LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo – Her 2-year-old son was murdered in Lee’s Summit, now the convicted killer is up for parole. James Love was sentenced to 300 years after stabbing a 14-year-old babysitter and a 2-year-old to death back in 1975. Now the victim’s families are having to re-live that night all over again and attend a hearing where Love could get parole.
“This was the last picture we had of him. He was really cute,” said mom Carol Berger.
Jeffrey Berger was a typical toddler, with a million dollar smile.
It was hard for Carol to leave her son’s side, but on New Year’s Eve night in 1975 she and her husband went to a party and left little Jeff home with babysitter Sheila Curtright. Soon after, the next door neighbor, James Love, knocked on the door. Love told 14-year-old Sheila he needed to borrow some chairs.
“She let him in, she was young and he said he knew us and he needed to borrow chairs,” she said.
About an hour later, Love headed to the same party Carol and her husband were attending.
“He came directly to me and wanted to give me a New Year's Eve hug I went that's OK. He had already done what he did.”
Little did Carol know, Love had just murdered her 2-year-old son, and Sheila.
“He had already done this to my child. That just shows what kind of person he is you cannot let him out of prison he'll do the same thing.”
Love was convicted and sentenced to 300 years in prison. Due to Missouri law, he gets a parole hearing every five years, and every five years Sheila and Jeff’s families have to relive the most horrendous pain of their lives.
“It's very emotional it takes you right back to that time.”
An online petition to fight against Love’s possibility of parole was started online, getting more than 1,200 signatures in just 72 hours.
“He had on my dad’s cowboy hat.”
Today, Jeffrey would be 45 years old. Carol will never know what kind of man he would’ve become.
“Jeff and Sheila got no second chance why does he keep getting all these chances it doesn't seem fair.”
Love’s parole hearing will be in Jefferson City next week. Both families are traveling there to speak.
For more information on the petition, click on this link.