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Massachusetts Cold Cases

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Massachusetts Murders

There are various types of law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts that provide reports filled with detailed statistics on their websites annually. These reports most commonly include the crime data for multiple types of crimes, including the number of murders in Massachusetts by year. Along with the several state and local law enforcement agencies that offer these reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes an annual Uniform Crime Report, which shows similar information for most, if not every, state, county, and city in the United States. Another growing resource is Project: Cold case, which provides not only the statistics behind the number of unsolved homicides in every state, but also provides a database with nearly 25,000 unsolved murders that is available to the public at no charge. According to Project: Cold Case’s unsolved homicide statistics page, in the time between 1980 and 2019, out of the 9,686 murders that had been committed in Massachusetts, approximately 5,937 of them have been solved, leaving around 3,749 of those murders unsolved today.

Although there is no single database for cold cases in Massachusetts, various local and county law enforcement agencies house their own databases or websites full of their own lists of cold cases. Some of the types of cold cases which can be found within Project: Cold Case’s database, as well as within lists of cold cases on law enforcement websites, include unsolved murders in northern Massachusetts such as the 2003 murder of Robert Natiello Jr., the 2008 murder of Melanie Quadros, the 1984 murder of Nancy Merson, the 1986 murder of Claire Gravel, and the 2011 double murder of John and Geraldine Magee, among others. Other types of cold cases are the many unsolved central Massachusetts murders, which include the following: the 1982 murder of Brenda LaCombe, the 1993 murder of Holly Piirainen, the 2006 murder of Travis Monroe, the 1978 murder of Theresa Corley, and the 2001 murder of Karen Marchioni, among others.

In addition, unsolved murders in Boston, Massachusetts, are often included as well. Some examples are: the 2013 murder of Varelis Pereyra, the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, the 2007 murder of James Jacobs, and the 2012 murder of Stephen Hill, among many others. The many unsolved murders in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, include the 2007 murder of Jason Fernandes, the 2009 murder of Julienne Corrao, the 2013 murder of Carly Jones, and the 2017 murder of Xi Van Nguyen, among countless others.

Unsolved Massachusetts Murders

According to Project: Cold Case’s cold case homicide statistics webpage, which breaks down data collected by the Murder Accountability Project, there are presently around 3,749 Massachusetts cold cases as of the website’s most recent update. The Project: Cold Case database, in addition to the several city and county law enforcement agencies’ websites, occasionally offer lists of their local unsolved murders or missing persons. Those featured on law enforcement websites include some of the countless northern Maryland unsolved murders, such as: the 2003 murder of Robert Natiello Jr., the 2008 murder of Melanie Quadros, the 1984 murder of Nancy Merson, the 1986 murder of Claire Gravel, and the 2011 double murder of John and Geraldine Magee, among many others.

Unsolved murders Boston, Massachusetts, are another example of the types of cases which are often found within the various databases or on law enforcement websites. Some examples of these include: the 2013 murder of Varelis Pereyra, the 2015 murder of Grisel Sanchez, the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, and the 2012 murder of Stephen Hill, among many others. Finally, other unsolved murders Massachusetts included in the lists of cold cases are the many east Massachusetts unsolved murders. These include the 1995 murder of Deanna Cremin, the 1988 murder of Debra DeMello, the 1988 murder of Nancy Paiva, the 1988 murder of Dawn Mendes, and the 1989 murder of Robbin Rhodes, among many others.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

Famous Massachusetts Murders

Most people, even those living in Massachusetts, may not initially recognize the names of the victims of the several famous Massachusetts murders. Nevertheless, a handful of the names on the list of murders in Massachusetts, the list of all murders in Massachusetts, the list of Massachusetts murders, and the list of notorious Massachusetts criminals, which can be easily found listed on the websites of various law enforcement agencies, may ring a bell. Some examples of the most infamous Massachusetts murders include: the 1993 murder of Holly Piirainen, the 1996 murder of Karina Holmer, the 1992 murder of Susan Taraskiewicz, the 1985 murder of Sarah Pryor, the 1995 murder of Deanna Cremin, and the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, among many others. Additionally, some of the most famous Massachusetts disappearances include: the 1961 disappearance of Joan Risch and the 1982 disappearance of Judith Chartier.

