Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cold case solved through DNA

Dan Flynn of American Spectator reports in today’s email:

“Middlesex County, Massachusetts, authorities solved a half-century old murder-rape case through DNA. The news chills in that on Saturday I drove on the street where the murder took place and walked with my kids where the victim skated with a boyfriend just prior to it. Everything looked pretty peaceful in 2018. In 1969—not so much.

In the years since Michael Sumpter raped and murdered 23-year-old Harvard University grad student Jane Britton, Sumpter raped and murdered 24-year-old Mary McClain and raped and murdered 23-year-old Ellen Rutchick. We discovered all this after his death. The authorities did convict him of a 1975 rape on a woman (Do you think he regretted not murdering her?). But then the administration of Michael Dukakis allowed him out of prison on work release in 1985. Guess what he did. Yes, he escaped the program and raped a woman—two years before Willie Horton did something very similar. In 2000, the state let Sumpter out of prison because he suffered from cancer. He died 13 months after his release, presumably without raping anyone else.

How marvelous that the authorities can use technology to solve cold cases. Too bad they cannot use common sense from preventing them from happening in the first place.”

According to the DA press release:

“Sumpter had been convicted of committing the stranger rape of a woman in her Boston apartment in 1975. Mr. Sumpter died of cancer at the age of 54 in 2001, 13 months after he was paroled from his 15 to 20 year sentence for this 1975 Boston rape.  In 2002, after his death, Sumpter was identified by another CODIS hit in connection with a 1985 stranger rape of a woman in Boston committed after Sumpter escaped from work release.

Since his death, DNA testing and the CODIS database identified Michael Sumpter in connection with five sexual assaults, three of which involved the murder of the victim.”
No mention in the press release of the work release program that put him on the streets to rape and kill more women.

Photo of Mr. Sumpter in 1968 file:

Statement from Britton’s only surviving family member on forgiveness:

Statement from Boyd Britton, released by request on his behalf by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office: 

A half century of mystery and speculation has clouded the brutal crime that shattered Jane's promising young life and our family.  As the surviving Britton, I wish to thank all those -- friends, public officials and press -- who persevered in keeping this investigation active, most especially State police Sergeant Peter Sennott.  The DNA evidence match may be all we ever have as a conclusion.  Learning to understand and forgive remains a challenge.
The Rev. Boyd R. Britton+ Vicar Anglican Church of Our Saviour Santa Barbara, CA

No comments: