VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Shawn Novak, who killed two young boys in 1991, is eligible for parole July 10.
Virginia Beach Police Sergeant Shawn Hoffman was the lead investigator on the Novak case, and says Novak will kill again if he is released.
"This was a thrill kill for him," Hoffman said. "It was an absolute thrill kill for him."
Novak killed 9-year-old Daniel Geier and 7-year-old Scot Weaver. Shortly after the murders in 1991, Hoffman interviewed the Novak for hours. Hoffman said something happened in the initial interview that caught his attention.
"When I asked him the question, 'What type of person do you think would have committed this crime?' Shawn responded to me, 'A serial killer.' And said, 'Let me explain to you why,' and he began listing what a serial killer was all about," Hoffman said.
Hoffman asked Novak what he thinks should happen to a serial killer.
"Well, maybe they need to get some counseling," Hoffman said Novak responded.
"Right then and there I said, 'Something's going on. He's either involved, he's the person who did it or he knows something about it,'" Hoffman said.
Hoffman interviewed Novak with his mother in the room the day after he asked the controlled questions. When the interview was almost over, "I told him, I said, 'You killed them, didn't you? And he said, 'Yes, I did."
That confession in 1991 led detectives to Novak's home.
"Inside we were able to find the knife that was used to kill the two little boys," Hoffman said. "We also found a book on serial killers. We found all the newspaper articles throughout the country where he was tracking serial killers."
From that evidence and because of Novak's police interview, Hoffman says he has no doubt that Novak was the killer.
"Shawn Novak is probably the only one that I've ever interviewed out of probably 15 years in homicide that is a potential serial killer," Hoffman said.
Novak is now in his 30s, and has been married for three years. His wife, Christina, declined to comment on how the two met and fell in love, but she does say she does not believe her husband is capable of becoming a serial killer.
"You guys don't know Shawn like I do and like his family does, so I don't find that to be founded," Christina Novak said. "I and Shawn's family and his friends, we love and support him. We hope that he comes home and whenever he is able to come home, we have everything set up in place that Shawn would need."
Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant says he does not believe Christina will see her husband out of prison any time soon.
"With the members on the parole board, the history of Virginia's parole board, I would be very, very shocked if Shawn Novak gets parole his first time up, his second time up, his third time up," Bryant said.
He says the reason for that is simple.
"The fact that it was capital murder, that it was two young children, that it seemed to be sort of a thrill killing and then when I look at the history of those that they're not granting parole to, and I see people in their 60s and 70s that they are refusing to grant parole to in lesser cases, I don't believe that Shawn Novak is going to be granted parole," Bryant said. "One (victim) was almost decapitated as a result of the multiple stab wounds. The other one, the medical examiner said died of blunt force trauma, but he was also stabbed repeatedly."
Bryant told WAVY.com murder is not taken lightly in Virginia.
"Punishment is supposed to also be a deterrent to others and everyone should know and believe that in Virginia if you kill people, you're going to jail for as long as we can keep you there," Bryant said. "That's how precious we look at life. It's not that we don't look at life as precious. We look at life as so precious that if you take one, you are subjecting yourself to giving up your own Bryant said.
Virginia is a "no parole" state. However, that "no parole" law did not go into effect until 1995 according to Bryant. Novak was convicted and sentenced in 1992 before the new law was created. That means Novak is grandfathered into the old law where he is eligible for parole.
A parole board administrator tells WAVY.com Novak had his parole interview in May. While he is eligible for parole beginning Tuesday, the board could take up to six weeks or more to make their decision.
Novak is currently being held in the Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Buchanan County, Virginia.
Scot Weaver's family declined our interview request and we were unable to get in touch with the Geier family.
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