A Bad Movie-worthy Murder

37 year old James Robertson was at his mother’s house to celebrate the New Year with his parents and his family when they answered a knock at the door. At the door, with an official badge were 2 probation officers who had come to take James for random drug testing, a condition of his probation. His family didn’t know when they said goodbye it would be for the last time. Robertson’s body would turn up in the woods in Upton, MA when hunters stumbled across his skull and remains two years later.

Nothing in this case was what it seemed initially . Investigators would later find out that the “probation officers” were hired thugs that allegedly worked for a local drug dealer named James Feeney. Feeney allegedly had been working on the plan since Robertson was released from prison over a month before, because in a tale as old as time, Robertson was dating the girl Feeney liked.

Feeney also held sway over a Dedham Police Officer named Michael Shoener who had an addiction issue that Feeney supplied. Shoener allowed Feeney to borrow his badge, handcuffs and holster. Shoener was eventually convicted and given a sentence of 6-9 years for his role in the crime. Shoener didn’t simply just serve his time as being convicted would normally dictate. The family had to fight for justice even after the conviction. I am not certain they will ever receive the justice they deserve.

The two “probation” officers were Scott Morrison and Alfred Ricci. Ricci cooperated as a witness and was convicted, getting 8 years for his role in the crime. Scott Morrison was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role.

James Feeney allegedly claimed that he just wanted to injure and scare Robertson, however the injuries that were inflicted on Robertson caused his death. Despite what was said, there seems little evidence to me that Feeney ever intended for Robertson to survive. Testimony in the trial indicated he was shackled to a chair that was bolted in the concrete and beaten to the point of death. Allegedly, Feeney himself was alone with Robertson when he finally died. What did they really think would happen? I think it went as planned right up until they got caught.

James Feeney was convicted of First Degree Murder and was sentenced to Life in prison without parole.

https://www.telegram.com/news/20181012/pair-sentenced-in-slaying-of-james-robertson-of-avon-remains-were-found-in-upton-woods

https://www.patriotledger.com/news/20180920/avon-murder-began-as-plan-to-kidnap-and-scare-victim-says-da

https://www.tauntongazette.com/news/20190429/ex-cops-stayed-sentence-in-kidnappingmurder-case-unusual

https://www.bostonherald.com/2014/08/14/da-jealousy-drove-man-to-kidnap-and-kill/

https://jgpr.net/2019/04/24/statement-of-dedham-police-chief-michael-dentremont/

https://www.wcvb.com/article/former-cop-with-stayed-sentence-in-avon-murder-fails-alcohol-test/28071463

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/06/18/family-and-friends-bid-farewell-avon-man-who-vanished-more-than-two-years-ago/wQcDPILJvUmZPkcKzbnI5I/story.html

https://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20151229/NEWS/151226762

https://www.bostonherald.com/2015/12/30/police-eye-new-charges-for-4-after-discovery-of-avon-mans-skull/

https://www.boston25news.com/news/after-2-years-family-finally-knows-what-happened-to-avon-man/12309126/

https://www.boston25news.com/news/former-dedham-officer-walks-free-after-sentencing-hearing-in-2013-murder/943444527/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2014/08/13/dedham/q6xFVLNBXgRpIfjFz8YLzO/story.html

https://www.wcvb.com/article/drug-dealer-feared-missing-avon-man-was-informant-report-says/8042871

https://www.wcvb.com/article/victim-s-family-confronts-convicted-officer-after-sentencing/27272612

No Justice in Brutal East Bridgewater Murder

Life is funny sometimes. You wake up the morning that you are going to die often not knowing what the day will bring. Often, if you are murdered, it comes at the hands of someone you know. Someone that you felt safe enough to have in your home with you. This case was one of those cases that makes you really think about who you are friends are.

Kent “Rusty” Taber was born in June 9th, 1955 in Stoughton, MA. Taber lived in a 5 room apartment about the Wales Funeral Home on Spring Street in E Bridgewater. At 37 years old, he worked as a Chef at Dewey’s Restaurant in Lakeville and part time as an Embalmer at the funeral home he lived above.

Rusty was found dead on the morning of December 7, 1992 in what was described as a gruesome scene. It appeared that Rusty had been having a friend over – 2 beers sat abandoned next to the pizza Rusty had picked up at Stelio’s – and just a few feet away lay Rusty’s savaged, bloody body.

