Parole granted to man convicted of 1960 murder of store clerk in Saugus

The state parole board on Tuesday granted parole to Norman Porter, 82, a convicted murderer who escaped from a Massachusetts prison in 1985 and lived under an assumed name in Chicago for 20 years before being taken over.

The board said in its decision that Porter, convicted in 1962 of second-degree murder for the 1960 murder of 22-year-old store clerk Jackie Pigott during a Saugus robbery, is now a “candidate appropriate” for parole, citing factors such as Porter’s health issues and participation in work, education and treatment programs behind bars.

The ruling said the board “is of the opinion that Mr. Porter is rehabilitated and merits parole at this time.”

He was convicted of the murder of Pigott, who was shot on September 29, 1960, during a robbery at a Saugus clothing store; and David Robinson Sr., 53, a Middlesex County jail master shot dead in 1961 when Porter and another inmate escaped from Cambridge jail.

Governor Michael Dukakis commuted Porter’s life sentence for the murder of Robinson in 1978. The other inmate was the trigger for Robinson’s murder.

Porter escaped from prison in 1985 and eluded capture until March 2005 in Chicago, where he was found living under the pseudonym Jacob “JJ” Jameson and had become known for his poetry.

He was later dubbed the “killer poet” and the Massachusetts parole board rejected his previous release offer in 2015.

Pigott’s relatives, including his older brother, Robert, had attended that earlier parole board hearing in January 2015 and opposed his request for release. Robert Pigott said in 2015 that his brother’s death “destroyed my family. He destroyed my mother and my father. They didn’t live a day without thinking of my brother’s memories.

At the 2015 hearing, Porter turned around and apologized to the Pigott family.

He also argued in 2015 that the positive life he led while on the run and living in Chicago should be considered by the council. Additionally, Porter repeatedly told the board in 2015 that he was not the person who fired the fatal shot with a sawed-off shotgun that killed Pigott. It was his co-defendant, who was later murdered in state prison, he said.

“There are no excuses here. But I am fully aware that I am not the same person I was at 20 and at 75, which I will be in three weeks,” Porter told the board in 2015. “I go to my grave with them. in my thoughts.”

Material from previous Globe stories has been used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.