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North Orange Daily Voice serves Crawford, Hamptonburgh, Middletown, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor & Wallkill

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'Career Girls' Killer, Prisoner In Orange, One NY's Longest Serving Inmates

Richard Robles
Richard Robles Photo Credit: NYS Department of Corrections & Supervision

One of 50 prisoners who has served the longest prison sentences in New York is Richard Robles who has served 51 years at Orange County's Otisville Correctional Facility for the gruesome "Career Girls" murders in 1963.

A model prisoner without any infractions, Robles has been denied parole 17 consecutive times because of the heinous nature of the murders of the two women on Aug. 28, 1963, in a New York City apartment.

The murders took place when Robles broke into their apartment on East 88th Street, thinking the place was empty, he said in court records that he planned to steal enough money to buy some heroin.

But instead, once inside, he encountered two of the three roommates, Janice Wylie, 21, a researcher at Newsweek, and Emily Hoffert, 23, a schoolteacher. The third roommate, Patricia Tolles, who worked for Time-Life, was not at home.

Wylie, the daughter of Max Wylie, a famous radio advertising executive, novelist, and playwright ran right into Robles as he entered the apartment. He raped her before being interrupted by Hoffert. Robles told police that he planned to let the two women live until Hoffert told him she would remember his face and tell police.

He said that's when he blacked out and went crazy, knocking out both women with a Coke bottle and then stabbing them 63 times with several different knives.

He then ran from the apartment covered in blood. The women were found by Tolles.

As fate would have it another man, George Whitmore, Jr., would be arrested and found guilty of the murders after he was beaten by police to give a false confession. It would take Whitemore nine years to clear his name.

His legal nightmare ended the death penalty in New York and gave birth to the Supreme Court’s June 1966 Miranda ruling providing suspects the right to consult with a lawyer.

Robles was caught and convicted after his heroin dealer was arrested and turned in him for bragging about the murders.

Police had the heroin dealer wear a wire and Robles incriminated himself, leading to his arrest.

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