Reports of the crime detail that Rusty had been stabbed multiple times in the neck nearly decapitating him, and multiple times in the back. Police reports determined the time of death to be between 4 pm and 6 pm. There were no finger prints at the scene – there was no forced entry. It was clear that Mr Taber must have known his killer.. and it appeared that he may have been sitting on the couch when he was attacked. The case went cold…and stayed frigid for 18 years.

After 18 years a startling arrest was made after witnesses were re-interviewed by the Cold Case unit, and reportedly discussed admissions of murder by a then 19 year old suspect Christopher Colucci, a Middleborough resident and a former Dewey’s Restuarant coworker of Taber’s. Colucci was arrested the same day that he was indicted by the grand jury.

Police alleged the motive in the crime was that Taber had made a sexual advance and it had angered Colucci, but there is only one person that know the truth and that’s apparently Mr. Colucci. Mr. Taber was known to be gay, but it’s difficult to say what triggered Colucci who suffered from mental health issues.

At the time of his arrest in April 2010, Colucci was paralyzed and he had to be brought into court on a gurney. He had suffered major injuries in a car accident in 1997, where he reportedly had been driving erratically and under the influence and went through a red light in MIddleboro, hit a car and that car hit another car. Colucci’s vehicle rolled and according to reports, he was thankfully the only one seriously hurt in the crash. His injuries left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Here’s the part where you get mad, after 18 years of being denied justice and just 17 months after his indictment, Colucci was deemed incompetent to stand trial and he was allowed to leave the Shattuck Hospital and go home. He allegedly violently killed a man by stabbing him so many times that he nearly took his head off and was allowed go back to his parents home in Lakeville without a trial. He was deemed to not be a threat to himself or anyone else. There will be periodic redetermination hearings but Colucci’s status is not likely to change and therefore the Taber family are unlikely to get the justice that they deserve.

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20100422/PUB04/4220437

http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/04/16/arrest_made_in_1992_slaying_in_ebridgewater/https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20100422/PUB04/4220437

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20100416/News/100419958

https://www.masslive.com/news/2010/04/christopher_colucci_of_lakevil.html

https://www.masscops.com/threads/east-bridgewater-funeral-home-murder-remains-a-mystery.49142/

https://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20110925/NEWS/309259885

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38208680/kent-taber

https://www.patriotledger.com/article/20100421/NEWS/304219652

https://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20110925/NEWS/309259885

A Question of Murder – East Bridgewater Version

Today’s case is more of a mystery – true at the end of the day there was a body on the lawn but what happened has never really been explained many years later.

Kimberly Bolenza Parker was 45 years old and healthy until she was found dead on the front lawn of her East Bridgewater home in March of 2013. Kimberly’s marriage was known to be an abusive one as her husband, Richard, was being tried for and was later convicted of abuse 15 months before when Kimberly reused to attend a Christmas party with him and he allegedly held her against her will after holding a knife to her throat, trying to tie her up, threw knives at her and threatened to kill her and her beloved golden retrievers. She luckily escaped and called 9-1-1 from a neighbors. It is unclear why they were still living together while he was at this time, being tried in court for this crime after serving 6 months he was released pending trial and moved back in. After her death, he was convicted of the abuse and sentenced to serve 4-6 years.

The night of her death, Kimberly was still alive when the initial 9-1-1 call came in and her husband was the only other party present at the house. Reportedly the call indicated that Kimberly was convulsing in the snow, she later passed away after being brought to a Brockton hospital.

So what leads a 45 year old healthy woman to die on their front lawn? According to reports her husband’s story was that Kimberly had gone outside to walk the dogs and fell convulsing and her husband called 9-1-1 and performed CPR. Articles I researched indicated that said the medical examiner there was no disease process that lead to her death, and she did not asphyxiate. There was some indication that she had high levels of an undisclosed medication that was prescribed to her in her system at the time of her death.

For transparency it is important to note, Kimberly had suffered with seizures in the past after a suspicious fall in her driveway left her with a traumatic brain injury a few years before her death. She could not even drive. It was never clear if that “fall” was an accident as her husband had claimed at the time. Her family has many doubts.

Adding to the speculation is the information that Kimberly Parker was a biosafety officer and her husband, a firefighter, was familiar with poisons and allegedly tried to kill himself with homemade Ricin in 2011. Her husband Richard was a former Captain in the Boston Fire Department and

There is not likely to be an answer or a trial in this case as her husband, a former Boston Fire Captain, passed away from Covid-19 last year. After his death, Kimberly’s family received her ashes from Richard’s family that was finalizing his affairs.

