MURDEROUS RAGE tells the tale of the largest, single mass murder in the Commonwealth: The execution of seven victims on the morning after Christmas in 2000. The murderous rampage took only a few minutes, but the investigation didn’t end until the last witness testified at a trial almost seventeen months later.
As important as understanding the “how” of the investigation is the recognition of the “why” an investigative the team of police officers, district attorneys, forensic scientists and the medical examiners come together with one goal in mind; an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
I rarely fly to a crime scene with blue lights and a blaring siren because normally the detectives are already there and the scene is preserved and under control. This time was different. It wasn’t normal. I could hear the tension and concern in Duke’s voice. Seven victims in a workplace shooting exceeded anything I had ever heard of in Massachusetts. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the largest mass murder in the commonwealth was five, and that was more than twenty years earlier inside a closed Boston bar in a gangland-style massacre.
I drove as fast as I could while trying to manage non-stop incoming calls. I was doing seventy-five and police cars from other cities and towns passed me as if I was standing still.
Duke called three times while I was talking with Johnny McEvoy, who was also heading to the scene. Like me, he was trying to gather help from his side of the office to report to the scene to help in locking it down, assessing what happened, and starting to formulate a game plan.
I figured something was going wrong if he was that persistent. “Yes, Duke,” I answered. “I’m getting off 128 now and should be there in about five minutes unless traffic is all backed up.”
“Can you make it any faster?” he asked, “The NEMLEC SWAT team is here, all suited up and getting ready to go in. I’ve told them no and to wait for you, but they aren’t listening to me. I really need you here.”
“What’s their purpose and their hurry?” I asked.
“Well,” he responded, “they kind of have a point. Wakefield has one guy in custody, and there haven’t been any other shots fired since the police entered the building, but we can’t say for certain there aren’t other shooters or that there aren’t more victims needing medical assistance. They also believe there may be employees still in hiding, and they want to be able to walk them out.”
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