At the age of 14, Harvey tried to rape an eight-year-old girl. At 24, in 1963, he tried to commit rape again, and succeeded in committing murder: He shot his girlfriend “point blank in their crowded Manhattan apartment, chased her as she staggered through the kitchen and living room, and shot her twice more before she collapsed.” Harvey was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, but released 20 years later, when he was in his 40’s.
Two years later, in 1985, he killed another girlfriend by stabbing her 30 times. After another three decades behind bars, Harvey was once again released, after which he sought “placement in city shelters” in the Bronx.
Soon, Harvey returned to violence, killing Susan Leyden, and then chopping up and discarding her body parts.
And he’s not unusual:
There are many examples of killers murdering people yet again after being paroled. One example is Kenneth McDuff, the “broomstick killer.” At the age of 19, after being paroled, McDuff and an accomplice kidnapped three teenagers. He shot and killed two boys, then killed a girl after raping her and torturing her with burns and a broomstick. Later, after being paroled yet again, he murdered additional women — as many as 15 women in several different states.
Some murderers continue to kill even at an advanced age. At the age of 76, Albert Flick killed a woman, stabbing her at least 11 times while her twin sons watched. He had previously been imprisoned from 1979 to 2004 for killing his wife by stabbing her 14 times in front of her daughter.
Just from the three murderers mentioned in the article, hanging each one after their first victim would have saved nearly twenty more victims later on.
Moving from the anecdotal to the factual:
Harvey’s return to crime after being released is not unusual for offenders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. On February 10, it issued a 116-page report titled “Recidivism of Federal Violent Offenders Released in 2010.” Over an eight-year period, violent offenders returned to crime at a 63.8% rate. The median time to rearrest was 16 months for these violent offenders. So, most violent offenders released from prison committed more crimes. Even among those offenders over age 60, 25.1% of violent offenders were rearrested for committing new crimes.
Hang ’em high, all of them.