Suspected serial killer Larry Murphy will be released from an Irish prison on Thursday, it has been announced.

He was serving a fifteen year sentence for rape but is also the prime suspect in the deaths of six women, including an American,  who went missing in the Wicklow area where he is from.

One of those was Annie McCarrick, a 26-year-old from Long Island who went missing in March of 1996 after leaving her Dublin apartment for a visit to Wicklow. Her body has never been found.

Murphy's release after ten and a half years for good behavior has caused uproar in Wicklow where locals are extremely concerned for their safety.

Even his brother Tom suspects that Larry Murphy played a role in the disappearances of  the six women. Since he went to jail the disappearances have ended.

A police operation called "Operation Trace" is still in progress investigating the disappearances. An FBI expert profiler is said to have identified Murphy as the likely killer

His rape victim was kidnapped and brought to the Wicklow mountains. The woman in her mid-20s was only saved when two hunters stumbled upon the scene late at night, causing Murphy to flee.

He  was arrested a short time later at his home, which he shared with his wife and two children, close to the village of Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

Local politician  Billy Timmins has slammed the government for releasing him.

“During his imprisonment, he did not partake in any rehabilitation programme and did not co-operate with investigations into other crimes. The prospect of him only serving nine out of 14 years is a prime example of a dysfunctional justice system," he said.

Local police moved to reassure the public.

“We want to reassure you that the clear focus at all times is the safety of all individuals in the community,” a spokeswoman at Baltinglass Garda station said.

Annie McCarrick was born and raised in Long Island, but moved to  Ireland in 1987. She studied to be a teacher at St. Patrick’s Training College in Drumcondra, Dublin, and later at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth.

She came back to the U.S in 1990 but returned to Ireland in January 1993 to live there permanently.

She planned to become a teacher.

Annie's father, John McCarrick, said at the time of his only child's disappearance he knew immediately something was terribly wrong .

"She was always reaching out and touching someone . . . She would never have gone a day without talking to someone . . . We were very, very concerned," he told reporters.