CINCINNATI – A man convicted of killing a woman in 1966 and suspected in other slayings that terrorized the community and were attributed to a "Cincinnati strangler" has died in prison.
Posteal Laskey Jr. died May 29 of natural causes at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient in central Ohio, Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Tuesday. The inmate was 69.
Dean said she could not provide any more information about the cause of death.
Laskey was convicted of killing Barbara Rose Bowman, 31, whose body was found Aug. 14, 1966, near a disabled taxicab. Police suspected Laskey in the killings of five other women but never charged him.
Cincinnati was so shaken by the crimes that Halloween trick-or-treating was moved to the daytime in 1966. The killings, which started in 1965, stopped after Laskey's arrest.
"The man terrorized the Cincinnati area, in particular elderly women, for many months," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters in a statement Tuesday. "There's no doubt in anyone's mind that he is responsible for at least six strangulations and rapes in this community."
Laskey was denied parole in February and would not have been eligible for parole for another 10 years. Deters had urged residents to ask the Ohio Parole Board to deny Laskey's release, and his office forwarded hundreds of letters to the board.
Dean said there were no family members to claim Laskey's body. He was buried in one of the state's prison cemeteries.
A jury convicted Laskey of murder and sentenced him to die in the electric chair. His sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 when the death penalty was banned. The death penalty has been reinstated, but an inmate's death sentence cannot be restored after it has been commuted.