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Vicious rapist could get out of prison

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME

DEER PARK, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A rapist who set his young victim on fire is coming up for parole in barely two weeks.
   
Larry Tatum has not been on the streets for 36 years.  His crime was almost unbelievable.  He raped a teenager, tried to kill her, then set her on fire.

In a story you'll see only on Local 12 News, the target of Tatum's torture still refuses to let him win.  On May 25, 1977, a 16-year-old walked along Montgomery Road toward her home in Deer Park.  She accepted a ride from a psychopath, Larry Tatum.  Still fearing for her life, Local 12 agreed not to show how Donna looks now.

Donna said, "I was sitting on a bench and he had asked me if I needed a ride.  I said, 'I do.'  And I never made it."

Tatum took Donna to his Silverton apartment and beat her unconscious.

"When I came to he was on top of me, raping me.  His eyes just staring at mine and the last thing he said was, 'I'm gonna have to kill you.'"

Unconscious again, Donna was thrown in the apartment dumpster where Tatum poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire.  Then he pummeled her head with a cinder block.  She still carries the fire scars on her arms and what's left of her hands.

Madeira police Chief Frank Maupin said, "Worst thing I've ever seen. I been doing this 38 years, it was that bad."

Chief Maupin was a rookie Silverton patrolman when he got a call about someone in the dumpster.  Donna still remembers hearing Maupin say, "Honey we're gonna get you out of here."

"It was Frank's voice that saved my life," she said.

The entire Silverton police department came in to work the case and they caught Tatum in just 24 hours.  Support for keeping Larry Tatum in prison also comes from Deer Park police Chief Mike Schlie.

Chief Schlie was only seven when Tatum tortured the teen from his neighborhood, "I honestly don't believe that this monster getting out of prison is safe for anybody in the community.  Anybody that has a wife, child, anything is not gonna be safe if he's out."

Chief Maupin remembers the day he looked in the dumpster every time Tatum comes up for parole.  Tatum was sentenced to anywhere from 15 to 55 years, so unless something dramatic happens to him he will get out at some pointT.  he hope is it just won't be now.

Larry Tatum's parole hearing is August 1 and Local 12 will let you know what happens.
   
CLICK HERE to let the parole board know how you feel about the possibility that he could soon be a free man.  The Hamilton County prosecutor has an online petition that will be sent to the parole board.



Follow Rich Jaffe on Twitter @rajaffe and LIKE him on Facebook


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