If you or anyone you know is in a abusive relationship and needs help, you can look for local resources or contact the Jane Doe Project https://www.janedoe.org/ but understand that domestic violence shelters operate on a open bed system – similar to when you are looking for a rehab or nursing home, in addition to other concerns that woman have like having to leave a job that they depend on for support or upend children. It’s not our job to judge, and you don’t know the path unless you have walked it.

https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/news/local/2020/12/24/kimberly-boleza-parker-east-bridgewater-stephanie-deeley-framingham-richard-parker-assault-death/4036191001/

https://www.boston25news.com/news/fox-25-investigates/family-wants-answers-in-death-of-allegedly-battered-wife-1/141850494/

https://www.mackinnonfuneral.com/obituary/Kimberly-Parker

https://www.enterprisenews.com/news/20190221/family-yearns-for-answers-years-after-east-bridgewater-womans-mysterious-death

https://www.enterprisenews.com/news/20190716/as-questions-linger-in-wifes-death-east-bridgewater-abuser-being-released-early

Murder in East Bridgewater

East Bridgewater is close to Brockton, but it’s not really a place that you think of as being dangerous, and is more likely to be known for Skinner’s Candy shop than it is crime but in the last 30 years there have been 3 cases that have come from the sleepy little town and when it comes to the horror of murder, all 3 cases could be a novel in themselves. Today I am writing about the first one.

A well being check called in by an astute neighbor on February 8, 2021 at 6:30 pm lead to a body being found. When police initially arrived, they found 70 year old Stephen Walcott Senior dying from head trauma.

Police had a suspect in mind and by 7:30 pm they had tracked Stephen Walcott, Jr back to his mother’s home in Brockton where he was arrested on suspicion of murder. Walcott, Jr gave a statement detailing the events of the night that indicated that he had actually driven to his father’s home with the intent to kill him because he said his father was the devil.

Articles say that his statement detailed that he got into a verbal altercation with his elderly father and punched him in the face and head, before beating the back of his head with a nearby dumbbell weight.

This instance was not the first instance of domestic violence that the son had allegedly visited on the father. In September of 2020, there was another such incident where Walcott, Jr is accused of punching his father several times and damaging a classic car. The father did take out a restraining order but is said to have felt bad about that because he felt his son had a mental handicap. He wanted a relationship with his son.

Walcott, Jr had seemingly been struggling with his mental health for over a year and spent various lengths of time in several different mental health institutions over the prior 15 months. His sister claims that he has bipolar disorder while Walcott, Jr is quoted as saying he has schizophrenia.

Walcott, Jr has been indicted and is pleading not guilty. Defense counsel has asked for a mental health evaluation and it is expected that the results will have an large impact on this trial one way or another.

Cases like this always want me to stand up on my soap box and preach how I don’t understand why the hell it is so hard to get mental health help. I don’t understand why as a health system we don’t understand that your mental health has huge impacts on your physical health, along with the physical and mental health of the rest of your family. I once read a great article about this, so rather than do a half ass job of telling you about it – here’s a link. Please read it if you have the time and join us in the next couple of days for the next EDast Bridgewater case.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009

Sources:

Man Charged With Beating 70-Year-Old Father to Death in East Bridgewater

https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/news/crime/2021/02/08/east-bridgewater-murder-homicide-suspect-in-custody-brockton-police-detectives-cedar-street-boylston/4444814001/

https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/victims-daughter-east-bridgewater-man-murdered-by-son/NH5OEL3ANVGUVFAZYDJJE5HE2Q/

https://www.enterprisenews.com/videos/news/crime/2021/02/09/scanner-audio-emergency-communications-east-bridgewater-murder-homicide-brockton-police/4445890001/

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Preview(opens in a new tab)

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/02/09/east-bridgewater-murder-cedar-street-stephen-walcott/

https://patch.com/massachusetts/brockton/no-bail-brockton-man-accused-killing-father

https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/news/crime/2021/02/08/east-bridgewater-murder-homicide-suspect-in-custody-brockton-police-detectives-cedar-street-boylston/4444814001/

The *Still* Unsolved Murder of Molly Bish (for now?)

*Important Update – On June 4, 2021 police officially named person of interest in this case as Francis P. Sumner, Sr. Mr. Sumner was a convicted rapist that was released from prison 2 years before her death. The level 2 Sex Offender died in 2016 at his home at 71 years old. He operated Auto Shops in the local area to where Molly lived and was a graduate of South Worcester High. The Bish family reportedly want evidence that links Mr. Sumner to this crime released.

