Registry lists murderers living in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Registry lists murderers living in the Heartland

(KFVS) -

What if we told you a convicted murderer lives on your street? How would you feel? Now an Illinois registry tells you where convicted killers are living and we found almost a dozen in the Heartland.

They've served their time, but must register their address with the Illinois State Police. Convicted killers living among us in towns like Anna, Metropolis, Murphysboro, and Zeigler.

We talked to one man just two years out of prison. Michael Taylor says his life now centers on clearing his name and starting over.

"I'm just trying to raise my family and live my life," said Taylor. He says he's been working multiple jobs in Metropolis since getting out of prison.

"I cut hair, I'm doing anything I can," said Taylor. "I'm educated and I want a chance at another life."

Taylor insists he's innocent, and says he fears the title of murderer will haunt him forever.

"My life was ripped from me unjustly," said Taylor. "I just feel like I didn't do the crime but I had to do the time. Ok, let me go back out here and get my life together and move on."

We found Taylor's name and address on the Illinois State Police Violent Offender Against Youth Registry.

According to the site, Taylor was convicted of two counts of murder in Cook County. He was 17, according to the registry. Taylor says he served 15 years.

"It's like there's an invisible rope around my neck but every time I take a step forward the system pulls me back to let me know you still belong to me," said Taylor.

Taylor is just one of nearly a dozen convicted murderers we found living in the vicinity of area codes starting with 629. It's something people had mixed feelings about.

"I wonder about the nature of the crime," said Andrea Stanley of Zeigler.

Some people say the issue becomes more sensitive in towns so small and didn't want to show their face on camera, or give their name.

"You're really in shock," one woman told us. "You don't think about that they are living here. When they get out of prison they do have to start over somewhere."

In Ziegler we found one man listed as living in a residential neighborhood.

Another convicted murderer living in Murphysboro declined to talk to us. We found him living behind a local church.

In every town we stopped in, people told us they were unaware but previously unbothered.

"I feel like this is a safe community," one woman in Murphysboro told us. "I am interested to get on the site and find out more about where they live.

Even after time is served names of those convicted of violent crimes against youth still show up on the list anyone can access. Taylor feels for him, it's not fair and now he says he won't stop until he clears his name.

"I just want to say to the people of Metropolis so far I've felt welcome here and I hope they accept me. Just because they see the color of my skin, I hope they don't think that reflects the color of my character," said Taylor.  

Meanwhile, of three addresses in Anna, we found one at a mental health center and another that came up as a business, and not a residence.

We are waiting to hear more from the Illinois State Police about how they monitor the offenders on the list.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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