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(Boston Globe)   Former UPI reporter who covered woman's murder as his first story wants to look at records to see if he can solve cold case. DA: No, because we need more time to look into it. We've only had 48 years   ( bostonglobe.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Apartment, Britton, Murder, Condominium, House, The New Yorker, Britton's apartment, Law enforcement agency  
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4633 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2017 at 1:55 PM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-06-18 10:21:30 AM  
DA covering up for incompetence maybe?
 
2017-06-18 10:49:41 AM  

Speaker2Animals: DA covering up for incompetence maybe?


I'd go with that. If the reporter solves the case, everybody who failed to get the job done will look bad.
 
2017-06-18 10:58:39 AM  
i don't think they are covering up incompetence, more like covering their asses.  Smells of cover up for someone they know/knew at the time and don't want that info out now.
 
2017-06-18 11:00:42 AM  
So a cop killed her?
 
2017-06-18 12:04:28 PM  
The butler did it.
 
2017-06-18 12:56:22 PM  

abhorrent1: So a cop killed her?


Now, now, it could have also been a priest.
 
2017-06-18 01:58:52 PM  
Colonel mustard, in the library, with the lead pipe...
 
2017-06-18 02:01:26 PM  
Britton, an anthropology student who grew up in Needham, was last seen by neighbors just after midnight on Jan. 7, 1969, when she stopped by to chat after a date with her Canadian boyfriend.

You wouldn't know him.
 
2017-06-18 02:03:20 PM  

Speaker2Animals: DA covering up for incompetence maybe?


From 48 years ago?

Not unless it was family.
 
2017-06-18 02:04:52 PM  
More than likely it is just bureaucracy trying to maintain itself and the insulation it has, nothing sinister. Prosecutors and police and all government agencies have long had close to a firewall when it comes to releasing information in an ongoing investigation. Prosecutors are saying we cannot release this info because they are trying to protect the firewall.

Human beings are notoriously apt to try and take a mile when they get an inch. "Ok, your right, you can have this 48 year old case even if is unsolved". "A ha, what about this 40 years old case, this 30 year old...."

On and on until there are more grounds to go in front of judge and show that the policy of not release investigations has become arbitrary and then the firewall falls.

I am not saying it is right, but I understand why it happens. I have been in a government agency where a firewall is defended. Many times I had said to the in-house counsel "seriously, it is no big deal if we provide this info from this non-public record area". The response is always, "absolutely not, give them that piece they will ask for another and use it as a precedent against us when we try to not release something that could really put people at risk".
 
2017-06-18 02:06:34 PM  
Wow, a source that's paywalled AND has incognito browser detection. That's a new one. And utterly useless to those of us who have "used your free articles this month".
 
2017-06-18 02:07:30 PM  
Huh. Just started The Keepers last night.
 
2017-06-18 02:09:27 PM  
perfect plot for an old detective show reunion, gettin the gang back together for one last case. is buddy ebsen still alive? william conrad? peter falk? james garner? telly savalas? jack lord? jack 'quincy' klugman?
 
2017-06-18 02:10:22 PM  
I'm not saying it was Trump, but....
 
2017-06-18 02:30:20 PM  
I'm ok with this. The odds of them finding something that was missed by the countless trained detectives that worked on it over the last 48 years are basically zero. We shouldn't be giving people access to this sort of information just to satisfy their curiosity, which I would guess more than anything, is their real motivation.
 
2017-06-18 02:40:12 PM  
Protect the hierarchy at any cost.
 
2017-06-18 02:43:32 PM  

jjorsett: Wow, a source that's paywalled AND has incognito browser detection. That's a new one. And utterly useless to those of us who have "used your free articles this month".


I'm on a desktop so I just hit refresh and stop it as soon as the text appears.
 
2017-06-18 02:44:45 PM  

jjorsett: Wow, a source that's paywalled AND has incognito browser detection. That's a new one. And utterly useless to those of us who have "used your free articles this month".


Did you try opening it in an incognito tab?
 
