Garry Gampfer, convicted in '93 of murdering 8-year-old girl, released from prison

Garry Gampfer, convicted in '93 of murdering 8-year-old girl, released from prison (WKRC)

NEWPORT, Ky. (WKRC) - The man convicted in a notorious northern Kentucky murder walked out of prison a free man on Friday.

Gary Gampfer was convicted in 1993 for killing 8-year-old Jessica Buckler.

Local 12's Joe Webb covered the story back then.

Gampfer was convicted in Campbell County and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the brutal stabbing death of Jessica Buckler.

Her family is flummoxed that the math of justice can convert 40 years to 24 and concerned it's been 24 years and 8 months since Jessica Buckler died during a hide-and-seek game that turned murderous.

Gary Gampfer has been locked up all that time, until Friday morning. Buckler's parents got a robo-message Wednesday that he would be getting out in the next 14 days.

"On Thursday, they called that number back and were notified that he was going to be released today [Friday]. This morning. So we really had less than 24 hours to prepare for this situation," said Jessica Buckler's sister.

Jessica Buckler's sister was 9-years old when police officers with dogs searched her neighborhood for the missing girl. They found Jessica stabbed to death and charged the odd, 17-year-old who often played with the younger kids for her murder.

The fact Gampfer is now out is not only concerning to the family. Jack Porter prosecuted the case.

"The old adage that you predict future behavior by past behavior and I guess that I'd be concerned about that. I'd be concerned if he was living in my neighborhood, absolutely," said Porter.

That is the sister's concern. The family has been told Gampfer is moving back to the area to live with his family. They'd like to keep their distance, but have no way to know how.

"There is a sex offender registry. you can easily look it up and see where sex offenders are living but there's no "I kill children" registry. That seems like something we need," said Jessica's sister.

The Buckler family was told by the prosecutor not to appear on television. That's why Local 12 altered the sister's image and did not use her name.

Jessica Buckler would be 32-years-old.

Attempts by Local 12 to reach the Gampfer family were unsuccessful.

The Buckler family was told Garry Gampfer is returning to northern Kentucky and plans to live in Boone County.

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