BUFFALO, N.Y. - Everything that pedophile Theodore Sypnier has to show for his 100 years on Earth is packed in a single duffel bag as he prepares to begin a new chapter in life: freedom.
It's a chapter that prosecutors, judges and others who know him never wanted - or expected - to see written.
New York's oldest registered sex offender is scheduled to move by week's end out of a Buffalo halfway house and into a place of his own, after completing his latest term in state prison for molesting little girls.
Ten years after his last arrest, as Sypnier prepared to shed the closely monitored lifestyle of the halfway house, its director warned that the spry and active Sypnier has not changed from the manipulator who used his grandfatherly charm to snare and rape victims as young as 4.
"Whether he's 100 or 101 or 105, the same person that was committing these crimes 10, 25, 30 years ago still exists today and has an unrepentant heart," said the Rev. Terry King, director of Grace House, which has twice taken Sypnier in from prison. "He is someone that we as parents, as members of the community, any community, really need to fear."
Being grandfatherly was how the 5-foot-5, 150-pound Sypnier found his victims, authorities say. After his most recent arrest at age 90 on charges of raping and sodomizing a 4-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister, his neighbors in the suburb of Tonawanda recalled what appeared to be a kindly Sypnier offering rides to adults, handing out money to children so they could buy candy, and baby-sitting.
The victimized sisters called him "Grandpa," their mother said at the time, adding that it "was a total shock" when police showed her sexually explicit pictures of her girls found in Sypnier's apartment.
Sypnier's convictions date to 1987, when he was given three years' probation for sex abuse.