2017-06-18 02:52:43 PM  

crinz83: perfect plot for an old detective show reunion, gettin the gang back together for one last case. is buddy ebsen still alive? william conrad? peter falk? james garner? telly savalas? jack lord? jack 'quincy' klugman?


dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.  This sounds like a case for Angela Lansbury

/still alive
 
2017-06-18 02:57:29 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I'm ok with this. The odds of them finding something that was missed by the countless trained detectives that worked on it over the last 48 years are basically zero. We shouldn't be giving people access to this sort of information just to satisfy their curiosity, which I would guess more than anything, is their real motivation.



They haven't looked at it in 47 years. Some bureaucrat ordered a DNA test update in 2006 and they filed it away after it didn't match anyone in the database, which wouldn't include the killer anyway. They were originally protecting someone big in the Boston area, now they are covering their asses for having an unsolved case for 50 years.

They're afraid the case would be solved in minutes once they release what they know, because it clearly points to someone that was protected all those years ago. He's dead now, so it only protects his family from shame.
 
2017-06-18 03:12:20 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I'm ok with this. The odds of them finding something that was missed by the countless trained detectives that worked on it over the last 48 years are basically zero. We shouldn't be giving people access to this sort of information just to satisfy their curiosity, which I would guess more than anything, is their real motivation.


I don't understand this. You seem to be saying that once an unsolved crime goes to the cold case files, everyone should just shrug and say "Oh well, since no one solved it yet I guess we'll never know what happened." That's odd.
 
2017-06-18 03:14:20 PM  

Bird3149: I'm not saying it was Trump, but....


Probably covering up those tiny hand prints they found.
 
2017-06-18 03:20:47 PM  

Delta1212: Huh. Just started The Keepers last night.


episode 2 was just about the most horrifying, sickening and heartbreaking thing i've ever seen.
 
2017-06-18 03:22:40 PM  

Christian Bale: They haven't looked at it in 47 years. Some bureaucrat ordered a DNA test update in 2006 and they filed it away after it didn't match anyone in the database, which wouldn't include the killer anyway. They were originally protecting someone big in the Boston area, now they are covering their asses for having an unsolved case for 50 years.

They're afraid the case would be solved in minutes once they release what they know, because it clearly points to someone that was protected all those years ago. He's dead now, so it only protects his family from shame.


It would be interesting to see a list of people who became powerful that were attending Harvard at the time.
 
2017-06-18 03:27:45 PM  

Christian Bale: ReapTheChaos: I'm ok with this. The odds of them finding something that was missed by the countless trained detectives that worked on it over the last 48 years are basically zero. We shouldn't be giving people access to this sort of information just to satisfy their curiosity, which I would guess more than anything, is their real motivation.


They haven't looked at it in 47 years. Some bureaucrat ordered a DNA test update in 2006 and they filed it away after it didn't match anyone in the database, which wouldn't include the killer anyway. They were originally protecting someone big in the Boston area, now they are covering their asses for having an unsolved case for 50 years.

They're afraid the case would be solved in minutes once they release what they know, because it clearly points to someone that was protected all those years ago. He's dead now, so it only protects his family from shame.


Covering for who?  Anyone who would have worked on the case has long retired.  We're even closing in on a long enough period that anyone who worked on the case retired before anyone in that office started working there.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-06-18 03:53:12 PM  
Under a new law the prevailing plaintiff in a public records case gets attorney's fees.
 
2017-06-18 04:38:58 PM  

basemetal: i don't think they are covering up incompetence, more like covering their asses.  Smells of cover up for someone they know/knew at the time and don't want that info out now.


My guess is that the DA is acting in what she or he considers the public interest in successfully prosecuting the case, standing on principle even though the likelihood of success is very low, or perhaps standing on principle so it doesn't establish a slippery-slope precedent. It's easy to see both sides of the argument, even if you disagree with one. Serious suspicion that the DA is covering for predecessors or the murderer seems downright paranoid.
 
2017-06-18 04:43:30 PM  

Cataholic: Covering for who?  Anyone who would have worked on the case has long retired.  We're even closing in on a long enough period that anyone who worked on the case retired before anyone in that office started working there.


Wouldn't matter. Blue Wall covers many generations back.
 
2017-06-18 04:59:41 PM  

jjorsett: Wow, a source that's paywalled AND has incognito browser detection. That's a new one. And utterly useless to those of us who have "used your free articles this month".


