[Hpn] Boston Riverside slaying 5 held in death of homeless woman!

wtinker wtinker@metrocast.net
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
charged
 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
punched
 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
heads
 and faces.


       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
name
 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
 said.


       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
were
 ordered so they drove the victim around the Boston area, grilling her on
her
 friends' plans, prosecutors said.


       At about 9 p.m. on Nov. 3, they drove her to the Cambridge side of
the
 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,
abdomen,
 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
 prosecutors.


       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
was
 broke and homeless, teenagers interviewed last night recalled. Members of
 the local chapters of the infamous Bloods and Crips from the West Coast
have
 hung around the pit off and on, they said.


       Cambridge police respond to calls of fighting and drinking at the
pit,
 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.