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JURY AWARDS $5 BILLION TO VICTIM’S FAMILY

SHARE JURY AWARDS $5 BILLION TO VICTIM’S FAMILY

Reacting to the horror of his crimes, a jury Wednesday awarded $5 billion to the family of a man killed by serial killer Bob Berdella in 1986.

Jackson County Circuit Court jurors said they devised the huge award to send a message to the community about Berdella's crimes and to discourage Berdella from writing a book about his actions. If Berdella did write a book, lawyers for the family said they could seize the proceeds from it.The award is believed to be the largest ever awarded by a jury in this country in a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Jury foreman David Peterson said after the two-day trial: "I felt like I was in the presence of evil, even though he (Berdella) wasn't there. I just felt funny inside. We wanted to make a statement that there is no dollar-amount value on human life."