Purge "globe" cookies, turn on noscript
 
2017-06-18 05:01:17 PM  

bingethinker: Speaker2Animals: DA covering up for incompetence maybe?

I'd go with that. If the reporter solves the case, everybody who failed to get the job done will look bad.


After 48 years? Only people that could look bad are already dead
 
2017-06-18 05:02:50 PM  
That Mitchell guy sounds creepy.  TF you want to hang onto someone's bloodied rug as a memento?
 
2017-06-18 05:10:34 PM  

Speaker2Animals: DA covering up for incompetence maybe?


DA covering up for a Brahmin's scion. The murderer is probably still alive and living in Beacon Hill.

/cynic
 
2017-06-18 05:14:17 PM  

Cataholic: Christian Bale: ReapTheChaos: I'm ok with this. The odds of them finding something that was missed by the countless trained detectives that worked on it over the last 48 years are basically zero. We shouldn't be giving people access to this sort of information just to satisfy their curiosity, which I would guess more than anything, is their real motivation.


They haven't looked at it in 47 years. Some bureaucrat ordered a DNA test update in 2006 and they filed it away after it didn't match anyone in the database, which wouldn't include the killer anyway. They were originally protecting someone big in the Boston area, now they are covering their asses for having an unsolved case for 50 years.

They're afraid the case would be solved in minutes once they release what they know, because it clearly points to someone that was protected all those years ago. He's dead now, so it only protects his family from shame.

Covering for who?  Anyone who would have worked on the case has long retired.  We're even closing in on a long enough period that anyone who worked on the case retired before anyone in that office started working there.


Family who is still prominent?
 
2017-06-18 05:24:29 PM  
Wow, I knew about "adblocker blockers" but this is new, a private mode blocker!

"You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode."

frkkem.
 
2017-06-18 05:35:50 PM  
Boston cops must have forgotten the whole "serve" portion of "To protect and to serve."

In Cincinnati, there is (was?) a TV reporter at WKRC named Deb Dixon who the cops work with to help solve cold cases.  It's only once or twice a year, and always presented during ratings periods, but at least the cases get solved.
 
2017-06-18 05:55:02 PM  

Speaker2Animals: DA covering up for incompetence maybe?


In Boston / Cambridge?  More likely they think they know who did it and are still protecting them.
 
2017-06-18 06:00:49 PM  

T Baggins: Serious suspicion that the DA is covering for predecessors or the murderer seems downright paranoid.

I know it isn't directly related, but you do realized that the Boston FBI office protected one of the most notorious mobsters of the 60's - 70's (the brother of a connected politician), while he was murdering people, including deliberately -- deliberately -- framing an innocent guy for one of them and sending him to prison.  Think about that for a while.

Boston is dirty.  Dirty as hell.  Dirty in ways that would make Chicago blanch.
 
2017-06-18 06:04:14 PM  

abhorrent1: So a cop killed her?


Or a lawyer or judge. Maybe a local politician.
 
2017-06-18 07:41:02 PM  

johnny queso: Delta1212: Huh. Just started The Keepers last night.

episode 2 was just about the most horrifying, sickening and heartbreaking thing i've ever seen.


Yeah, watched that last night. Had to stop after that episode.
 
2017-06-18 07:52:24 PM  

Sliding Carp: T Baggins: Serious suspicion that the DA is covering for predecessors or the murderer seems downright paranoid.
I know it isn't directly related, but you do realized that the Boston FBI office protected one of the most notorious mobsters of the 60's - 70's (the brother of a connected politician), while he was murdering people, including deliberately -- deliberately -- framing an innocent guy for one of them and sending him to prison.  Think about that for a while.

Boston is dirty.  Dirty as hell.  Dirty in ways that would make Chicago blanch.


I did overlook Boston's historical reputation for extreme corruption. Maybe suspecting a coverup isn't exactly paranoid, given that history, but it still seems like an issue where the DA could be acting in good faith.
 
2017-06-18 08:00:24 PM  

T Baggins: Sliding Carp: T Baggins: Serious suspicion that the DA is covering for predecessors or the murderer seems downright paranoid.
I know it isn't directly related, but you do realized that the Boston FBI office protected one of the most notorious mobsters of the 60's - 70's (the brother of a connected politician), while he was murdering people, including deliberately -- deliberately -- framing an innocent guy for one of them and sending him to prison.  Think about that for a while.

