Child killers spent youth incarcerated
Apr 10,2009 00:00 by UPI

CHICAGO -- Two Chicago men who spent their childhood in jail for a sensational killing in the 1990s are both free for the first time in their adult lives.

Jessie Rankins, 25, was 10 years old and Tykeece Johnson, 26, was 11 when they were convicted of abducting 5-year-old Eric Morse and dropping him to his death from the 14th-floor window of a public housing high rise, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

At the time of the crime, the Tribune says Rankins and Johnson became symbols of what one expert described as a new class of "super-predators," dangerous youths who acted impulsively and lacked remorse.

In an exclusive interview, Rankins told the Tribune he is trying to put the killing behind him but adds it is "always going to be there at the back of your mind."

He said he suffers from recurring nightmares. In one, he is kidnapped and thrown off a high-rise.

Johnson said he wants readers to know he isn't a horrible person, the Tribune said.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.