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81-year-old convicted killer Thomas Childs goes before parole board for fifth time

BOSTON — Thomas Childs, an 81-year-old career criminal convicted for the second-degree murder of the 1983 Roslindale shooting death of a father of three, is asking for parole for the fifth time.

And for the fifth time, the victim’s heartbroken family is begging the Massachusetts Parole Board to keep Thomas Childs locked up.

“You blew him away just like that. I hate thinking about it. It eats at me,” Nadine Efstathiou, the victim’s wife said to Childs who was sitting in a wheelchair just a few feet away from her.

The wheelchair-bound Childs has spent 39 years in prison and Nadine Efstathiou told the parole board the facts of the shooting alone, should keep Childs locked up.

“You know what you did. You pulled that gun out and cocked it. You’re the one that pulled the trigger,” Efstathiou said.

Nadine’s husband, Kostas Efstathiou, was fatally shot in the back of a car in the parking lot of a Roslindale Dunkin donuts in October 1983. Efstathiou was shot in the face at point blank range as he was waking up.

In three parole hearings, going back ten years, Childs said he walked up to the car and pulled out his gun because he and a friend thought someone in the car was laughing at a girlfriend.

At today’s parole hearing, Childs said he’s not sure why the gun fired.

“I did not intentionally kill Kostas. I didn’t know him. He hadn’t said a word to me. He wasn’t anyone I was angry at. But at the same time, I was responsible for his death, I murdered him,” Childs told the Board.

In 1975, eight years before the Efsthathiou killing, Governor Michael Dukakis gave Childs a major break pardoning him for other violent crimes.

Now 81 years old, confined to a wheelchair and suffering from diabetes, Childs said he knows he could die in prison, but he said he is no harm to anyone.

He told the Parole Board, that he’s not angry anymore.

“One, I’m getting old. And two, it doesn’t matter if I’m right anymore,” Childs said.

But in an emotional appeal to the Parole Board, the victim’s sister urged members not to be fooled.

“I don’t care if he’s 100 years old. He will find a way to hurt somebody,” warned Andromahi Lemonias.

Both sides have two weeks to file more paperwork with the Parole Board.

A decision could come at any time.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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