Following are some links on what I could find on Mr Sumner:

https://law.justia.com/cases/massachusetts/court-of-appeals/volumes/18/18massappct349.html

https://www.telegram.com/story/news/crime/2021/06/04/suspect-molly-bish-case-surrounded-legal-actions-life-death/7544303002/

https://www.telegram.com/story/news/2021/06/03/who-killed-moly-bish-worcester-district-attorney-names-suspect/7529280002/

https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/molly-bish-person-interest-released-prison-two-years-before-her-death/TS6TAHSFTZGU7NA4KUCKM52MQY/

Molly Bish was a blond-haired, blue-eyed All American 16-year old, who was excited about her summer job as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in rural Warren, MA.

On June 26, 2000 when her mother was dropping her off to work around 8:45 am, a man caught her eye in the way creepy people sometimes do. She noted the car he was driving, and thought he seemed a little strange but didn’t seem to think any more about it…until the next day when Molly disappeared.

June 27th started out much the same way as every day since Molly started work, Molly’s mother, Magi, brought her to work and dropped her off around 9:45 am. This was just Molly’s 8th day of work. When families started to arrive, Molly was not at her post but her lunch and things were still there. She was never seen again alive. Police suspect that Molly was taken only minutes after being dropped off.

June 9, 2003…nearly 3 years later, Molly’s partial remains and bathing suit were found by a hunter in the woods of West Ware Rd in nearby Palmer, MA a few miles from the pond where she worked, in an area known as “Whiskey Hill”. Only 26 bones of the 206 have ever been found.

Several Suspects have been investigated but there seems to be the majority of focus on two suspects.

The first, suspect is a man named Rodney Stanger. Rodney lived in Southbridge, MA but moved to Florida shortly after Molly went missing. In 2008, he killed his girlfriend, Chrystal Morrison, by stabbing her to death. Rodney matches pretty closely to the depiction of the man that Magi and others saw hanging around the pond. At the time, he also drove a white car similar to the description given by Molly’s mother. Chrystal’s sister called police after finding evidence clearing out Chrystal’s trailer that may have shown Stanger’s involvement. All of these items have been handed over to police.

Here is a comparison of the pictures:

The second suspect is a man named Gerald Battisstoni. Battisstoni is a convicted child rapist from nearby Ware, MA. He was convicted of raping the child of a woman he dated for years over 100 times. He attempted suicide in prison by slitting his own throat with a broken light bulb after being linked to the Bish Case and later died in prison of natural causes . He also resembled the composite, though in a different sort of way. He was familiar with both the Comins Pond and Whiskey Hill areas.

Neither man, or any suspect, has ever been charged in this case. A white car was recovered in 2018 after a tip that it was buried locally. The police used ground penetrating radar and recovered the vehicle but the owner was somehow not identified.

The Bish family still hopes that DNA testing or other breakthroughs will solve this case now over 21 years later, supporting investigative initiatives such as law enforcement work with familial DNA. I pray the find the answers, the peace and the justice they deserve.

If you or anyone you know have any information that could solve this case, and bring this family peace, please call the Massachusetts State Police Tip Line at (508) 453-7575.

Molly Bish Cold Case An Inspiration For Bill To Expand DNA Use – CBS Boston

Molly Bish: Is the murder of 16-year-old lifeguard about to be solved with new DNA test? | Daily Mail Online

(cbslocal.com)

Molly Bish | Unsolved Mysteries Wiki | Fandom

Possible new evidence surfaces in Molly Bish murder (wcvb.com)

Rapist’s death may shed light on Holly Piirainen, Molly Bish cases – News – telegram.com – Worcester, MA

Man questioned in death of Molly Bish, due to go on trial in Florida in slaying of girlfriend – masslive.com

Find a Grave Memorial – Find A Grave

Gerald Battistoni, man eyed in murder of Massachusetts girls Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen, apparently attempts suicide in prison – masslive.com

Investigators Return To Site Of Molly Bish’s Remains – CBS Boston (cbslocal.com)

Molly Bish murder: Breakthrough as police search trailer of convicted killer Rodney Stanger | Daily Mail Online

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/06/27/molly-bish-cold-case-20-years-teens-disappearance/

The Murder of Kimberly and Mark Dupre – Lincoln, RI

This is a recent case having just occurred so there are no court records, just various articles indicating the cautionary tale. The case started out, it seems, with a random facebook message from a friend that Kimberly hadn’t seen in some time and ended with the murder of her and her husband.

