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Family, supporters take fight to Trenton to keep honor student’s killer behind bars

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

“I have gotten to a point where I do not want revenge or retribution,” said the father of an honor student slain 33 years ago, who will ask the Parole Board today to deny her killer’s release.


“All I want is justice, not only for Kim’s sake, but for the sake of the entire community….Kim’s life was taken from her, and now, her killer must be penalized for the rest of his life. He should never, ever be paroled,” Andrew Montelaro said.

He will be in Trenton with his wife and son, as well as with members of a grass-roots group that has gathered nearly 1,100 e-mailed and handwritten letters to give the board before today’s hearing. Employees at KPMG, the international accounting and consulting firm in Montvale, have collected more than 40 signatures, as well.

Several people boarded the early Wednesday at Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, where Kim Montelaro went to school. They include IHA Principal Pat Molloy, who helped collect 130 letters from alumni. To top it off, Bergen County authorities’ case for keeping 39-year-old Christopher Righetti locked up will be presented by Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenvort — an IHA graduate herself.

Kim Montelaro

Kim’s parents, Alice and Andrew Montelaro, and her brother, Paul, are also expected to speak.

“Righetti needs to serve the same life sentence that he imposed on the Montelaro family,” New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro added.

Several municipalities have adopted resolutions asking the Parole Board to honor the Montelaros’ request.

The first was Washington Township, where Kim Montelaro attended IHA before Righetti — then 16 — abducted the 20-year-old honor student from the parking lot of the Paramus Park Mall on Aug. 31, 1976 and took her to a wooded area, where he raped her and stabbed her six times in the chest before dumping her body in a swimming hole, authorities said.

The towns include Hackensack, Woodcliff Lake, New Milford, Norwood, and River Vale, with Allendale, Cresskill and Fair Lawn expected to join in next week. Paramus adopted a measure last night.

“Righetti is a dangerous murderer who has shown no remorse for his brutal crime,” said Bob Schroeder, founder of KeepBergenSafe.com and a member of the Washington Township Council.

“We’re doing our best to get as many people as we can to join us in our fight to keep Christopher Righetti behind bars where he belongs,” Schroeder said.

Kim was 17 years old in the yearbook picture here (June, 1974), which was graciously provided by the Montelaro family.

For the original story, including information on how to help, click here: Father of slain Bergen girl wants killer kept behind bars

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