November 28, 2021
Local News

Remembering Lorry: Friends, family look back on joy 'Ripper Crew' victim shared during life

Lorraine Borowski, 21, of Elmhurst was murdered in 1982 by 'Chicago Ripper Crew'

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ELMHURST – Funny, loyal and generous are just a few of the words that Lorraine "Lorry" Borowski's family and friends say come to mind when they think of her.

They manage to pull those memories from times shared with her more than 30 years ago, before she was brutally murdered at the age of 21 by a group of serial killers known as the "Chicago Ripper Crew."

Though dozens of years and other events in life have passed since then, Borowski's loved ones look back on their friend and sister with great fondness and remember the joyous life she led.

Mark Borowski, one of Borowski's younger brothers, was 14 when she was killed. He recently was able to find a York Community High School yearbook in which his sister had received several notes from her friends and teachers.

"You can see by these, she touched a lot of lives," he said after surveying the notes, some of which were lengthy.

He recalled she was a "protector" of the family, watching out for them. She would ask him for fashion advice. She was dating a guy with a Trans Am. She was popular in school, "hardheaded" and "really ambitious."

Terri Flandro, a friend of Lorry Borowski's from eighth grade on, said she has never met anyone like her.

She said Borowski could have been a comedian she was so funny, and she would never concentrate on her own problems. Flandro can't remember a time when Borowski complained.

"She was absolutely hysterical. She was so much fun," Flandro said.

Borowski's humor was dry and sarcastic. She would playfully tease people "all the time," and she was lighthearted.

"Lorry could really lift anyone's spirit," Flandro said.

Cindy Arndt, another friend of Borowski's, said she was "a really good person."

"Lorraine always had a positive outlook on everything. ... She was such a nice girl," Arndt said.

In their sophomore year of high school, Arndt had just gotten her driver's license and was able to drive her sister's car, a brand-new Firebird.

Borowski told her some of the other girls at school were making fun of her for being "rich."

"'Let them think what they want. ... Just ignore it,'" Arndt recalled Borowski saying.

Another time, a boy had punched Arndt at East End Pool and Borowski found her. Seeing that Arndt was crying, Borowski told her she would run and get her brother Ray from home, which was less than a block from the pool, so that he could tell the boy not to hit girls, Arndt recalled.

Flandro also recalls Borowski was generous and loyal.

"She would give you the shirt off her back," she said.

Flandro said Borowski would give gifts to her younger brothers like toys and clothes, finding out what they wanted and then getting it for them. Borowski also hosted a party for Flandro's 18th birthday at her home with food and cake and plenty of friends.

Bob Linehart, who was a next-door neighbor while he and Borowski were growing up, said she was always smiling and never had any enemies.

"She was just an absolute sweetheart," he said. "[She] didn't seem to have a bad bone in her body."

Thomas Kokoraleis, the crew member ultimately convicted of Borowski's 1982 murder, is scheduled to be released from prison Sept. 29. However, a joint effort by the Illinois Attorney General's Office and DuPage County State's Attorney's Office could keep him in custody longer through the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

Many of Borowski's loved ones don't want to see her murderer freed from prison.

Her brother Matt Borowski has started a petition to Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois Attorney General's Office Bureau Chief Joelle Marasco, asking that Kokoraleis not be released on parole. There were more than 20,000 signatures on the petition as of Aug. 25.

Arndt also has created a memorial Facebook group for Borowski.

"She can't speak up for what's right and she always did, so I'll do it for her," she said.