Horrible crimes happen even in the best of places. Check out these infamous murders that occurred right here in Massachusetts. Some have passed into the realm of state lore, while others are far too fresh and painful in the memories of Massachusetts residents.
10. Karina Holmer, 1996
The upper torso of 19 year old Swedish au pair Karina Holmer was found in a dumpster in the Back Bay in June of 1996. She was last seen in the Theatre District earlier that week. The other half of her body was never located and the case remains unsolved.
9. The Wakefield Massacre, 2000
On December 26, Michael "AotC" McDermott slaughtered seven of his co-workers at while working at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield. He used an AK-47 variant, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .32 caliber pistol to shoot each victim in the back of the head. When police detained him, he calmly stated that he did not speak German. At his trial, McDermott claimed that he had been for without a soul and that God had offered to allow him to travel back in time in order to kill Hitler and the last 6 Nazis. He claimed that this is what he had done in Wakefield. However, it soon came to light that McDermott may have actually been motivated by the garnishment of his wages to pay IRS taxes.
8. Wayne Lo School Shooting, 1992
Wayne Lo is a Taiwanese-born American who shot and killed one student and professor and wounded four people at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington on December 14, 1992. A gifted violinist and excellent student, Lo was accepted to Simon's Rock College of Bard in 1991. While at the school, he presented himself as a hardened racist and openly spoke about his fascist beliefs. He also wrote an essay stating that the way to decrease AIDS was to segregate homosexuals in the United States.
Lo quickly became an outcast in school. Students reported that Lo had been stockpiling ammunition in his room and school officials even intercepted a package containing 7.62 caliber ammunition, but after searching his room and questioning Lo, residence director Katherine Robinson decided that he probably did not have any weapons on campus (Lo said that the ammunition stockpiled in his room was a Christmas present for his father). The night after the search, a student whom had recently had dinner with Lo called the school to report that Lo was armed with weapons and was planning on killing the Robinson family that evening. The Robinsons responded to the information by staying at the home of another school official, but no other steps were taken and police That morning, Lo had in fact purchased a SKS semi-automatic rifle at Dave's Sporting Goods store. Around 10 pm that evening, Lo opened fire on the campus of the school. In an interview after his arrest, Lo stated: "The fact that I was able to buy a rifle in 15 minutes, that's absurd. I was 18. I couldn't have rented a car to drive home from school, yet I could purchase a rifle. Obviously a waiting period would be great. Personally, I only had five days left of school before winter break ... If I had a two-week waiting period for the gun, I wouldn't have done it."
7. Sinedu Tadesse Harvard Murder-Suicide, 1995
Sinedu Tadesse was a junior at Harvard University until May 28, 1995, when she murdered her roommate and subsequently killed herself.
Tadesse grew up in Ethiopia during a very turbulent period. To escape the violence of her environment and her difficulty making friends, she devoted herself to studying and eventually became valedictorian of her high school. She was admitted to Harvard and planned to study medicine. Unfortunately, Sinedu could not maintain her grades at college and made no friends. She mailed a form letter to multiple strangers that she selected at random from the phone book, detailing her unhappiness and asking them for friendship. During her sophomore and junior years, Sinedu shared a room with Trang Ho, a Vietnamese student who was popular and academically successful. When Trang told Sinedu she planned to live with another group of students the following year, Sinedu became despondent. Before the murder, Tadesse bought two knives and a length rope. She also sent a picture of herself with an anonymous letter to The Harvard Crimson. The message read: "Keep this picture. There will soon be a very juicy story involving this woman." She sat for one final exam. On May 28, 1995, Sinedu Tadesse fatally stabbed Trang 45 times with a hunting knife. She also assaulted one of Ho's friends who had come to visit, 26-year-old Thao Nguyen. Nguyen was seriously injured, but survived the attack. Afterwards, Tadesse hanged herself in the bathroom.
6. Waltham Triple Murder, 2011
On the evening of September 11, Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken were murdered in Mess's apartment. All had their throats slit from ear to ear, with such great force that they were nearly decapitated. The murder weapon was likely an ice pick or knife. Left piled upon their mutilated corpses were heaps of marijuana and money worth many thousands of dollars. $5,000 in cash was left at the scene. The biggest twist? Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, was the best friend of one of the victims. Officials now believe he may have been the killer in this case. A number of suspects have been considered over the years, the most unusual being the unidentified "Lisbon Ripper", a serial killer who committed a string of similar murders in Portugal around the same time.
5. Aaron Hernandez Murders, 2015
Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, was found guilty of multiple murders. On June 18, 2013, the police searched Hernandez's house in North Attleboro for several hours in connection with an investigation into the shooting death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Lloyd's body was discovered in an industrial park near Hernandez's house. The body had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. A badly damaged cell phone owned by Hernandez was turned over to police and Hernandez purportedly hired a team of professional house cleaners the same day Lloyd's body was discovered.
On April 15, 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was also found guilt for five weapon charges, which automatically translated to a life sentence without possibility of parole. Hernandez was also investigated in connection with a double murder that took place on July 16, 2012, in Boston's South End, when Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28, both of Dorchester, were killed by gunshots fired into their vehicle. On May 15, 2014, Hernandez was indicted on murder charges for both killings.
4. "Baby Doe", 2015
On June 25, the body of a young girl was found on the coast of Deer Island. She was wrapped in a zebra-print blanket. The computer-generated composite photo of the child was widely circulated before she was identified as Bella Bond. Her mother was 36 year old Rachelle Bond, a homeless drug addict and prostitute. Bond's boyfriend, Michel McCarthy, was charged with the young girl's murder. Both he and her mother reportedly dumped Bella's body in the harbor.
3. The New Bedford Highway Killer, 1988-1989
The New Bedford Highway Killer is an unidentified serial killer responsible for the deaths of nine women and the disappearances of two additional women in New Bedford, Massachusetts, between July 1988 and June 1989. All of the killer's victims were known prostitutes and or substance abusers and their bodies were all recovered along the highway. Though authorities have not been able to tie all the deaths to one individual using forensics, the timing and location of all recovered bodies suggests a single killer.
2. The Boston Strangler
The Boston Strangler is the name given to the murderer of 13 Boston-area women in the early 1960s. The murders are sometimes referred to as "the silk stocking murders", as many of the women were strangled using their own nylon stockings. These were not snatch-and-grab street killings; almost all of the women are found in their own homes or apartments. It has been long that that Albert DeSalvo (pictured) was responsible for the crimes due to the testimony of multiple women who identified him as having sexually assaulted them. DeSalvo confessed to being the Boston Strangler while in custody. Though there were doubts about DeSalvo's connection to the murder, new DNA evidence published in 2013 definitely links him to the rape of Mary Sullivan, the final victim of the Boston Strangler.
1. The Borden Murders, 1892
Perhaps the most well-known of homicides in Massachusetts, the murders at the Borden estate in Fall River have endured in the collective memory of Massachusetts for over 100 years. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Abby and Andrew Borden were murdered in their home by an unknown person, though the popular sentiment was (and remains) that the killer was their own daughter, Lizzie Borden. Both victims were killed by hatchet-like blows to the head. Though she was ultimately acquitted, peculiarities in the evidence and Lizzie's own testimony cast the shadow of suspicion over her for the rest of her life. She remained a resident of Fall River until her death in 1927 at the age of 66.
You never know when a sleepy town will be the site of a horrific crime. Do you have any memories of horrific crimes that happened in Massachusetts during your lifetime?