Boston is dirty.  Dirty as hell.  Dirty in ways that would make Chicago blanch.

I did overlook Boston's historical reputation for extreme corruption. Maybe suspecting a coverup isn't exactly paranoid, given that history, but it still seems like an issue where the DA could be acting in good faith.


No it doesn't.

Sorry, there's no way with a case this old that the DA is acting in good faith withholding information from the press.  Acting in good faith would be to go ahead and release the info, anything else is covering for somebody.
 
2017-06-18 08:31:31 PM  
Visited Boston in 1985, met with a teacher we had known when she was working in Australia. She mentioned that to get a job as a teacher in the public school system she had to make more than one 'donation' to the mob.

Others at the pizza joint agreed; pointed out (subtly) the *connected* patrons.

/ NYC was way less creepy
 
2017-06-18 09:00:09 PM  
Just don't want him solving the case in five minutes.
 
2017-06-18 09:22:28 PM  

T Baggins: but it still seems like an issue where the DA could be acting in good faith.


Sure, that's always possible.  But in Boston, unlike most places, it isn't the way to bet.
 
2017-06-18 09:38:42 PM  
Excuse me, I speak offischir.  What he said was, "Our department has been understaffed and under-funded for a considerable amount of time.  We've had to cut corners as a result, and we usually do so with cases regarding forgettable people with powerless families and connections.  I don't want you to look at this case, because in all likelihood, it will reveal that we just phoned this one in."
 
2017-06-19 01:08:46 AM  

jjorsett: Wow, a source that's paywalled AND has incognito browser detection. That's a new one. And utterly useless to those of us who have "used your free articles this month".


I gave them a bogus e-mail address, let me right in and even said thanks.
 
2017-06-19 03:01:16 AM  

bibli0phile: More than likely it is just bureaucracy trying to maintain itself and the insulation it has, nothing sinister. Prosecutors and police and all government agencies have long had close to a firewall when it comes to releasing information in an ongoing investigation. Prosecutors are saying we cannot release this info because they are trying to protect the firewall.

Human beings are notoriously apt to try and take a mile when they get an inch. "Ok, your right, you can have this 48 year old case even if is unsolved". "A ha, what about this 40 years old case, this 30 year old...."

On and on until there are more grounds to go in front of judge and show that the policy of not release investigations has become arbitrary and then the firewall falls.

I am not saying it is right, but I understand why it happens. I have been in a government agency where a firewall is defended. Many times I had said to the in-house counsel "seriously, it is no big deal if we provide this info from this non-public record area". The response is always, "absolutely not, give them that piece they will ask for another and use it as a precedent against us when we try to not release something that could really put people at risk".


Most municipalities etc. just have a flat time limit, beyond which stuff is ok for releasing unless there are other factors.  Number varies all over the place, but there's usually a hard-coded timeframe where they will not - once again barring other factors - sometimes they'll break that for family members, new info, etc.  It's pretty unlikely they were worried about a shiatstorm of other release requests they'd have to honor, because unless they're older than the law requires they plain don't have to.
I'd suspect it was more like "Oh great, this guy's gonna dig into it and shine all sorts of publicity lights at stuff that's cold - and we're gonna look like idiots by proxy even though we were only involved institutionally not personally."  Pretty much the motivation for a lot of bureaucratic obstufication and farkery - keep things nice and quiet and even keel.  They're not so much evil as institutionally self centered as any 6 sociopaths.
 
2017-06-19 08:33:12 AM  
I think what we've all learned here is that Fark should no longer provide links to the Boston Globe as they are doing everything possible to deter us.
 
2017-06-19 01:27:54 PM  
DarkVader:
Sorry, there's no way with a case this old that the DA is acting in good faith withholding information from the press.  Acting in good faith would be to go ahead and release the info, anything else is covering for somebody.

I agree. After 48 years, the likelihood of catching the killer is so low as to be non-existent.  Even if they could prosecute the killer, the killer would be 70+ years old by now, assuming they are even still alive.

At this point, the best thing to do is release the case files, and see if a fresh perspective would at least help solve it.
 
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