Showing posts with label Crazy Murders & Other Crimes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crazy Murders & Other Crimes. Show all posts

Sachem Rock Farm: Monumental History, Murder & War


Not only is Sachem Rock Farm--owned by the town of East Bridgewater and the site of the East Bridgewater Senior Center-- the precise spot where first inland Native American land sale in the United States was made, it is also the site of the of one of the nine homes in East Bridgewater to burned to the ground by King Philip’s warriors in King Philip's War. It’s no surprise the Latham farm was first to be attacked. With this house, it was personal. Robert Latham’s wife, Susanna was a Winslow--a name that was almost royalty in the colony. Susanna’s mother was the famous Mary Chilton, the first woman to step on American soil off of the Mayflower. Her father was John Winslow, the brother of the esteemed Governor Edward Winslow. But more importantly…her other uncle was General Josias Winslow of The Plymouth Colony Militia, the captor and suspected murderer of Alexander, King Philip’s elder brother.

Robert Latham was a well respected man, even serving as town constable at the time of the war. The fact that not ten years earlier, Latham and his wife Susanna were charged and found guilty of murder seemed to do little to effect the Latham’s social standing in the colony.


The Murder

In 1659, Robert and Susanna were charged with the murder of their servant, John Walker. In the book Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 it says of the crime: "On 31 January 1654/55 a coroner's jury was called to view the body of Latham's servant boy, John Walker." The jury found that the body of John Walker was blackish and blew, and the skine broken in divers places from the middle to the haire of his head, viz, all his backe with stripes given him by his master, Robert Latham, as Robert himselfe did testify; and also wee found a bruise of his left arme, and one of his left hipp, and one great bruise of his brest; and there was the knuckles of one hand and one of his fingers frozen, and alsoe both his heeles frozen, and one of the heeles the flesh was much broken, and alsoe one of his little toes frozen and very much perished, and one of his great toes frozen, and alsoe the side of his foot frozen; and alsoe, upon the reviewing the body, wee found three gaules like holes in the hames, which wee formerly, the body being frozen, thought they had been holes; and alsoe wee find that the said John was forced to carry a logg which was beyond his strength, which hee indeavoring to doe, the logg fell upon him, and hee, being downe, had a stripe or two, as Joseph Beedle doth testify; and wee find that it was some few daies before his death; and wee find, by the testimony of John Howland and John Adams, that heard Robert Latham say that hee gave John Walker som stripes that morning before his death; and alsoe wee find the flesh much broken of the knees of John Walker, and that he did want sufficient food and clothing and lodging, and that the said John did constantly wett his bedd and his cloathes, lying in them, and so suffered by it, his clothes being frozen about him; and that the said John was put forth in the extremity of cold, though thuse unabled by lamenes and sorenes to performe what was required; and therefore in respect of crewelty and hard usage he died.

The Land Sale


1661. Massasoit dies. The peaceful era between colonist and Indian was over. After his brother Alexander is allegedly poisoned by General Josiah Winslow in 1662, it is now perfectly clear to Massasoit’s son, Metacom (commonly known by his English name “Philip”) what the intentions of the people who had arrived upon the shores of a land that had already been inhabited for 10,000 years just 40 years before: They wanted it all and did not play by any rule understood by the Wampanoags.

The native name for Sachem Rock was Wonnocoote. Up until the turn of the 20th century, locals still referred to Sachem Rock Farm as “Cootah Hill.” In 1649 Massasoit met with reprentatives of Duxbury at Sachem Rock. It was on March 23, 1649, when Chief Massasoit unknowingly traded miles of fertile land enriched by the waters of The Matfield, Hockomock, and Town Rivers as well as West Meadow Brook for mere provisions for his tribe. Seven coats, nine hatchets, eight hoes, twenty knives, four moose skins and 10 yards of cotton is what the Wompanoags were paid for the territory of Bridgewater. The implications of a “land sale” was unfathomable to the Native American psyche at this time. The concept that land could be regarded as ‘ownable’ was unfamiliar one to the Wompanoags. It is no wonder that Sachem Rock, the very site of this monumental land sale has been witness to tragic events that date back to King Philip’s War in 1676.

