[Hpn] Boston Riverside slaying 5 held in death of homeless woman!
Sat, 10 Nov 2001 09:07:17 -0500
5 held in woman's riverside slaying
By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff, Globe Correspondent, 11/10/2001
22-year-old woman whose body was found floating in the Charles River
last weekend was murdered by a group of young people who were angry that
their plot to initiate homeless people into a criminal gang had failed,
prosecutors said yesterday.
Three men were charged yesterday with first-degree murder, and two
teenage girls, including a 17-year-old cheerleader from Malden, were
with being accessories to the murder. In a carefully orchestrated killing,
prosecutors said, the two women pinned the victim to the railroad tracks
beneath the Boston University Bridge while the three men stabbed and
her. They then allegedly rolled her body into the river.
''It was absolutely brutal,'' said Patrick Haggan, a Suffolk County
assistant district attorney. ''It was vicious.''
The three men charged with murder in Boston Municipal Court were Luis
D. Vasquez, 19, of Lawrence; his brother, Ismael Vasquez, 23, who is
homeless; and Harold Parker, 27, of Mattapan. Judge Charles Johnson ordered
them held without bail.
Ana White, 18, of Milton, and Lauren Alleyne, 17, of Malden, were
charged with being accessories. Johnson ordered them held on $50,000 cash
bail. The Vasquez brothers and Parker have previous criminal records,
including charges of assault and battery.
Officials have not released the name of the victim, saying her
out-of-state parents have not been contacted.
Yesterday, the five stood beside one another in court, behind their
five lawyers. White and Alleyne had blue sweatshirts pulled over their
Alleyne's lawyer said her client was frightened. ''She's only 17,''
said attorney Aderonke Lipede. ''She's enrolled in high school.''
The bizarre plot allegedly began when the Vasquez brothers and Parker
hatched a plan to initiate people into their gang. Prosecutors wouldn't
the gang or elaborate on it.
Prosecutors say the men decided to recruit homeless people, some of
whom lived on the banks of the Charles River and spent their days in ''the
pit'' outside the Harvard Square MBTA station. It was unclear yesterday how
the men induced recruits to join them.
At a Halloween-night meeting in a Braintree hotel, prosecutors said,
the three men spoke to nearly 15 new recruits, telling them they had to rob
people and bring the valuables back to the hotel room in order to be
initiated into the gang. White and Alleyne were also at the meeting, police
The three men dispatched the recruits, but ordered the woman who they
later allegedly murdered to stay with them. The recruits were supposed to
return to the hotel three days later with their stolen items.
But some of the recruits became disillusioned with the idea,
prosecutors said, and decided not to follow through.
Somehow, the five learned that the recruits weren't doing as they
ordered so they drove the victim around the Boston area, grilling her on
friends' plans, prosecutors said.
At about 9 p.m. on Nov. 3, they drove her to the Cambridge side of
Charles River near the BU Bridge, prosecutors said. Everyone got out of the
car and walked toward the river. The five had already planned to kill the
woman, prosecutors said, and each had a job.
The three men allegedly pulled out knives, and forced the victim to
walk onto some railroad tracks beneath the bridge. The two girls pushed the
victim onto the tracks and held her down, prosecutors said.
Then, the three men stabbed her nearly 15 times in the chest,
back and arms, prosecutors said. She was also struck in the head at least
three times by someone using nunchucks, a martial arts weapon. They then
rolled her body off the railroad tracks and into the river, according to
Haggan said at the arraignment yesterday that the woman was killed in
order to intimidate her friends.
But it was another crime later that night that led to the group's
arrest. After they allegedly killed the woman, the three men drove to
Harvard Square, where they allegedly kidnapped at knifepoint a male friend
of the woman. Witnesses who saw that abduction called police.
The three men were arrested on kidnapping charges later that night in
their car. Police found knives and nunchucks on them, weapons that matched
the injuries of the murder victim, prosecutors said. The three were held in
Middlesex County on kidnapping charges until they were charged with murder
and arraigned yesterday in Suffolk County.
White and Alleyne were arrested Thursday night in Malden.
The woman killed was known as ''Rook'' to the teenagers and
skateboarders who hang out at ''the pit.''
The woman had been around the pit area for two or three months and
broke and homeless, teenagers interviewed last night recalled. Members of
the local chapters of the infamous Bloods and Crips from the West Coast
hung around the pit off and on, they said.
Cambridge police respond to calls of fighting and drinking at the
spokesman Frank Pasquarello said last night, adding that the site is owned
and patrolled by the MBTA.
''There's usually a large crowd there, but there are no organized
gangs operating out of the pit,'' Pasquarello said.
MBTA spokesman Brian Pedro said the spot can be trouble.
''Anyone who has walked through there can see there is a problem,
especially when they do act up,'' Pedro said.
Globe Correspondents Fran Riley and Caroline Louise Cole contributed
to this report.
This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 11/10/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.