Utica (WSYR-TV) - Lawmakers have passed a new measure they hope will help police and civilians identify dangerous sex offenders.
The bill was prompted in part by the murder of Utica hotel owner Linda Turner by a serial rapist, Robert Blainey.
A mug shot police were using to identify Blainey had little resemblance to the murderer.
"If anybody was looking for the photo that was displayed, they weren't going to see that person," said the victim's son, Scott Turner.
Police ultimately caught up with Blainey after finding his victim's stolen vehicle.
“There were so many things that really shocked everyone...from the photograph, from the lack of information sharing that took place,” said State Senator Joe Griffo.
The case prompted New York State Senator Joe Griffo to introduce a new law requiring level 3 sex offenders to check-in with probation officers every 90 days for new photos, in case their appearances changes.
Blainey had been released from jail for previous crimes after admitting that he was dangerous. Another new law would require parole boards to provide a transcript of their final release review for the state office of mental health to determine if civil confinement should be considered after a jail term ends.
“There was a lady who actually had so much courage, who was raped and lives in Syracuse and came forward after this all took place. We did meet with her and we promised that we were going to do our best to try to make sure this could never happen again,” Griffo said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law on Thursday
. It will take effect in 30 days.
For Linda Turner's son, who still misses and prays for his mother each day, the news brings mixed emotions.
"I'm happy for the people of New York from this point on," said Scott Turner. "For me and for my family and for my mother, it's too late."