On April 9, 1676, the Natives crept up Satucket Path to the Latham farm. Robert Latham’s house would be the first of nine houses to be destroyed by fire that day, the natives sparing only one dwelling…that of Nicholas Byram. Byram settled in East Bridgewater in 1662, and during that time it seems he broke the strict law of the colony not to sell cider or any other spirits to the red man. Breaking the law earned him one of the only surviving houses in the Bridgewater area after King Philip’s War.

Today, a stone marks the very spot Latham house stood before it was destroyed by arson.




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Welcome To Crazy Town

The craziness that ensues in the Bridgewater Triangle often happens in clusters. It seems one of those clusters is underway in the town of Bridgewater and it's next door neighbor, East Bridgewater right now. From the end of April to mid-May Bridgewater police have had to respond to 911 calls you would hardly expect from a quiet college town.

A Bridgewater woman is drugged, restrained with wire and imprisoned in her own home for a month before being rescued by a family member on May 18th. In the span of two weeks, Bridgewater police respond to not one, but two threats of "suicide by cop" by people driven over the edge, yielding guns. And on May 16th, a bomb threat is called in to Bridgewater-Raynham High School. In East Bridgewater, a model citizen is exposed as a serial rapist whose been on the loose for years, disguising himself as a Massachusetts State Trooper, getting his helpless victims into his car by telling them they were in trouble.
Sounds like the plot lines for a CSI show, huh? Nope. Just another day in the Bridgewater Triangle.
The articles below are all from The Brockton Enterprise.

Patience by SWAT team prevents ‘suicide by cop’ in Bridgewater
By Amy Carboneau    
Enterprise Staff Writer        
Apr 24, 2013

BRIDGEWATER — When police heard a 25-year-old man was holed up in his home, drunk and with a gun, in the middle of a normally quiet neighborhood, they knew they had enough reason to call in the SWAT team. Bridgewater police and negotiators from the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) talked the man into giving himself up Monday night after nearly 21/2 hours of negotiations during which the man was threatening “suicide by cop,” police said.

“They did an awesome job,” police Lt. Thomas Schlatz said about SEMLEC’s SWAT team.
Before being captured, Thomas Viera, 25, of 83 Forest St., stood in the doorway of his home Monday pointing a rifle at the SWAT team’s armored car, Schlatz said.
By about 4:30 that evening, police had set up a perimeter around the man’s home and called him three times at home and on his cell phone, but “to no avail,” said Schlatz.

So they called in the SWAT team for backup, a move that police said was based on information presented at the time and not related to the bombings in Boston last week, which in no way put them on edge, Schlatz said.

“If our response was two weeks ago, it would have been the exact same response,” Schlatz said Tuesday. Police are “well-trained” for such situations, said Mitch Librett, a retired police officer who once commanded a SWAT team and now teaches criminal justice at Bridgewater State University.

“I really believe that, although it may be running in the back of their minds – ‘here we go again’ – police are very well-trained,” Librett said Tuesday. “Whatever the motivation of the actor, or the suspect, is almost irrelevant.”

It is all based on tactics and dealing with the situation at hand, he added.

For Bridgewater police, the timing of the incident was “lucky,” said Schlatz, because it happened on a shift change, which meant more officers were immediately available to respond.

Bridgewater police have been a part of SEMLEC, a regional force, for about a year. Its SWAT team is commanded by Bridgewater police Sgt. Carl Macdermott.

Police on Monday placed an automated, emergency phone call alerting neighbors of a “domestic situation.”

“Please stay in your homes or away from 83 Forest St. You will receive a call when the situation is ended,” it alerted.

Roland Fortin, 62, who lives a couple houses away from the scene, said he did not worry when he saw an officer walking through his backyard.
When police heard a 25-year-old man was holed up in his home, drunk and with a gun, in the middle of a normally quiet neighborhood, they knew they had enough reason to call in the SWAT team.

Bridgewater police and negotiators from the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) talked the man into giving himself up Monday night after nearly 21/2 hours of negotiations during which the man was threatening “suicide by cop,” police said.

“They did an awesome job,” police Lt. Thomas Schlatz said about SEMLEC’s SWAT team.
Before being captured, Thomas Viera, 25, of 83 Forest St., stood in the doorway of his home Monday pointing a rifle at the SWAT team’s armored car, Schlatz said.
By about 4:30 that evening, police had set up a perimeter around the man’s home and called him three times at home and on his cell phone, but “to no avail,” said Schlatz.

So they called in the SWAT team for backup, a move that police said was based on information presented at the time and not related to the bombings in Boston last week, which in no way put them on edge, Schlatz said.