Homicide Rate in Massachusetts

According to an archived Uniform Crime Report which was published in 2019 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the violent crime rate in Massachusetts was approximately 327.6 per 100,000 Massachusetts inhabitants. In summary, this means that almost 328 out of every 100,000 Massachusetts citizens were directly affected by violent crime in 2019, including rape, homicide, assault, and burglary. According to the same source, the homicide rate in Massachusetts was about 2.2 per 100,000 persons, implying that approximately 2 out of every 100,000 individuals in the state were killed in 2019.

Boston, Massachusetts’ capital city, boasts a massive population of more than 4.3 million inhabitants, making it the single most populous city in the state. According to various law enforcement crime reports, in 2018, the violent crime rate in Boston, Massachusetts, was about 622.45 per 100,000 residents, while the murder rate in Boston, Massachusetts, was around 8.06 per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, there is no conclusive way to estimate the total number of murders that will be committed in Massachusetts in 2021 or in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2021. However, we can expect, based on archived crime rate reports, that the number of homicides committed in both Boston and the state of Massachusetts as a whole will gradually rise each year.

Suffolk County Murders

Suffolk County, Massachusetts, presently contains a population of more than 800,000 residents. The precise number of murders in Suffolk County in recent years is unclear, but based on archived law enforcement crime reports as well as other online sources, the number of homicides in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, has seemingly remained relatively steady, although it varies somewhat year to year.

In the majority of homicide cases, authorities are able to obtain enough evidence to bring charge(s) to their prime suspect before they are able to officially bring them to a Suffolk County murders trial for the crime they allegedly committed. In Suffolk County homicide trials, several forms of evidence are most often used, notably DNA evidence, physical evidence, and testimonial evidence. Crime scene photos are almost always shown to the jurors when applicable. The prosecutor almost always brings forward Suffolk County murders crime scene photos in their homicide trials in order to show jurors the place where the crime occurred, the relative location of any objects of evidence around the scene, and to illustrate how the crime most likely took place.

Boston, Massachusetts Murders

Murders in Boston, Massachusetts, tend to be far more prevalent than in most other Massachusetts cities, given its massive size and population. The vast majority of recent and even some decades-old murders in Boston, Massachusetts, have been solved, while law enforcement and other investigative agencies continue to devote extensive amounts of their time and resources to the investigation of the remaining unsolved homicides. As one might anticipate, Boston murders discussion will continue on numerous prominent social media websites such as Reddit, Websleuths, and Facebook, among many others. Users of these websites often spend their time speculating and exchanging information about various unsolved murders, and can often be found discussing their own theories. Boston murders pictures, Boston murders crime scene photos, and even Boston, Massachusetts, murders autopsy photos are frequently mentioned and discussed in these posts and threads, regardless of the fact that they are rarely disclosed to the general public, even after a case has been solved.

Rapid breakthroughs in DNA technology have recently contributed greatly to the conclusion of hundreds, if not thousands, of cold cases across the United States. Some of the few incidents in which Boston murders DNA, as well as DNA found at crime scenes in many other regions of Massachusetts, has been used to solve or to provide new information to cold cases include: the 1984 murder of Virginia Hannon and the 1991 murder of Howard Ferrini, among a few others.

Massachusetts Serial Killers

Massachusetts has had to face more Massachusetts killers than you may imagine throughout the course of its history. In addition to the wide variety of serial killer lists that can be found online, there are other lists that include the names of various serial killers in Massachusetts specifically, including Massachusetts serial killer list, and list of serial killers in Massachusetts. These lists not only include some of the most notorious Massachusetts serial killers, but also include Massachusetts serial killers who you may not be familiar with, such as: the still-unknown “New Bedford Highway Killer,” who is believed to have murdered at least 9 women, as well as caused the disappearances of at least 2 additional women from July of 1988 and June of 1989; and the Boston Strangler, who is the most famous of the few Boston, Massachusetts, serial killers. The Boston Strangler, whose identity may be unknown, is known to have murdered at least 13 women from 1962 to 1964. Although the case remains technically unsolved, Albert DeSalvo confessed to committing every murder, but his story was not making much sense, according to law enforcement.