Kimberly denied the request from the acquaintance, 49-year Timothy McQuesten due to to COVID-19 concerns. Kimberly’s husband, Mark, was suffering from a long illness which required a liver transplant, and as a result they were cautious about any exposure risks, but unfortunately this caution didn’t save them.

On January 14th, McQuesten allegedly broke into their home at 125 Main Street in Manville, RI and beat Kimberly and Mark to death with a hammer and crowbar.

The attack was brutal and Kimberly was dead by the time authorities arrived, but Mark was transferred to the hospital alive after a neighbor heard noises from the attack and called 9-1-1 when the couple did not answer the phone. He died shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

The killer might not have been caught with such a tentative connection to the Dupres, however, the killer initiated himself into investigation by making calls looking for support for himself, relative to the Dupre’s murder.

The calls detailed unreleased information about the crime, immediately drawing suspicion on McQuesten, which led to searches and, ultimately, to his arrest. Upon searching his home, the police located bloody clothes and shoes along with a bloody crowbar and hammer. His brother indicated that McQuesten had also confessed to him that he committed the crime.

McQuesten was arrested on two counts of first degree murder and had been ordered to have a psychological evaluation, but that was not to be. He was found 3 days later, dead in his cell at the ACI Facility. His autopsy indicated he committed suicide by shoving his face mask down his throat. It would have been interesting to at least get some perspective as to what drove him to the crime, since the timing seemed so incredibly random but the attack was so very personal and brutal. McQuesten did live close by, but what leads to that type of attack after all those years? We may never know.

https://www.valleybreeze.com/2021-01-20/cumberland-lincoln-area/lincoln-shocked-murders-then-death-suspect#.YA8uWxZOnIU

https://www.valleybreeze.com/2021-01-20/cumberland-lincoln-area/lincoln-shocked-murders-then-death-suspect#.YA8uWxZOnIU

Rhode Island inmate accused of double murder used face mask to choke self to death, reports say (boston25news.com)

Karina Holmer – The Swedish Au Pair Case -Unsolved

This Was Not Her Dream: The Murder of Karina Holmer – The Philosophy of Crime

The Karina Holmer brutal murder was a shocking case and therefore, it has received a lot of coverage. Even with the vast interest, this case remains open and unsolved to this day. There are 3 notable suspects in this case that people have spoken about mostly in whispers for years, but nothing concrete enough to bring an arrest was ever uncovered.

Karina was a 1994 high school graduate from a small town in Sweden called, Alaryd. She went to school to learn the restuarant business but after she reportedly won a local lottery for about $1500, decided to use a illegal nanny broker service to take a job with a family in Massachusetts arriving in March of 1996. This was the family of two artists, Frank Rapp and Susan Nichter and at the time their kids were a son in the first grade and a daughter, 3 year old. Official paperwork was never completed so technically, Karina did not have the proper work Visa.

Karina seems to do most of her work with the children during the week at the Dover home and on the weekend she often stayed at Rapp’s loft at 327 A Street in Boston and went to visit the areas clubs with her fake ID in hand. She had no problem getting in because she looked much older than her 20 years.

The mystery of this case is that Karina was cutting her trip short. She told friends that something happened and she would explain when she came home. Her sister is unaware of what the problem could have been, but her plan was to return in August.

The night that she disappeared was Friday June 21, 1996. She went to the loft as usual and met her friends. The group went out to Club Zanzibar in Boston to celebrate the Summer Solstice, and Karina was last seen around 3 am on June 22nd, after her friends apparently all left with some men they had met. Her body was found on Sunday morning, June 23rd, in a dumpster at 1091 Boyleston Street – well the top half of her body was found. The lower half was never located. A homeless man was looking for cans when he found her when her arm popped out of the trash bag she was in. Autopsy indicated Karina was strangled with a ligature. She was afterwards, cleanly sawed in half right below her ribs and above her pelvis between two vertebrae. The clean cut drew suspicion that someone with medical training or a butcher may have involvement. There were also marks on her wrists indicating at some point her hands were tied. Although a lot was made of the possibility, testing revealed she was not pregnant. Her make-up had been washed off which is another mystery from this case. Did she make it back to the loft and get ready for bed before she was killed? Did the killer wash off her make-up and, if so, why?