“If our response was two weeks ago, it would have been the exact same response,” Schlatz said Tuesday.

Police are “well-trained” for such situations, said Mitch Librett, a retired police officer who once commanded a SWAT team and now teaches criminal justice at Bridgewater State University.

“I really believe that, although it may be running in the back of their minds – ‘here we go again’ – police are very well-trained,” Librett said Tuesday. “Whatever the motivation of the actor, or the suspect, is almost irrelevant.”

It is all based on tactics and dealing with the situation at hand, he added.

For Bridgewater police, the timing of the incident was “lucky,” said Schlatz, because it happened on a shift change, which meant more officers were immediately available to respond.

 Bridgewater police have been a part of SEMLEC, a regional force, for about a year. Its SWAT team is commanded by Bridgewater police Sgt. Carl Macdermott.

 Police on Monday placed an automated, emergency phone call alerting neighbors of a “domestic situation.”

“Please stay in your homes or away from 83 Forest St. You will receive a call when the situation is ended,” it alerted.

Roland Fortin, 62, who lives a couple houses away from the scene, said he did not worry when he saw an officer walking through his backyard.

There were so many police out here that there was no one getting close to me,” he said.

Two other women who live nearby declined to comment out of respect for the family involved, they said.

Viera was evaluated at the scene by Bridgewater paramedics, police said. He was then taken to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and the Brockton Multi-service center for further psychiatric evaluation. He was to remain for 48 hours. Viera will be summoned to Brockton District Court at a later date, police said. He faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and 12 counts of failing to secure a firearm. Police seized 12 rifles and a handgun from the home.

Link To The Brockton Enterprise
SWAT teams defuse suicide incident in Bridgewater
By Amy Carboneau         
Enterprise Staff Writer
May 8, 2013

BRIDGEWATER — Just hours after police and SWAT teams descended on a Randolph street for a drug deal gone bad, Middleboro and Bridgewater faced their own crisis situation.

A Middleboro man, later identified as 40-year-old Christopher French, of 173 Old Center St., had barricaded himself in his truck with a shotgun in Middleboro, then fled north up Route 18 into Bridgewater where local officers joined the pursuit, Bridgewater police Lt. Tom Schlatz said Wednesday.

At around 1 a.m. Wednesday, the vehicle was stopped in the parking lot of P&L Paintball, at 1221 Bedford St., on Route 18. There, Schlatz said, the man pointed the shotgun at his own head multiple times as negotiators spent the next 2 1/2 hours talking him down, with success.

“I can’t say enough about the negotiators,” said Schlatz. “The outcome was excellent, and the reason it was excellent was because of the cooperation from the multiple agencies.”

Police closed off Route 18 from Flagg Street to State Farm Road, which is the access road to the Bridgewater’s prison, and created a perimeter around some paintball fields.

“We had to prevent him from going mobile again,” Schlatz said.

Negotiators finally coaxed French out of his vehicle and away from his shotgun at around 3:30 a.m., police said.

The situation is the second situation is less than three weeks in which Bridgewater police called in SWAT and negotiator teams to assist suicidal persons.

On April 22, Bridgewater police was assisted by SWAT and negotiator teams for an incident on Forest Street, in which a man was threatening “suicide by cop,” police said.

There were no injuries reported in either situation.

French faces charges by Middleboro police, which were not immediately available Wednesday. Other charges may follow by Bridgewater police, Schlatz said.

Middleboro police, Bridgewater police, Bridgewater State University police, State police and Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council negotiators and SWAT teams, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and Department of Corrections officers from Bridgewater state prison all responded to the incident.
  Link To The Brockton Enterprise
East Bridgewater man's rape conviction shocks neighbors
By Maria Papadopoulos              
Enterprise Staff Writer     
May 10, 2013

EAST BRIDGEWATER — By all accounts, Peter Pearson was living the American dream on Village Road, with a large raised-ranch, expansive back yard, great job, devoted wife, two sons and a family dog.

 Neighbor Joe Voci, who first met Pearson three decades ago, recalls attending birthday parties for the young sons of Pearson, a former Boston deputy fire chief.

 And he remembers Pearson as a friendly “sports nut” who generously gave away baseball tickets, he said. Voci would often see Pearson at Fenway Park.

