BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Friday marks one week since the Bike Path Killer, Altemio Sanchez, died while serving time in prison.
In 2007, Sanchez admitted to killing three women and he was being held at the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility in Alden. He was serving a sentence of 75 years to life.
Sanchez terrorized the local community across a span of two decades. In addition to the killing of three women — Majane Mazur, Linda Yalem and Joan Diver — Sanchez was also accused of rape by dozens of women. His crimes took place on numerous bike and walking paths around Western New York.
When Sanchez was convicted and sentenced for some of his crimes, law enforcement officials thought justice was finally served. Now, retired Buffalo Police Detective Lissa Redmond says even in his death, Sanchez is still inflicting pain on Western New York.
“Once again, it just feels like he manages to pop up and re-victimize us all over again,” Lissa Redmond, retired Buffalo Police Detective, told News 4 on Thursday afternoon. “He was just such an evil person right up to the day he died.”
Redmond was a detective with the Special Victims and Cold Case Units during her 22 year career in the Buffalo Police Department. His crime spree spanned decades and Redmond spent many years investigating him. She was assigned to work on the task force that ultimately brought Sanchez to justice for killing Mazur, Yalem and Diver.
She was on vacation last Friday when she received many messages and calls informing her Sanchez died.
Redmond says some of the victims may never find closure, including those Sanchez raped. The statute of limitation expired and Sanchez could not be convicted of those crimes.
“There are estimates on the number of rapes that he committed. Anywhere from 18 to 30. Will we ever know? Probably not. Now that he’s gone probably not,” Redmond said. “I still lay in bed at night and stare at the ceiling and think what if, what if what if. What could I have done better? What could I have done differently?”
His death is a painful reminder of the past, according to Redmond. She says the case impacted not only the victims and their families but all of Western New York.
“The victims are not just victims. They’re our neighbors, our friends, our family members,” Redmond said. “We are all one community here in Buffalo. We really truly are the City of Good Neighbors and when one of us hurts, we all hurt.”
Redmond’s main focus continues to be the victims in this case and their families. She says she is praying they find closure and peace even in the Bike Path Killer’s death.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.