Krajcir's appearance in Cape County court delayed until Illinois case settled

Friday, December 28, 2007

Williamson County, Ill., will likely have first crack at Timothy Krajcir, officials decided Thursday.

The alleged serial killer had been slated to make his initial court appearance in a Cape Girardeau County courtroom Thursday to face five counts of murder and three counts of rape related to the 1977 and 1982 murders of five local women.

But Charles R. Garnati, state's attorney for Williamson County, filed charges late Christmas Eve against Krajcir, 63, in connection with the 1978 rape and murder of Virginia Witte. Authorities said Krajcir was expected to be transported to the Cape Girardeau County Jail in time for court New Year's Eve.

Now, it appears Illinois officials have decided to hold Krajcir at Tamms Correctional Center until the Williamson County case is closed, said Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

"Hopefully it won't take them long to dispose of their Williamson County charge," Swingle said.

Krajcir will be transported to and from the Williamson County Courthouse in Marion, Ill., for court proceedings, Swingle said.

Derek Schnapp, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, said that all four jurisdictions -- Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Pennsylvania -- want to get Krajcir into their courtrooms to stand trial. "We understand Missouri's interest in bringing Krajcir to justice in Missouri. We have that same interest here," he said. "Right now he's secured at a supermax prison, and that's just where we're keeping him till we figure out what's going on."

Krajcir is serving the start of a 40-year sentence at Tamms for the 1982 murder of Deborah Sheppard in Carbondale, Ill.

Police in Paducah, Ky., and Reading, Pa., have announced their interest in Krajcir as a suspect in two additional unsolved murders -- Joyce Tharp of Paducah and Myrtle Rupp of South Temple, Pa. Both murders occurred in the late 1970s. Charges for those crimes are expected sometime this month, police have said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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