“I had a bad dog bite at one time, he came down and he brought me a big baseball book and stuff,” Voci, 76, recalled from his home Thursday. “He’s given me baseball tickets. He used to have season tickets. He was always so good to us.”

That philanthropic, All-American image Pearson gave to his neighbors was shattered Thursday when a Plymouth County Superior Court jury found Pearson guilty of posing as a state trooper and raping five women at gunpoint.

“I am shocked. He’s always been a very nice neighbor, so I’m very shocked,” said Diane Wolfe, 47, who lives a few houses away from Pearson. “He always waved. He was friendly.”
Pearson, 56, of 142 Village Road, was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in state prison at Cedar Junction.

 Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department, said he worked with Pearson, who retired in 2008, but he didn’t want to comment on his conviction.

“He’s not an employee of the department,” MacDonald said Thursday.

 Officials from the Boston Retirement Board did not return requests Thursday for Pearson’s pension amount and whether he will continue to receive it.

 MacDonald’s professional distance from Pearson, who worked as a Boston firefighter for 23 years, is a far cry from when the Boston Fire Department honored him in 1998 for rushing into a burning house while off-duty to extinguish a fire.

 Pearson received a Distinguished Service Award for his efforts.

 In 2000, he was in a group of 40 firefighters who received a unit citation for responding to an East Boston building collapse, where they rescued two injured workers from the building. Pearson was the chief officer commanding the scene outside, MacDonald said.

 Pearson retired on Sept. 5, 2008, less than one month after he was accused of posing as a state trooper and raping a Brockton prostitute at gunpoint.

 Pearson’s heroism was soon eclipsed by his apparent double life. Pearson would pose as a state police officer, using a badge and a handheld radio, trial testimony showed. He took his victims to places in Brockton like D.W. Field Park and the parking lot of a hospital and would force them to perform oral sex on him. His crimes occurred during an 11-year period, from 1997 to 2008, authorities said.

Pearson was arrested in August 2008 after a man flagged down an officer, saying the person who raped his girlfriend just drove by.

The woman first reported the attack to police in July 2008, when she was arrested on common nightwalker charges. She told police at the time that the man ordered her into his car, claimed to be a state trooper and drove to D.W. Field Park where she was forced to perform a sex act at gunpoint. The suspect, who told her he had been watching her for weeks, then drove her back, the woman told police.

 She told her boyfriend about the attack at that time. She told Brockton police she was afraid to report the attack because she believed the man was a state trooper.

 The woman told police she saw the man again later driving by on Haverhill Street, authorities said. That’s when her boyfriend flagged down a Brockton cruiser, leading to Pearson’s arrest in 2008.

 After his arrest, investigators executed search warrants at his East Bridgewater home and his Boston Fire Department locker.

 Subsequently, the other victims came forward and told authorities they recognized Pearson from news reports of the arrest. They identified him in a police photo array, officials said at the time.

 His neighbors said they saw a different side of Pearson.

“I don’t have anything bad to say about him,” Wolfe said. “He seemed nice.

Link to Brockton Enterprise

All clear at Bridgewater-Raynham high after morning bomb scare
By Amy Carboneau
Enterprise Staff Writer     
May 18, 2013
BRIDGEWATER — Police have cleared the scene after a morning bomb scare at Bridgewater- Raynham Regional High School led them to evacuate the building. Nothing was found in the search.

 Bridgewater police and fire personnel responded to the threat at 415 Center Street at around 10:15 a.m., as school authorities led all students and staff to the adjacent football field.

 Three bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in from state police and Quincy police to search the inside and outside of the high school building, said Bridgewater Lt. Tom Schlatz. The search turned up no bombs, he said. While on scene, authorities realized in an unrelated incident, that there was a problem with the school's fire alarm. Because the search and fire alarm repair lasted until about an hour before dismissal, Schlatz said, authorities made the decision to dismiss students early.

 Buses arrived around 12:30 p.m. All students and staff were dismissed by about 1 p.m.

 State police, Raynham police and Bridgewater State University police were also on scene to assist.

 "At no time were any students or staff in danger," Schlatz said in a press release.

 Opposite from the high school entrance, parents waited to bring their sons and daughters home. Many had waited for over two hours, having received text messages from their kids at around 10:30 a.m. During the search, a police car stood parked outside the school's entrance. No one was allowed in or out.

 After-school activities will continue as scheduled, police said. But according to the school's website, tonight's spring concert has been rescheduled for next Wednesday.

