Parole granted for Kalamazoo man who as a teen killed 3 women in the 1970s

Brent Koster killed three women alongside serial killer Danny Ranes in 1972. (WWMT/Michigan Department of Corrections)

The Michigan Parole Board granted parole to a 64-year-old Kalamazoo area man who admitted to killing three women nearly 50 years ago, when he was a teenager.

Brent Koster, 64, served 48 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree murder for the 1972 killings of 19-year-olds Linda Clark and Claudia Bidstrup in Kalamazoo.

The Michigan Parole Board notified family of the victims that the Parole Board granted Koster parole on Nov. 10, 2020. Koster will be released on Jan. 21, 2021, according to parole records. Koster is currently housed at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

“I’m very troubled by the Michigan Department of Corrections choosing to release an admitted serial rapist, serial murderer. In my opinion the risk to our community is simply unacceptable. I’m not aware of another person with such a horrific history having ever been released anywhere. I will be reviewing the decision with my team to determine what options we have," Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said.

Koster was eligible for release consideration under the provisions of Michigan’s lifer law.

In a span of two months in July and August 1972, Koster, who was 15 years old at the time, teamed up with 28-year-old Danny Ranes to rape and kill three young women.

As part of a plea deal, Koster agreed to testify and convict serial killer Danny Ranes in the 1972 murders of Linda Clark, Claudia Bidstrup, Patricia Howk and Pamela Fearnow.

Ranes, 77, is serving four life terms in prison and is not eligible for parole.

"If I had not met Danny Ranes, I know in my heart that I would have never become involved in crimes like this," Brent Koster told the Michigan Parole Board during his parole review hearing Sept. 10, 2020.

Koster will have to serve 48 months on parole once released from prison and will have to register as a sex offender,

An appeal can be filed within 28 days after the parole board notice of decision is mailed, according the Michigan Parole Board.