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Man convicted in 1975 death of newspaper boy dies in prison


A man convicted in the 1975 abduction and murder of a Rockford newspaper carrier has died in prison.

The Montgomery County coroner's office says 78-year-old Robert Henry Lower died Sunday from medical complications at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro.

Fifteen-year-old Joey Didier was delivering newspapers in Rockford when Lower abducted him the morning of March 4, 1975.

The Rockford Register Star reports Lower was convicted of murder in 1975. The death penalty wasn't a sentencing option at the time. Instead, Lower received an "indeterminate" sentence of 100-150 years.

Didier's family had to relive the crime in the 19 times they appeared before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in an effort to keep Lower in prison. Didier's sister, Diane Adolphson, said she wept in relief when she got the message Lower died in prison.

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