 The threat is under investigation, Schlatz said, adding that he would not release any futher information about where the threat came from as it is may jeopardize the investigation.

 Police have cleared the scene after a morning bomb scare at Bridgewater- Raynham Regional High School led them to evacuate the building. Nothing was found in the search.

 Bridgewater police and fire personnel responded to the threat at 415 Center Street at around 10:15 a.m., as school authorities led all students and staff to the adjacent football field.

 Three bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in from state police and Quincy police to search the inside and outside of the high school building, said Bridgewater Lt. Tom Schlatz. The search turned up no bombs, he said. While on scene, authorities realized in an unrelated incident, that there was a problem with the school's fire alarm. Because the search and fire alarm repair lasted until about an hour before dismissal, Schlatz said, authorities made the decision to dismiss students early.

 Buses arrived around 12:30 p.m. All students and staff were dismissed by about 1 p.m.

 State police, Raynham police and Bridgewater State University police were also on scene to assist.

 "At no time were any students or staff in danger," Schlatz said in a press release.


 Opposite from the high school entrance, parents waited to bring their sons and daughters home. Many had waited for over two hours, having received text messages from their kids at around 10:30 a.m. During the search, a police car stood parked outside the school's entrance. No one was allowed in or out.

 The threat is under investigation, Schlatz said, adding that he would not release any further information about where the threat came from as it is may jeopardize the investigation.
      
Cops: Bridgewater woman beaten, drugged, kept captive in her home
By Amy Carboneau
Enterprise Staff Writer
May 17, 2013

BRIDGEWATER—In a horrific case of alleged domestic assault,  a Stoughton man is accused of severely beating his girlfriend in her Bridgewater home, drugging her and keeping her captive for nearly a month before she was able to get medical treatment, police said.

Now, the boyfriend,  Mark Roger Crean, 49, of 75 McCormick Terrace, Stoughton, faces charges of attempted murder, a felony; kidnapping, a felony; assault and battery (domestic), a felony; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), a felony; witness intimidation, a felony; drugging a person to kidnap, a felony; and assault and battery (domestic), on a previous occasion, a misdemeanor.

He was arrested in Wareham about 5:30 a.m. Friday and arraigned in Brockton District Court that afternoon.  He was held without bail for a dangerousness hearing on May 23.
Authorities say Crean beat his 50-year-old girlfriend in her Bridgewater home, fracturing four of her vertebrae and multiple ribs, leaving contusions all over her body, and fracturing her right eye socket, leaving her blind in one eye, police said. He also, police claim, bound her by her ankles, feet and neck with coated coded wire and placed a plastic bag over her head to try to suffocate her.

On multiple occasions, police said, she passed out from the abuse, and Crean poured a cold beer over her face to wake her. She later told police Crean kept her drugged with what she believed was Percocet, and held her hostage in her own home for the next month.
Police said they believe Crean took away her cell phone when he left the home, and only gave it back when he was there and could monitor her every text message. He denied her any opportunity to seek medical attention, said Bridgewater police Lt. Tom Schlatz.

 Early Friday morning, police said, a family member  was finally able to get the victim to the hospital, where nurses called police. Bridgewater officers arrived about 2:30 a.m.

She was released from the hospital on Friday, police said.

Police said the same victim was hospitalized about a year ago for a broken nose; doctors suspected  domestic abuse.
Crean has a history of assault and battery leading back to 1999, according to Stoughton District Court records.
Crean has had two previous restraining orders against him through Stoughton District Court dating to 2005 and 2007; both had been closed, according to  court records.
He also faced two earlier felony assault cases that were dismissed, one because the victim failed to show up in court.
In 1999, Crean faced a charge for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon against a family member in a case that was later dismissed “upon failure to prosecute,” according to court records, which were unclear about why the case was dismissed. In 2005, records show that Crean faced a charge of aggravated assault/homicide after he threw a past girlfriend through a glass table, which shattered. The case was dismissed after the victim failed to show in court. And in 2009, in a case  reopened in 2011, records show Crean was charged with two counts of assault and battery against a police officer and resisting arrest in an incident in which children were present. One Stoughton police officer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
In Brockton District Court on  Friday, Bridgewater court prosecutor Christopher Shaw filed for a restraining order on behalf of Crean’s most recent alleged victim.
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Small Towns, Big Murders: Bizarre Crimes of the Bridgewaters



This is a photo of an actual grave of one of the Bridgewater Triangle's many murder victims.

