Convicted Killer Dies: Family he Vowed Revenge Against is Relieved
LAUREL, Del.- A Delaware inmate's reign of terror began with a double murder that occurred more than 50 years ago. Now, a Sussex County family is experiencing closure at the news of his death.
In 1961, 23-year-old Kermit West was convicted of killing Lorenzo and Mamie Whaley inside their Laurel home. Police say after West burglarized their home, he raped and murdered Mamie Whaley. Then records show he waited for her husband to come home -- and killed him with a shotgun blast to the face. West eventually was convicted and sent to prison.
West died last Thursday, putting an end to his threats on the Whaley family. Joan Whaley, daughter-in-law of Lorenzo and Mamie Whaley, said she is relieved.
"I even said praise God because we had dealt with this for years and years and years," she said. "We've been over and over. I think it was 17 times he had been up for parole and that always renewed everything and stirred everything up."
The case ultimately played a role in reshaping the death penalty in the state of Delaware. West died at the age of 75 at Christiana Hospital in Newark.
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