In the Oct. 15 edition of NorthWestern Financial Review, I wrote about the murder of two bankers. Rudy Blythe and Toby Thulin, who worked at the Buffalo Ridge State Bank in Ruthton, Minn., were shot and killed by Steven Jenkins on Sept. 29, 1983. Jenkins and his father, James Jenkins, had lured the bankers to a farm the bank owned. Posing as potential buyers, they called the bank asking for a tour of the property. When the bankers arrived, the Jenkinses were waiting for them.
It was a horrible event in the history of banking in Minnesota. James Jenkins committed suicide shortly after the murders and Steven Jenkins turned himself in. There was a highly-publicized trial and he was convicted of the murders. Only 18 years old at the time, Steven Jenkins was sentenced to life in prison. That was 1984. He is incarcerated in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake, which is in the northern part of the state.
I contacted the Minnesota Department of Corrections and spokesperson Sarah Berg told me Jenkins, who has since changed his name to Steven Anderson, was up for parole in 2001. After a 1998 hearing to consider that possibility, however, parole was denied. Since then, he has had three other parole hearings. In each instance parole was denied. The last hearing was in February 2009. Berg said his next hearing is scheduled for early 2013.