It was late on a cold Monday night in February, 2010 at the Bridgewater police station. And here in this quiet New England town, the scene looked more like a page out of a Stephen King novel than a Monday night at a small town police station.

A man's face was smeared with blood, as were his hands. His clothes were drenched a deep crimson. "Do you need medical attention?" The police officers asked him. "No." The man answered quietly. "The blood is not mine."

Earlier that night, 41-year old Brian Bellamy smashed a hammer through a window of his estranged wife's parents home and headed up the stairs possessed with rage. Bellamy's two year-old son was sleeping next to his wife, but that did not deter him from his evil and dastardly deed. Bellamy started bludgeoning his wife with the hammer. Hard, violent blows to her face and neck. Blood splattered everywhere, dripping from the bed and onto the floor. Next Bellamy took his hands and wrapped them around her small neck and began the squeeze.

When the victim's father tried to stop him, Bellamy started to strangle his father-in-law as well. That's when the Bridgewater police arrived, just in time. The victim's mother had called 911 at the beginning of the crime. Luckily, the woman survived.

This was certainly not the first bludgeoning or crime of passion involving an attack on a family member in Bridgewater, a town that has a dark history of madness and murder. Behind the veils of this beautiful college town, lies a sinister and mysterious history of brutal matricides and parricides, spousal arguments that lead to murder and then suicide. The patterns of violent domestic disputes goes on to this very day, according the Bridgewater Police Twitter page. It is not hard to notice the patterns of high call volume in responses to domestic disturbances among family members.


"WE HAVE GOT TO DIE," 1909


At 4 a.m. on August 22 in West Bridgewater, Marianio Janeiro entered the bedroom  where his wife lay in bed, her tiny infant child asleep next to her. Marianio  had just bathed, shaved and  dressed in his finest clothes.

The poor woman was  probably wondering where her husband was going, all dressed up at 4 o'clock in the morning. But if she was going to ask him where he was off to,  she never had the chance to ask him. 

 "This is the last of you and me; We have got to die," Marianio said to his wife. Then he took a revolver and shot her in the head. "The bullet entered her head back of the left ear and left an ugly wound. After shooting his wife he held the pistol to his head and fired the second shot just above the right ear and fell dead instantly."

The baby was unharmed. Although she did sustain critical injured,  Mrs. Janeiro survived the attempted to murder to the best of this writer's knowledge.


THE MURDER OF THE STURTEVANTS, 1874


Seven miles from the Bridgewater Depot in nearby Halifax, "during the peaceful quiet of a Sabbath evening, one of the foulest and most unnatural murders that ever stained the criminal actual. of any locality, had been perpetrated. Three aged persons, the inmates of the same home, whose lives had been passed in plodding industry, and whose history was as uneventful as human experience can be, were suddenly involved in as dark a tragedy as the mind of man can conceive, and in the midst of it hurried out of existence."

The Sturtevant House

 On February 15, 1874, three elderly people were brutally beaten to death with a sharp cart spike. A neighbor found what was left of them the following day. The crime scene had the even the toughest police officer shaken. "The three aged occupants of that house were found cruelly murdered, their heads pounded, to a jelly. Thomas and Simeon, the two brothers, within the house that should have sheltered them, and Miss Mary Buckley, the housekeeper, outside, though almost within its very shadow." The triple murder of two brothers and their housekeeper had locals of the Bridgewater area living in terror--until police arrested the crazed murderer, William E. Sturtevant, the very nephew of the victims.

William was murder suspect number one and reportedly confessed because of a parrot. (Yes, a parrot.) Mary Buckley had a pet parrot named Captain Kidd. When police brought William to the crime scene, Captain Kidd shrieked "Murderer, Murderer!" and then made the sound of death rattle. The parroting the likely last words of Mary Buckley was simply too much for William, who caved and confessed right there.

The house where the murder took place is rumored to be haunted. Not far from the house is the cemetery where Simeon and Thomas Sturtevant are buried. Their gravestones read "MURDERED" across them. The murderer, William Sturtevant was buried in the same cemetery in a secret burial conducted under the cloak of night after he was executed by hanging for his dark deeds to his two elderly uncles and his cousin, their housekeeper.


