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Kenneth Zadel was arrested for stealing from Hy-Vee

A 76 year-old man is in the Boone County Jail after being arrested for stealing. Kenneth Zadel was arrested earlier this month for allegedly attempting to steal more than $250 worth of items at the Columbia Hy-Vee on south Columbia.

This is the third stealing case against him since 2011. And he’s no stranger to the law. He was also convicted of murder in New Jersey decades ago. Columbia police say this was the fourth time they’ve arrested Zadel since 2009. It wasn’t until this recent arrest that they discovered Zadel was a convicted killer.

For the past several years, Zadel has told some neighbors about his past. But many others say he seemed to be by himself a lot. We called the New Jersey Department of Corrections and learned he was convicted in 1975 of murder. We tried to get the details what he did, but officials said it would take at least a day to find the files since the case was so old.

Zadel was sent to prison where he stayed for the next five years. DOC officials say that’s because he found a way to escape. He was picked up about a year later in Oregon. Zadel stayed in prison there for the next 19 years before being sent back to New Jersey. He got paroled in 2001 and moved to Missouri in 2005.

We asked Missouri’s Department of Corrections what the conditions of his parole is, but they wouldn’t give us that information. But his neighbors in Columbia say he seemed like a nice average person. They were shocked when I told them about Zadel’s past.

His next court date is next month.

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