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Archive for Friday, December 8, 2006

Lorna Anderson up for parole again

December 8, 2006

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— A former Emporia church secretary who admitted having her husband killed in 1983, while she was having an affair with the church's minister, will try for the sixth time to be paroled from prison.

Lorna Anderson Eldridge Moore, 53, was sentenced to 15 years to life in 1988 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Martin. She also was convicted in 1984 of soliciting the murders of her husband and the wife of former Emporia minister Tom Bird.

Moore has been in the Topeka Work Release Center, a minimum-security prison, since April 24. Public comments on her parole request will be heard this month in Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka. The Kansas Parole Board will consider her request at a meeting in January.

Moore has been denied parole in 1988, 1995, 1998, 2000, and February of this year. Her earliest possible release date is Feb. 1, 2007.

Bird has been out of prison since June 2004, after serving 20 years of a life sentence he received after being convicted of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Sandra.

Moore's name was Lorna Eldridge when she first was sentenced to prison. She married Randy Eldridge in June 1985, and they were divorced in 1990. She now is known as Lorna Gail Moore.

Bill Miskill, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said he didn't know why her last name was now Moore.

Miskill said Moore has been working in Topeka since April. The name of her employer is not public information, but she works for a privately owned company.

In July 1983, Bird killed his wife, pushed her car over an embankment near Emporia and then placed her body in the car, authorities said. Her death initially was ruled an accident.

Four months later, Anderson, her husband and their children pulled to the side of a highway in Geary County, after she complained of feeling ill. When she got out of the family's van, she said she couldn't find her keys and asked her husband to help find them. Martin Anderson was shot by a masked gunman while looking for the keys.

Anderson confessed to her role in the murder plot against her husband and named Tom Bird as the man who killed Martin Anderson. Bird was acquitted of that first-degree murder charge in Geary County District Court.

The story was the subject of the 1987 television miniseries "Murder Ordained."

Bird was paroled from the first-degree murder and criminal solicitation charges on June 14, 2004, after serving less than 19 years in his wife's death.

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