In the 1980s, a local newspaper ran a story about the grisly history of the Sturtevant House. The reporter interviewed the current occupant, a Bridgewater State College professor at the time. Although the man claimed not be a man of "superstition" and refused to accept the local stories that the house was haunted, he finally found himself succumb to the fact that something was indeed in the house. "The house has a powerful presence....the house makes noises. footsteps, breaking, heavy breathing. I never see anything, but I think that someone is there."



"Several times we have had people over and when they got up to leave, the door swung open. The door to the upstairs attic kept coming unlatched and banging. I kept closing it, but it kept opening, even though there was no wind."


 THE "BRIDGEWATER MURDER,"1879


A fight over potatoes on September 24th, led to the bloody massacre of Henry Gunn, at the hands of his own son Justin, who attacked his father with both a screwdriver and  hatchet. The Boston papers reported that the victims "brains were dashed while he slept" with "two hideous wounds to the head." Justin Gunn was not remorseful for the crime at all when apprehended by Bridgewater police a few weeks after the crime. In Gunn's confession to the police, Justin was oddly calm and in complete control when he described the horrific events that occurred on September 24, 1879. After his father scolded him over his son's error in putting wet potatoes in the root cellar, Justin Gunn claimed that his father "knocked him down." Gunn went on to say in his confession: "I got up, reached to the mantle piece and took a small screwdriver about the size of my finger, but about two feet long and struck him with it but he got the best of me and pounded me good. I was wild for revenge. As he rested on the edge of the bed, I went out of the dining room into the passage way and took a hatchet which I had found there and came back to the room where he was. Holding the hatchet--a heavy one--in my left hand...I went to the front of father and when I got past I turned and struck him the head with it, using both hands and knocking him so that his head fell toward the head of the bed on which he was sitting. I struck him three or four times. He fell off of the bed. I picked him and and laid him on it again, he made not noise at all."


MODERN DAY PSYCHO, 2002

One of the most recent murder within a family in the Bridgewaters  occurred on December 15, 2002, when George Nardi, living with his mother, Dianne Barchard on Goodwin Street in East Bridgewater, killed her in a fit of rage when she refused to make him dinner that night. The murder weapon were Nardi's bare hands with which he smothered her to death. Immediately after the crime, Nardi left a chilling voice mail for his brother. It was of Nardi laughing insanely, then finally saying, "You're not going to be able to spend Christmas with mom this year." Norman Bates-style, Nardi lived with the rotting corpse of his mother for over two weeks. Prosecutors reported that Barchard's "bloody corpse was found Monday covered with an afghan in the bedroom of their apartment."

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The Grizzly Death of King Philip: Beheaded and Quartered, Body tied in Trees For the Birds To Pluck


On August of 1676, King Philip's luck had run out. Though he escaped capture by the skin of his teeth twice before in Hockomock Swamp, in Miery Swamp in Mount Hope, he had nowhere to hide. Philip was shot in the chest by John Alderman, "a praying Indian whose brother King Philip had ordered executed after a being deemed a traitor." Alderman was accompanied by Captain Benjamin Church himself, the most famous Indian hunter of the day. (It is interesting to note that in the scene depicted in the picture below of the death of King Philip, it is Church and not Alderman who is holding the gun.)


"The Death of King Philip," Harper's Magazine, 1883 
Church ordered Philip's body to pulled up to higher ground to begin the act of his mutilation. His body was beheaded and dismembered. Quartered, Church picked four nearby trees and ordered four pieces of Philip's body to be tied to them for the birds to pluck. His hand was given to Alderman as a trophy of the kill. Philip's hand was very unique. It had been disfigured when a pistol misfired years before. Alderman took the maimed hand happily and later would place it in a jar preserved with rum. Alderman would take the jar to taverns where he would allow the owners to display it in exchange for free drinks.

Philip's head was spiked and proudly carried through the streets of Plymouth before it would meet it's final resting place upon Plymouth Colony Fort, now Burial Hill Cemetery. It would soon be joined by the heads of Chief Anawan and Tispaquin. How long the other Wampanoag leader's heads remained displayed on the fort is unknown. But we know that Philip's head remained on the fort for at least 25 years. As if sight of Philip's skull was not horrific enough, one day the Puritan leader Cotton Mather removed the jawbone, to keep "the devil from speaking from the grave." Historian's estimate that King Philip was 38 at the time of his death.
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