Though she’s 88 years old and not as energetic as she once was, the mother of a California murder victim will once again make the trip to a parole board hearing this summer to fight to keep her son’s killer behind bars – 32 years after the brutal crime.
“I will go as long as I am able,” Betty Carlson told the San Mateo County Times.
Betty’s son Frank, a grocer, was killed in his San Francisco home April 19, 1974. The man who delivered his mail, Angelo Pavageau, who lived in the same neighborhood, had reportedly stalked his wife, Annette, 24, before breaking into the couple’s home and attacking her.
Frank heard the noise and came to defend his wife, but Pavageau overpowered him. The killer beat Frank with a hammer and breadboard to death. He then turned back to Annette, raping her, slashing her and beating her for six hours.
To try to cover up the crime, Pavageau set fire to the couple’s home. Somehow, Annette survived the ordeal and helped prosecutors secure the death penalty for Pavageau, who was convicted of eight felonies.
Before Pavageau could be executed, however, the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional and his sentence was changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Eventually, the death penalty was reinstituted in California, but the killer’s sentence stands.
The next parole hearing to determine if Pavageau should be freed is in June in Sacramento – and Carlson will be there.
“This will be the 11th time I’ve sat across the table from [Pavageau],” she told the Times.
Carlson says her message to the board will be the same as it has been since the first hearing: Keep Pavageau locked up for good.
Helping Carlson and her husband, Sten, is longtime friend Mary Griffin, a former San Mateo County supervisor and Millbrae, Calif., mayor.
“I’ve known Betty for a long time,” Griffin told WND. “She is a very alert and active and wonderful woman.”
Griffin says she is trying to get as many people as possible to write letters to the parole board urging its members to keep Pavageau in prison.
Speaking about Annette Carlson, Griffin said information about where she lives and her phone number are kept a secret.
“She just can’t cope with it,” Griffin said, “even after all these years.”
Betty Carlson helped to found Justice for Murder Victims a few years after the 1974 killing of her son.
“That was one of the first victims-rights advocacy groups,” Griffin noted.
For those wishing to contact the parole board, the address is:
Board of Parole
1515 K St., Suite 600
Sacramento, CA 95814
care of Susan L. Fisher.
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