Arthur Seale who was convicted of murdering Exxon executive Sidney Reso, was denied early release by a judge in Trenton. Seale is serving a 95 year sentence for the crime that garnered national notoriety in 1992. Seale and his wife, Irene, had botched a kidnapping that was intended to reap an $18.5 million ransom.

According to, Seale had applied for compassionate early release because of various health issues and because he claimed he had turned his life around. Seale was a former security consultant for Exxon and was deeply in debt.

The couple forced Reso into a van outside his Morristown home at gunpoint; Reso tried to fight off the attackers and in the struggle he was shot in the arm. They bound and gagged him, placed him a wooden box and placed the box in a virtually airless storage facility in Warren where he died of his gunshot wound four days later.

The couple tried to make the authorities believe that Reso had been kidnapped by an environmental group upset over the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but various clues led the FBI to believe that the culprits were local, including DNA on the ransom notes and from the pay phones from where the calls came. Over 100 FBI agents were involved in the manhunt which culminated in Seale being captured when returning a rental car. His wife was also arrested and she cooperated with investigators, leading them to the shallow grave in the Pine Barrens where the couple had buried Reso.

Seale was convicted of felony murder, kidnapping, and various other charges and sentenced to 95 years in prison (Irene got 20 years and has since been released). At sentencing, the judge told Seale, “You will spend the rest of your life in prison. You will die in captivity.” With the denial of his request for early release, it looks like he will.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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