GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for what many call the most brutal murder in Green Bay history is being released from prison.
Randolph Whiting was the only one of four defendants convicted of murder for the rape, torture and killing of Margaret Anderson in December 1983
That's according to friends and family of the victim, Margaret Anderson.
She was tortured, beaten and murdered in December of 1983.
The following year, Randolph Whiting was arrested and eventually convicted of her murder.
Three other men -- Mark Lukensmeyer, Mark Hinton and Denice Stumpner -- were also convicted on sexual assault charges and have already been released from prison.
The lead investigator who finally tracked down Whiting remembers vividly the day he arrested Whiting.
"I know he's been in jail since August 30, 1984. I'll never forget that. We had him up by Antigo," recalls retired Green Bay police detective Jerry Parins.
By that August day, Parins had been tracking Margaret Anderson's killer for eight long months.
"They actually tortured her and beat the 'h' out of her. That became the big crime scene," describes Parins.
He remembers four different crime scenes, starting at the Back 40 bar, where Anderson was involved in some sort of fight before four men, including Whiting, raped and brutally beat her with pool cues and wood.
"What they did to her in the bar was enough to kill her," says Parins.
They took her to a manure pit across from a packing plant and slit her throat.
She crawled to the road, where a cattle truck driver, who initially thought she was a hurt animal, finally spotted her, but she died almost immediately.
"They presented themselves as one-percenters at the time, and one-percenters don't give a hell about anybody else," says Parins.
He remembers using tab books from the bar to figure out the real names of their suspects, who had only gone by handles from the biker clubs with which they were associated.
He remembers spending time with Chicago cops in the gang unit to learn more about the biker clubs, and sitting in bars in the Northwoods, hoping he and his fellow investigators would hear someone say something about their case.
But as Parins puts it, "How funny police work can be."
A deputy, shopping with his wife at a garage sale, spied Randolph Whiting coming out of a trailer on a hot summer day, wearing a shirt that revealed a unique tattoo on his arm, leading Parins and his team to a Langlade County cabin.
"It was just something else that day, but we got him, and I didn't want him shot," says Parins. "I remember telling everybody, please don't because we wanted to convict each and every one."
The others have served their sentences for rape, but Whiting, the only one convicted of murder, has been denied parole several times, until now.
His release is expected after January 21.
"I was very surprised, because, knowing he had been parole eligible for more than 20 years, and then not gotten out, I just assumed he would not be," says Mike Dauplaise, author of 'Torture at the Back 40.'
Dauplaise says Anderson's niece sent him a message Friday morning, writing: "It was a big blow, considering when they asked if he should be released, once again, I said no," reads Dauplaise.
Parins doesn't have a strong opinion on Whiting's release, but wonders what his life is like, about to get out of prison after so long.
The brutality of the crime, though, still bothers him.
"How do you treat another human being that way? Why? What would make them to do that, and we'll never know the answer," says Parins.
We've requested details of Whiting's release, including the reason the Parole Commission is granting release now, but we are still waiting for a response.