The only evidence of note was a partial fingerprint was recovered from the two large trash bags that contained her body. The finger print was never identified.

A mysterious fire also occurred in the dumpster outside the Rapp property the Monday after she was found. There was nothing of note found in the search of the dumpster noted anywhere that I could locate.

There are many suspects that have been questioned in this case but nothing has ever definitively tied anyone to her murder.

There are many sources available if you are interested in finding out more. I really enjoyed listening to Crime Junkie’s podcast on the case so if you find an interest, please check that out. A link is below, but I believe the podcast can be found anywhere you can listen to podcasts.

MURDERED: Karina Holmer | Crime Junkie Podcast

If you have any information that might be helpful in solving this crime, please reach out to Boston Police Homicide Unit at (617) 343-4470.

Sources:

After a night of partying, Karina Holmer went missing. : UnresolvedMysteries (reddit.com)

Remembering Karina Holmer By Name, Not Just By The Crime That Killed Her (wgbh.org)

True Crime: Half a body in a dumpster (bostonglobe.com)

The Brutal Unsolved Murder of Karina Holmer | Truecrimedaily.com

MURDERED: Karina Holmer | Crime Junkie Podcast

Decades later, few clues in Swedish nanny case > Detroit Legal News

This Was Not Her Dream: The Murder of Karina Holmer – The Philosophy of Crime

https://www.talkmurderwithme.com/blog/2018/11/18/the-murder-of-karina-holmer

https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2019/06/24/remembering-karina-holmer-by-name-not-just-by-the-crime-that-killed-her

http://legalnews.com/detroit/1484329

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/191107042/karina-erika-holmer

The New Bedford Highway Murders of 1988

I was in 6th grade for this case and I still remember it well. It scared me because I had been driven on these roads my whole life and had always thought of them as safe, and not the stomping ground of a serial killer. In 1988 there were believed to be 11 victims of the New Bedford Serial Killer, at least that we know of. The killer was never caught, there is also the possibility that he moved on to another area and continued his killing spree.

There were many suspects in this case. If you are interested in reading more about the case and the suspects, you should find the book, “Shallow Graves” by Maureen Boyle. Serial Killers – New Bedford Highway Serial Killer | Shallow Graves: The Hunt For The New Bedford Highway Serial Killer (shallowgravesthebook.com)

For this post, I want to talk about the victims and what is known on this case.

Victim – Debra Medeiros, 30 years old, of Fall River lived with her mother. Debra was known to police and family to have had long standing substance abuse issues but no record for prostitution. Last seen by her boyfriend in New Bedford after a fight, and reported missing on 5/27/88. She was the first of the bodies found and she was identified in December of 1988. Her body was found 7/3/88 by a woman who went to relieve herself just in the woods on the side of the road on 140 in Freetown. Her remains were severely decomposed with her body positioned on her back with her feet pointed towards the highway. Her cause of death is strangulation, she had a bra around her neck, and she was found only partially clad. Her boyfriend was not considered a suspect. After her death, her mother counseled drug and alcohol addicts in honor of her daughter’s loss.

Victim – Nancy Lee Paiva, 36 years old, of New Bedford. Nancy had gone to secretarial school, but dropped out. She was married at 19, divorced and had 2 teenage daughters. Nancy was known as a very supportive mother and grandmother. At the time of her death, she had a steady boyfriend, who was a drug dealer known to police. She was last seen walking home from a bar called “Whisper’s Pub” on July 7, 1988 after a reported fight with her boyfriend in the South End in the early hours of morning. Nancy reportedly had substance abuse issues but was not known to be into prostitution. Her relationship with her boyfriend had been rocky with domestic violence issues. Her nude body was discovered beside Interstate 195 Westbound in Dartmouth July 30, 1988 by two men who were riding motorcycles. Her body was found in the same position as Medeiro’s – On her back with her feet pointing towards the highway. Nancy’s cause of death is also believed to be strangulation. Her boyfriend is not a suspect in her death.

Victim – Debra Greenlaw Demello a 35-year-old mother of 3 ; a 15 year old daughter, Chandra and 2 boys who were 8 and 3 at the time of her death. She had a brother, Wayne who said that Debra had struggled with substance abuse issues since her teenage years. She had walked away from a prison work-release program to which she had been sentenced due to a prostitution charge on June 18 and was last seen in New Bedford, July 11, 1988. Her body was found off the eastbound Reed Road ramp of Interstate 195 by a state highway crew on November 8, 1988. Debra’s nude body was in area with trees, clothing strewn in the branches. She was found with some belongings of another victim, Nancy Paiva.

