Nebraska prison officials appeal judge's order to turn over drawings of serial child killer


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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska prison officials are appealing a judge's order to turn over an executed serial child killer's drawings to a former TV reporter and author of a book about the condemned man.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning filed the appeal Friday on behalf of the state Department of Correctional Services, the Lincoln Journal Star reported ( ).

"Using these drawings to profit from the horrific acts and thoughts of a convicted murderer is wholly inappropriate," Bruning said in an email to the newspaper.

Last month, a judge ruled that the department must permit author Mark Pettit to inspect and reproduce the drawings by John Joubert.

Pettit said the state's continued attempts to block access to the drawings are "very disappointing."

"It's a colossal waste of time and taxpayer dollars," he said. "I don't think they should be the editors of evidence."

Pettit is author of "A Need to Kill: The True-Crime Account of John Joubert, Nebraska's Most Notorious Serial Child Killer." He has been trying for more than 25 years to get the prison system to release two drawings in which Joubert said he depicted his fantasies to kill again.

Joubert was convicted of the fatal stabbings of two Bellevue-area boys, ages 12 and 13, weeks apart in 1983. A Maine jury later found him guilty of murder in the 1982 slaying of an 11-year-old boy there.

Nebraska executed Joubert in 1996.

Pettit contends the public has a right to see the drawings. He says Joubert told him during a series of prison interviews that he continued to have fantasies about killing children even after being sentenced and that he expressed the fantasies in two graphic drawings confiscated by prison authorities.

Pettit has said he wants the drawings analyzed by a forensic psychiatrist and the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,

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