No parole for James Ruppert in Easter mass murder

Staff Writer Vivienne Machi contributed to this report

Parole has been denied for James Ruppert, a Hamilton man who killed 11 members of his family on Easter Sunday in 1975.

Ruppert, 81, was convicted in 1982 after three trials of two counts of first-degree murder (now known as aggravated murder) and found not guilty by reason of insanity on the nine remaining counts.

The hearing was held Thursday at Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution by a parole board panel. Ruppert’s bond was denied. He was last denied parole in 1995 and 2005.

“The board has determined that the inmate is not suitable for release at this time,” the board said in the report. “The inmate has not completed any recommended programming and does not appear to be willing to do so. The inmate’s record notes negative institutional conduct. The inmate took the lives of multiple victims. There has been strong community objections to his release … the release of this inmate would not be in the best interest of justice.”

The next parole hearing date was set for April 2025.

On March 30, 1975, Ruppert, then 41, shot 11 members of his family, including his mother, Charity; his brother, Leonard Jr.; his sister-in-law, Alma; and their eight children — Leonard III, 17; Michael, 16; Thomas, 15; Carol, 13; Ann, 12; David, 11; Teresa, 9; and John, 4 — in his mother’s home on Minor Avenue in Lindenwald. He is serving a life sentence.

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