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Daughter of paroled murderer speaks out

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - A notorious murderer is released after spending 30 years behind bars.

Donald Bent was sent to prison in 1988 for strangling his wife, Joan.

Bent's daughter says he admitted to killing his wife while behind bars.

Dawn Bent recalls the day her father Donald Bent admitted to what she had long suspected.

"I said the $64 million question Dad, we all want to know, did you do it? And his response was, 'Yes, I did.'"

She says the prison confession came from her father during a visit with him three years ago. Bent was serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife Joan, Dawn's stepmother in 1986.

"We all kinda knew he did it but to hear him come out and say it, I was kind of blown away."

"She is my entire life," Donald said.

In 1986 when his wife had gone missing, he insisted he had nothing to do with it.

"They asked me questions like, did I murder my wife? Did I hire someone to murder my wife? Could I take them to the body?"

Days after that interview, Joan's frozen body would be found in the trunk of her car outside a Menand's motel.

At the time, Bent told police his wife had left their Watervliet home to work the night shift at a Howard Johnson's in Albany, but not before sharing dinner together.

It would be her last meal that would prove Donald Bent killed his wife.

The Medical Examiner said she had been strangled.

Her final meal left undigested, suggesting she had been killed immediately after dinner with her husband.

The motive? It's unclear, but Joan was said to be seeking a divorce after Donald's was convicted of embezzling money from his employer.

Bent served 30 years until last week when he was granted parole.

The now 86-year-old was released to a nursing home. He and his daughter remain estranged since that prison visit confession.

Dawn says she doesn't think her father is a threat to anybody.

"I don't really perceive him being a threat to anybody. I just don't know if he can mentally handle the societal change."

She says whether or not she talks with her father is up to him.

"I'm going to leave it in his court." 


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