By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
1979 murderer to remain in prison
• Glenn Dennison murdered former girlfriend Martha Sory
parole board

Glenn Dennison, 73, formerly of Modesto was found unsuitable for parole during a Sept. 14 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the California State Prison in Solano County. Deputy District Attorney Margot L. Roen appeared at the hearing to argue against Dennison’s release on parole.

On Oct. 13, 1979, Glenn viciously murdered 38-year-old Martha Jane Sory. Dennison had been in a romantic relationship with Sory and became jealous one night while they were drinking at a local bar after she began talking to other men. When Sory came to Dennison’s apartment, he beat her with his fists causing bruising to her face and fractures to her neck. He then strangled her. Her body was found the next day in an alley on South Ninth Street.

When investigators contacted Dennison, he denied killing the victim or even knowing her. After being confronted with evidence that connected him to the crime, Dennison admitted their relationship and that he had strangled her to death.

Dennison pled guilty on Jan. 3, 1980 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to serve 15 years-to-life in state prison.

Dennison’s history of violence continued even while in prison custody with reports of his involvement in conspiracy to commit murder, stabbing another inmate, possession of dangerous property, possession of a manufactured weapon, possession of inmate manufactured alcohol, destroying state property, fighting on the yard, being under the influence of alcohol and refusing to get down when ordered.

A prison psychologist who interviewed Dennison in 2020 noted he had only recently begun to attend self-help programming classes and been discipline free since 2015. The doctor felt that Dennison had little insight into his substance abuse problems, had an underdeveloped sense of remorse or empathy and lacked a comprehensive acceptance of responsibility to the point of putting some blame for the crime on the victim herself. The psychologist gave the opinion that Dennison still represented a moderate risk for violence if he were to be released into the community.

When questioned about the crime during the recent parole hearing, Dennison suggested that it was the victim’s fault for making him angry and jealous over other men. Dennison did acknowledge that his actions toward the victim were also fueled by alcohol and drugs.

Roen told the board that Dennison showed a complete lack of remorse and had not even begun to substantively address his issues regarding domestic violence and substance abuse which were at the crux of his crime. Roen also pointed out that Dennison had given several conflicting statements about crucial details of his past and the crime itself. When questioned about these inconsistencies, Dennison admitted he had not been truthful.

The Board of Parole found Dennison unsuitable for release, denying parole for a period of three years. This was Dennison’s eighth parole hearing since 1991. His next parole hearing may be advanced to an earlier date if he can show a change in circumstances.