Lee pleaded his case to the parole board, sometimes emotionally, Tuesday at the Westville prison. He was released last September, after serving less than half of his original sentence for good behavior and taking classes in prison.
But his return to Monroe County outraged people and the state feared for his safety. He moved to several counties in his two months of freedom, not wanted anywhere. He was then re-arrested in November for violating his parole when he tried to get into a car with a woman in South Bend.
Lee said Tuesday he was just trying to help the woman, who was lost.
"Somebody asked for help. If I can I try to help them, that's all I was thinking of that time, " Lee told the board.
It happened outside the South Bend work release center where Lee was staying. A woman in a car visiting an inmate asked for directions. When she had trouble following them, he got in to show her the way.
"That's where I made my mistake, I did get into that car," Lee told the parole board.
But Parole Board Vice Chairman Randy Gentry told him "it was a horrible decision. A gentleman with a record like yours, red flags are going to go up everywhere."
Lee was driving with a woman into a semi-wooded area. After the murder in 1986, police found Lee's notebook where he wrote "girl or woman must be abducted or killed in a relatively isolated area then move to woods or abandoned building."
So getting into the woman's car in November was "not the smart thing to do," Lee said.
Lee's past will always follow him. Breaking down in tears, he told the Board he "was attempting to find work, however due to the publicity, almost every door was being shut in my face. I was being shut down everywhere. This is happened several different places in the state already."
His parole comes up for review one year from now. He won't finish his prison term until 2029.