen’s family… I’m sorry this man is trying to erase her story and now he’s playing victim. I know you think of her everyday and my thoughts are with you. Thank you ID for remembering the real victim Helen Hagnes and hope she is able to rest in peace.

    • Please don’t refer to a piece of vile excuse of human flesh as an animal, it’s not fair to the animals of this world. This is nothing more than a waste of skin and air, a disease on the face of the world that should die in extreme pain. But he’s not an animal. Animals are beautiful and wouldn’t ever be so utterly sick and repulsive. I thank you.

  15. Model prisoner? This vermin is a sociopath and narcissist. Tortured, raped, murdered an innocent woman. Not sorry about it. Still only thoughts are for itself. Absolutely should have gotten death penalty. Should never ever be paroled.

  16. I was 5 years old when she was killed. 5. Think that over for a moment. kindergarten, stuffed animals, playdates with friends. My entire lifeline minus 5 years. living in fear with anxiety disorders, not trusting men, thinking of this, because someone wanted to get off while they were high and ended up killing our family member. I am serving a life sentence. Why shouldn’t he?

  17. If this man gets out he will do it again – only a psychopath could do what he did and live with it. Watched docu on CBS, I am in the UK and think the long sentences in the US are just right for scum like this. Her poor husband, his pain was clear nearly 40 years later. RIP lovely Helen. Her death was so horrific. I do not accept the drugs / drinks excuse for his mental state, he was holding down a responsible job. I do not believe what he says about her hitting him after he made a pass at him. He is making excuses, I think he just pounced on her and subdued her, that is the psychopath’s MO. Then threw her away like trash, no empathy. Poor evil.

  18. Crimmins should NEVER experience life outside of prison walls if justice prevails. I just read ”Murder at the Met” by author David Black who lays out this horrific crime as seen through the eyes of the detectives who were there. Too bad the ”powers that be” at the Met could not be held accountable for hiring this drug addicted/ alcoholic sociopath as a stagehand. Crimmins has NEVER shown any remorse for the indignities he inflicted on Helen Hagnes. One can only hope that prolonged prison life will take its toll on this ”stagehand.”

  19. Instead of saying he’s sorry he says something snapped

    As for Pataki stripping the chair of the parole board for freeing a killer

    That’s why I vote Republican btw I’m here because of the dangerous 80s show

    I looked up this guy on the doc web to see if he got parole saw he’s in Auburn now …

    Good total hell hole

    Guess no more commissary for him I can only hope he got transfered cause he tried to play victim

  20. Knowing a great deal about human behavior—and having some small personal connection to the Manson horrors—there is zero doubt in my mind that this chap is an irredeemable malignant Narcissist, at best. Creatures of his type do not deserve to live among any human society of any kind, apart from prison. For the record, I oppose the death penalty. Why? Because death is an easy exit. I say let them live the agony and remorse of lock-down, for the rest of their collective existence. Oddly enough, this is also a safety net for the few innocents hopelessly mangled by the wheels of so-called “justice”. How many times do we hear about some poor sod being released after “X” number of years, finally proven innocent from DNA, or a witness who admits their lies, or whatever? Horrible. Just be thankful this utter filth Crimmins never suffered “Affluenza,” else he’d likely have been out by ’91. I’m not wrong. RIP Helen.🌷

  21. Sounds to me the parole board he has to deal with is doing exactly as they should all parole boards should be mentored by them. They are keeping a monster where he belongs. Murderers do not deserve to have life outside prison. Period!!

  22. I checked NYS inmate website, looks like they were fooled and let this man out. I didn’t read any interviews when’re he accepted responsibility or apologized.

    At the age of 63, he still has plenty of vile life left in him to hurt a woman or child. Keep heads on swivel NYC or surrounding areas. He was paroled from Auburn.

  23. Lmao this author really used this sociopath as an example for prison reform. Mustve been real taken in by this dude to have the audacity to wrote this. You know who deserves parole? People who accidentally killed someone or killed someone as a response to their terrible life circumstances in childhood who now feel remorse. This asshole was a stagehand on the best stage in the US and decided to rape assault tie up and drop this woman off a ledge ALIVE and he’s complaining that because he got an associates degree he should be released while VICTIM BLAMING his victim. You really tried it with this one.

  24. Yes just watched the story on Oxygen Called Homicides of NY. What a sick sick person . To not only make an advance but then beat on her. Then drag her by her hair first downstairs then upstairs . Then to gag her and tape her mouth shut. Only to throw her over a 3 story ledge. Yes he was released from Prison on 08/21/2021. The first thing this sick person did was buy tickets to the Met.

  25. Me personally believe that Craig was a good guy when a car backed up on me he carried me up 5 floors to my mother i was just 7yrs old don’t get me wrong my heart and prayers go out to the family that lost an angel 🙏

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