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Convicted killer in Great Neck Estates murder released from prison, officials say

Bruce Haims, 61, was released on parole Monday

Bruce Haims, 61, was released on parole Monday more than three decades after the murder of Pamela Sharon of Great Neck Estates.   Credit: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

A former bookkeeper who fatally clubbed a young file clerk in her family's Great Neck Estates home more than three decades ago got out of prison Monday after parole commissioners recently decided to grant his release, according to state corrections officials.

Bruce Haims killed Pamela Sharon, then 21, in an attack in the summer of 1983 in which he also tried to rape her.

A Nassau jury found him guilty of murder, manslaughter and attempted rape in 1984 before a judge sentenced him to 25 years to life behind bars.

The victim's sister, Lisa Sharon, reacted to Haims' release Monday by saying she was "absolutely sickened and unbelievably heartbroken."

She added: "The bad guy won today. All I can think about is how profoundly unfair it is that Bruce Haims is now free to have a life and a future, after he deprived my sister of those very things."

The grieving sister, who lives out of state and has fought for years to keep Haims in prison, said she has lost faith in the judicial system, including the parole commissioners who chose to set him free.

"I would like to extend an apology to the family of Haims' future victim: I am sorry that I could not keep your family safe from this monster," Sharon also said, criticizing state officials for siding with "an unrepentant murderer."

Haims will have to report to parole officials in Brooklyn, records show.

In April, the state Parole Board approved Haims' release from Woodbourne Correctional Facility despite insistence from the victim's family that he still was a danger to the community.

A transcript of Haims' April interview with parole commissioners showed he said he was "a safe bet" and "a person that's never gonna hurt another human being again," Newsday previously reported.

The former Great Neck man, who was dating a close friend of the victim's at the time of the murder, also told the board he had rediscovered his Jewish faith while in prison.

Haims said he had been part of a program in which he talked about his crimes and learned why he behaved the way he did, before serving as a peer counselor in that program for 15 years.

Haims said he had "changed as a human being," and had found housing at a facility where he could comply with sex offender restrictions and a job where he would work in accounts receivable or online sales.

At the time of the murder, he used a 20-pound shillelagh, an Irish walking stick, to beat the victim after she let him into her family's home but then turned him down for a date.

Haims' lawyer told jurors during his trial that they shouldn't convict him of murder because he was mentally ill and not legally responsible.

The defense said Haims lived in a bizarre dream world filled with perverse sexual fantasies and had been planning to murder a woman for some time.

While approved for release in late May, correction officials previously said Haims had refused to take part in a hearing to determine his sex offender risk level.

But a state Division of Criminal Justice Services spokeswoman said Monday that a judge had since named Haims a Level 3 sex offender, the highest level, and designated him a sexually violent offender.

A state corrections spokesman said an investigation  is ongoing into an anonymous letter the sister of the woman Haims was dating at the time recently received that said he soon would be free.

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