Knoller to be freed from prison within days
Newsday.com, Jan. 2, 2003
California officials said yesterday that the woman who cared for the dogs that mauled to death Manhasset native Diane Whipple outside her San Francisco apartment in January 2001 will be released in days.
Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Heimerich said Marjorie Knoller, 48, will be released on parole after serving 16 months in prison for the killing.
Knoller was in the hallway when the massive Presa Canario dogs, Bane and Hera, – they had been owned by two jailed white supremacists – attacked and tore Whipple’s body apart.
Knoller follows to freedom her husband, Robert Noel, 62, who served most of his 4-year sentence in an Oregon prison and was paroled in September.
The couple was convicted in 2002 of second-degree murder, a verdict that was overturned on appeal and downgraded to involuntary manslaughter, punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Officials said Knoller would be taken from Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla to an undisclosed location where she could begin parole.
But citing security concerns – because the couple engendered a torrent of anger for making comments that seemed to some to suggest Whipple was responsible for her own death – Heimerich said the date of the release would not be disclosed.
The mauling drew national media attention for its viciousness, the seemingly callous attitude that Knoller and Noel displayed in the aftermath of the killing and their connections with an avowed white supremacist who was serving time in prison.
That prisoner, Paul Schneider, who is serving a life sentence for robbery and attempted murder, was eventually adopted by Noel and Knoller.
Diane Whipple, who coached girls lacrosse at Saint Mary’s College of California, in Moraga, had lived with her partner, Sharon Smith, in an apartment two doors down from Knoller and Noel’s apartment.
She was attacked as she carried groceries home and met Knoller and the dogs in the hallway.