Crimes in Massachusetts

To discover more about the data and statistics for the various crimes in Massachusetts, you may visit the websites of various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, who release annual reports full of updated data on their respective websites. Most cities and counties throughout every state have a comprehensive report that is available to the public, which covers the various types and quantities of crimes committed in the specific area. On the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website, for example, you may access both recent and archived Uniform Crime Reports, as well as a report on crime in Massachusetts.

Although law enforcement makes every attempt, it appears as though Massachusetts homicides and true crime stories in Massachusetts will never come to an end, regardless of their attempts. From 1980 to 2019, there were around 9,686 homicides in Massachusetts alone, according to Project: Cold Case’s homicide statistics page. Of those, 5,937 homicides were solved, leaving roughly 3,749 unsolved murders remaining in Massachusetts as of the website’s latest update. No matter how long it takes, it seems that the number of Massachusetts’ true crimes will eventually decrease considerably due to recent breakthroughs in DNA technology, as has been shown by the rapidly declining number of cold cases in Massachusetts.

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Additional Massachusetts Cold Cases

Heiddy AguilarThomas AirdCharles Allen Jr.Carlos AmaralDylan AmaralAndrew AmatoJeffrey AndersonKenneth AntolinoLizmarie AsencioKali AthukoralaJohn BarbozaShoshana BlackFloyd Black JrJoseph BreenMichael BroughamLynn BurdickWesley BurtonElinor CarnevaleDorothy CarterLorne CaseyKenneth CauldwellStephen ChanTheresa CoenPatricia ColburnRandall ColeTheresa CorleyLeon CorriveauJames CoutoDeanna CreminDebra CressottiSandra CrispoGlen CrowleyLorena Cruz-TorresAndrew DabbsJesus De LaCruzNelida Del ValleSusan DeQuinaMark DoughtyVirginia DouglasRichard DruryOlivia Edwards-TuttleMilton EldredgeMelissa FaddenJennifer FayWaldemer FelicianoHelena FellsMario FialhoJohn FitzgeraldDonald FlintAntone FloresMary FlynnJean FrottierEdward GaleJocelyn Garcia GonzalezWilliam GarlickJerald GelbAlbert GiovettiWayne GoffShawna GolbaGiovanni Gonzalez-ColonDorothy GoroshkoWallace Gray IILisa HallBryan HamelKeith HardingCaleigh HarrisonSabrina HathewayJohn HatzopoulasLisa HazardRita HesterMitchel IviquelJohn JoyceChristopher JulianMusa KamaraAli KamhazRory KesingerGail KnowltonElaine KwiatkowskiRhonda LabbeSteven LambertVicke LambertonCorey LangEdith LaRiviereSara LarocheMelvin Lazo-MartinezThanh LeScott LegerKristopher LewisDiane LicciardelloRose LimaOdin LopezJamie LusherMichael LyubomirskiyMary MacyGeraldine MageeJohn Magee JrCatherine MalcolmsonJennifer MbuguaCharles McArthurFelicia McGuyerMelanie MelansonDebbie MeloNadine MendoncaWilliam MerceriLinda MerrittMATTHEW MICHAUDPatricia MinassianSavant MinotChristina MonteiroGerald MontrioTaj NarbonneMichelle NicholaouKaren O'DonoghueGustaf OlsonMegan ParkerGerald Peasha, Jr.Luke PentonAlan PeteDaniel PoirierEmmanuel Ponce PinedaDeborah PostJoaquim PrataAngelo PuglisiMelanie QuadrosDeborah QuimbySoomaiiah QuraiishiRobert RasmussenNancy ReageyLeeAnne ReddenSteven ReevesDavid ReynoldsSimone RidingerJoan Carolyn RischRalph RobbinsMarilyn Roberts CardozaDavid RoderiguesCarol RodriguezJoseph Rodziewicz Jr.James RogersCharline RosemondDonald SampsonPatricia SantosMarlon SantosLeigh SavoieGuy ShannonAthena SheetzThanit Sheetz-MartiAmy SherMatthew Eric SilveiraMaximillian SolovievNeithyn SueroMichael SuguraDoris TetreaultJohn TranArlene VattesLaura VelezJovann VergaraRobin VeudreuilMary Ann WaiteDonald WallaceRussell WilliamsLionel WilsonJianhua WuEdward Zajac Jr.