Victim – Dawn Mendes. 25, last seen in New Bedford, September 4, 1988 walking from her apartment to a family christening party. Mendes was one of 10 children and was the mother of a 5 year old boy. She had a history of prostitution and drug use. Her body was found on November 29, 1988 on the westbound Reed Road ramp off Interstate 195 by a search dog, mostly skeletal remains but her hand was able to yield a fingerprint which lead to her being identified. Her mother raised her son after her death.

Victim – Rochelle Dopierla, 28, of Falmouth missing since late April, 1988. Her body was found December 10, 1988 in a gravel pit along Reed Road beneath a tree grove, about two miles from Interstate 195, by people riding ATVs. She was partially clothed and beaten to death. She had dated, and stayed at the home for suspect, Kenneth Ponte who was arrested for her murder but the charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence. This was the only time charges were brought in this case. Many contend he is one of the main suspects in this case, but I don’t believe he is the strongest suspect. That honor belongs to Anthony Degrazia. Both of the men are now deceased. Rochelle had testified against another (third) man who had raped her, but he is not suspected in this case. She was last seen with Nancy Paiva’s boyfriend, an ex-convict. He was cleared in both deaths and is not a suspect.

Victim – Robin L. Rhodes, also referred to as “Bobbie Lyn” was found March 28, 1989 along Route 140 southbound in Freetown by a search dog. She was believed to have gone missing sometime in March or April of 1988. Rhodes had dated suspect Kenneth Ponte. She had a young child and was addicted to heroin and cocaine. While she was never involved in prostitution, she knew many of the other victims and was friends with Mary Rose Santos.

Victim – Mary Rose Santos – a 26-year- of New Bedford. She was a mother of two, who was dropped off on July 16,1988 by her husband, with whom she had recently reconciled, near the downtown bus station and last seen dancing at “The Old Quarterdeck Lounge” five hours later . Friends said her husband had no idea she was working the streets to help pay bills, and she was known to have a substance abuse issue . Mary Rose Santos’ nude body was found March 31, 1989 along Route 88 in Westport by two boys, a beer bottle was found with her. Suspect Kenneth Ponte had represented Mary Santos in a civil case and helped her husband make flyers after her disappearance.

Victim – Sandra Botelho, 24, a mother of two young sons who were 4 and 6 years old. Botelho was known to have a significant substance abuse issue and engaged in prostitution. Botelho reportedly left her apartment on August 11, 1988 at 11pm and never returned. She was the final body found, located in the woods along Interstate 195 in Marion on April 24, 1989. Her body was nude and reportedly was folded into a fetal position.

Victim – Deborah Lynn McConnell, 25, of Newport, RI. Also spelled Deborah Lynn McConnell, mother to one daughter. Deborah was last seen May 1988 by her dad after she buried her mother at the cemetery. She is believed to have been the 3rd victim. Her body was found December 1,1988 off Route 140 northbound in Freetown, through a cadaver dog search. She was found nude with a bra around her neck. The family knew something was truly wrong when she did not see or call her 10 year old daughter on her birthday.

Suspected Victim – Never Found – Christina Monteiro, 1. Last Seen May, 1988. Christina had child and had a known substance abuse history. Her description was African-American female. Brown hair, brown eyes with scars on both wrists and a scar near her left eye. She is between 5’3 and 5’5 and 110 lbs. She has initials and words tattooed on her arms but I could not find what the words were. She was wearing a shirt, blue jeans and sneakers when she was last seen.

Suspected Victim – Never Found – Marilyn Cardoza-Roberts, 34. Last Seen April of 1988. She had a loving family who believed she moved to the West Coast to live with a relative. She was last seen in June 1988. They reported her missing in Dec 1988. She was neighbors with Monteiro, who is also still missing, which makes this even stranger to me – what are the odds? But then, many of the victims knew each other and ran in the same circles, and even the suspects.

I have always thought this case was fairly similar to the Long Island serial killer case, although there are certainly some differences. All of the victims in that case had a similar profile with drug and prostitution activity. The activity is alleged to have started in the early 90’s, just after the killings in New Bedford stopped. New Bedford Police have always operated on the idea that the person was local, and prostitutes and substance abusers can be out of touch with family, and transient which makes them ideal targets for serial killers. Netflix has a movie about the Long Island case called, “The Lost Girls” that readers might find interesting. There is also a documentary that was discussed about the New Bedford Case, but I could not find it at this time. I will update the post if I do locate it.

