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Paula Cooper

I'm sickened by Cooper's release from prison

I read that Paula Cooper, convicted killer of Bible school teacher Ruth Pelke, got released from prison on June 17. This is a case that I remember well.

July 10, 2013 12:00 am

Where is justice for Pelke, Cooper's murder victim?

What happened to this country? Paula Cooper serves 27 years in prison for stabbing a 78-year-old women to death. The judicial system is a joke.

June 23, 2013 12:00 am
RICH JAMES: A look at life after the death penalty

RICH JAMES: A look at life after the death penalty

We likely will argue the merits of the death penalty until the end of time.

June 23, 2013 12:00 am
MARC CHASE: Sometimes forgiveness contradicts justice

MARC CHASE: Sometimes forgiveness contradicts justice

Ask if we ever did anything requiring forgiveness or a second chance, and most of us — this writer included — would have to raise our hands. Just ask my wife, my mother or anyone else with whom I've been close.

June 20, 2013 12:00 am
Man celebrates the release of his grandmother's killer

Man celebrates the release of his grandmother's killer

ROCKVILLE, Ind. | On Monday, region native Bill Pelke celebrated the release of one of his grandmother's killers from prison.

June 17, 2013 7:30 pm Photos

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From The Times' archive: A second chance at life

From The Times' archive: A second chance at life

The Times spoke with Paula Cooper in July 2012 as the final year of her sentence began.

June 17, 2013 4:00 pm
From The Times' archive: A life and legacy

From The Times' archive: A life and legacy

The Times spoke with the family of Ruth Pelke in August 2012. Pelke was murdered in 1985, and her family says her legacy of love lives on.

June 17, 2013 3:30 pm
Gary woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released from prison

Gary woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released from prison

INDIANAPOLIS | A Gary woman put on death row at age 16 for killing an elderly Bible school teacher is scheduled to be released Monday after serving a prison term that was shortened after the state Supreme Court intervened.

June 16, 2013 6:30 pm Photos

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Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Paula Cooper was 16 years old when she was sentenced to death for stabbing an elderly Bible school teacher to death. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is scheduled to be released Monday.

June 16, 2013 2:00 am

Times wins 6 Lisagor Awards

CHICAGO | The Times captured six Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism on Friday.

May 03, 2013 10:22 pm
A life and legacy

A life and legacy

Ruth Pelke was murdered in 1985, and her family says her legacy of love lives on through today.

August 19, 2012 4:47 am
Pelke's devotion to family, faith resonates decades after murder

Pelke's devotion to family, faith resonates decades after murder

Ruth Pelke's family has fond memories of holidays in her Gary home, complete with crocheted gifts, colored cookies and "Nana salad," Pelke's macaroni salad mixed with watermelon pickles.

August 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Cooper should serve every day of her 60-year sentence

Paula Cooper should do every day of her 60-year sentence. So by the time she gets out of jail she would be around the same age as Ruth Pelke, who did not need to die after 33 stab wounds. Cooper should feel old by the time she gets out at age 75.

July 24, 2012 12:00 am
A second chance at life

A second chance at life

Paula Cooper was sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly Bible school teacher in the 1980s. The state Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years in prison, and now she shares her story and hopes for the future with The Times as the final year of her sentence winds down.

July 15, 2012 12:00 pm
Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

ROCKVILLE, Ind. | Paula Cooper mixed no-bake cookies, creating balls of sweet coconut and baking cocoa the size of a fist.

July 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper was 15 years old when she was sentenced to death for stabbing an elderly Bible school teacher to death. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is now counting down the days to her 2013 release.

July 13, 2012 11:46 pm
Paula Cooper

Paula Cooper

The mugshot of Paula Cooper, then 15, after her arrest for the May 14, 1985 murder of 78-year-old Ruth Pelke.

July 13, 2012 11:43 pm
Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Paula Cooper was 16 years old when she was sentenced to death for the brutal stabbing murder of an elderly Bible school teacher. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is scheduled to be released Monday.

July 13, 2012 11:39 pm
Ruth Pelke

Ruth Pelke

Ruth Pelke, an elderly Bible school teacher in Gary, was stabbed to death in her home on May 14, 1985. Four teenagers were convicted, and 15-year-old Paula Cooper was sentenced to death.

July 13, 2012 11:41 pm
Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper was 15 years old when she was sentenced to death for the brutal stabbing murder of an elderly Bible school teacher. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is now counting down the days to her 2013 release.

July 13, 2012 11:39 pm
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