Serial killer released from prison against advice of victim's family

FORT MILL, S.C. -- A convicted serial killer who was just released from prison is moving to South Carolina.

Catherine Wood made national headlines in the 1980s when she and her partner, Gwendolyn Graham, murdered five women between the ages of 60 and 98. All of the victims lived at Alpine Manor Nursing Home in Michigan and had dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Wood is now 57 years old. With her release, John Engman is warning anybody who may end up living near her.

"I feel sorry for the people who have to live around her, quite frankly," Engman, whose mother-in-law Mae Mason was one of Wood's victims, said. "I think she is a danger to society. I would certainly think they (authorities) are going to keep an eye on her -- at least for two years. But after that, she can go wherever she wants."

After being denied parole eight times because the parole board thought she was a potential danger and showed no remorse for her crimes, Wood is moving to Fort Mill, South Carolina -- located just south of Charlotte -- to live with her sister.

"If I was a neighbor, I would want to definitely know that we have a serial killer living next door," Engman said.

During the trial, Wood testified that Graham was the one who physically suffocated all of the victims. Wood said she was simply a lookout. But investigators at the time argued that Wood was more involved; they also feared that the two women had killed as many as a dozen victims.

Graham is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Wood walked out of federal prison Thursday after serving nearly 30 years for second-degree murder.

Roger Kaliniak investigated the murders in 1987. He told Charlotte's ABC affiliate WSOC that he feared Wood would kill again.

"She's a serial killer and she could do it again, and most of them do," he said. "I believe that Cathy Wood was the mastermind, she was the one that was pulling strings on Gwendolyn Graham. Gwendolyn Graham handled the dirty work and Cathy Wood was the brains behind it. "

Wood's parole ends in June 2021.
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