Hopefully, the DNA work that is being done will bring answers to the families that to this day look for them. There were 15 children who deserve answers about what happened to their mothers. Anyone with information can contact the New Bedford Police Department at (508) 991-6300, the Unsolved Homicide Tip Line at 1-866-SOLVE-07.

Sources:

(2) New Bedford Highway Killer, Part 1: The Victims : UnresolvedMysteries (reddit.com)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Bedford_Highway_Killer

https://apnews.com/article/7ee2cd9903465e66f45313e22db2d812

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20100127/NEWS/100129941

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20180702/30-years-later-search-for-new-bedford-highway-killer-continues

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/175891141/nancy-lee-paiva

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133350697/deborah-lynn-mcconnell

https://apnews.com/article/61c665acf07da4dc35555106f42cfef6

Developing – Double Homicide in Middleboro, MA

The streets from Miller Street to Highland Street in Middleboro are blocked off in what appears to be a double homicide investigation. The articles indicate the murder may be the result of a domestic dispute. The victims in this case were Renee and David True of 3 Highland Street Middleboro. This investigation is ongoing. Police have detained the couple’s 21 year old son, Ryan True, in the murder. Details to come…Cause of death was not released.

https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/news/crime/2020/12/10/middleboro-police-da-murder-investigation-highland-street/3877677001/?fbclid=IwAR1ZE4WKyvUNxOSMlWJrl2xST3GHr8UPF5L6M-Q8r8Te1xpVKeNatjH987A

The Black Bear Inn Murders

James Whitehurst from Arkansas was in town in Newry, Maine staying at the Black Bear Inn when he met Christian Nielson. He came to the area to reportedly deal with a custody dispute and stayed at the Inn providing some handyman services while he stayed there. The two men had no known connections other than they both chose to stay in the same place. Their meeting would have tragic consequences for Whitehurst, and all who remained at the Inn, which was in the process of being sold.

Julie Bullard was the owner the 130 year old Farmhouse style B&B for about 2 years, and had been trying to sell for a few months. She had previously worked in sales for a number of years before owning, then selling a B & B in California. Bullard’s daughter, Selby 30, and her friend Cynthia Beatson, 43 were frequent visitors to the Inn. Julie Bullard had moved to Maine after her daughter lost her husband in a car crash, friends say she was looking for a fresh start for the two of them, but had decided to sell for financial reasons.

Christian Nielson, was working at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel, Maine while he resided in the 6 room Black Bear Inn where he had reportedly lived for over 2 months. His employers describe him in articles as being a good , reliable worker. There is nothing to indicate any strife in Nielson’s life except there was some posts mentioning that Bullard had inquiring about the process of evicting Nielson, but I could not find much concrete to back that up.

Police believe that Mr. Nielson planned ahead to shoot James Whitehurst when he invited him into the woods to see his cabin. There was no cabin, or fishing spot, only a plan to see what it felt like to take another life. Whitehurst was shot, burned and buried in the woods. There are differing reports as to whether Whitehurst was dismembered before being burned.

Then, a full 2 days later, Christian killed the owner of the Inn. Then a day later, her daughter Selby and friend to cover up the first murder.

His intent to cover up the crime must have been something he abandoned because he called his parents and had they come to the scene at the Inn where they discovered the dismembered remains of the 3 women, and 3 dogs. Nielsen led the police to burned remains of the other victim, Whitehurst, in the woods some time later.

Christian Nielson originally tried for an insanity defense but he abruptly dropped it and pled guilty . He is serving a life sentence in this case.

Motive is elusive in this case. Nielson reportedly said that he had had thoughts of wanting to kill someone for years and he wanted to take over the Bed and Breakfast. Other times, the other murders were to cover up the first murder.

Cook Charged With Murder After 4 Bodies Found at Maine Bed and Breakfast | Fox News

3 Of 4 Maine B&B Victims Dismembered – CBS News

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Former-S-F-innkeeper-3-others-slain-in-Maine-2552741

Strange Maine: “Horrific” murders rock ski area

Killings took place over four days – News – southcoasttoday.com – New Bedford, MA

3 Of 4 Maine B&B Victims Dismembered – CBS News