January 5, 2018: Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, of North Adams was stabbed and beaten to death, allegedly by her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, in their Western Massachusetts home. Mark Steele-Knudslien walked into the North Adams police department and stated that he had done “something very bad” and believed he needed to be arrested for it. After an autopsy, the death was ruled a homicide. Steele-Knudslien pled not guilty. Police in Adams (their former place of residence) recalled several instances where they went to the Steele-Knudslien home after neighbors called the police in regards to “neighborhood” issues. According to the national LGBTQ organization, GLAAD, this was the first known transgender homicide of the year in the United States. Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien is remembered as an active member of the transgender community and founder of both the Miss Trans America and Miss Trans New England pageants. Steele-Knudslien is survived by friends and the wider transgender community. As a longtime friend of Steele-Knudslien said, “Her thing was always that transgender women are beautiful and need a venue for trans women to be seen as beautiful.”
January 22, 2018: Janice Houston, 65, of Montgomery, was shot by her husband, James Leyden, 68 in their home. The Hampden County District Attorney’s office received a call from Leyden on Monday morning, reportedly saying that he had killed his wife and was about to kill himself. State troopers responded to the call and upon arrival made several attempts to contact Leyden, who was inside the house. Upon no response, Troopers breached the front door to find both Houston and Leyden dead in the second floor master bedroom. They were lying beside each other in bed and next to them was their dog who was also suffering from a gunshot wound. Houston was in possession of a firearm and two more were found during a sweep of the home. The investigation remains active and ongoing.
February 10, 2018: Olivia Bergstrom, 20, of Needham, was found stabbed to death, allegedly by her boyfriend, Benjamin Walsh, 24, in the apartment they shared. Soon after, Walsh went to a Millis restaurant where he attacked his mother and father with a knife. His mother Laura Walsh was hospitalized in serious condition, and his father Michael Walsh was treated for minor injuries. Millis police received a call just after 7 PM. regarding a disturbance at the restaurant. Several people at the restaurant expressed concern about the well-being of Bergstrom, which led police to do a well-being check at the couple’s apartment. Police discovered Bergstrom’s body with more than a dozen stab wounds. An autopsy ruled Bergstrom’s death a homicide and the cause of death multiple stab wounds. Bergstrom and Walsh had been living in Needham together for about six months. Family and friends had described them as seeming like a happy couple. Paul Bergstrom, Bergstrom’s grandfather, released a statement in which he said that Bergstrom “was a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend” and stating that “she loved her family fiercely.”
February 23, 2018: Kimberly Lockett, 43, of Springfield, was found stabbed to death, allegedly by her husband, Terry Lockett, 41, in her apartment in Indian Orchard at around 8:30 AM. Kimberly Lockett operated a daycare out of her home; and when a client arrived to drop off her child and Kimberly did not answer the door, she quickly called Lockett’s daughter. Lockett’s daughter discovered Kimberly stabbed to death, and reported the incident to Springfield Police. She informed police that Terry Lockett—Kimberly’s estranged husband—had been staying there lately, including the previous night, despite moving out in January 2018. Meanwhile, Terry Lockett’s brother called the police to report that Terry had arrived at their mother’s home “all bloody.” After fleeing his mother’s home, Terry Lockett called his sister and brother and confessed to the killing, stating that he stabbed her and was sure she was dead. Terry Lockett, with the help of his brother, turned himself in to Springfield Police around 10 AM and was charged with first degree murder. On Monday, February 26, despite prior confessions to his siblings, Terry Lockett pled not guilty and was held without bail until his next hearing. Lockett’s daughter reported that Terry Lockett had a history of violence against her mother Kimberly.
March 26, 2018: Luz Acevedo, 47, of Lynn, was hit to death with a metal baseball bat. allegedly by her husband, Miguel Castillo, 55, in their apartment. Castillo called his sister early Monday morning and told her that he had killed Acevedo, his wife. Castillo’s sister called her other brother, Federico Castillo, who alerted police. When police arrived at their Chase Street apartment a little before 5 AM, Castillo held his wrists out to be handcuffed and admitted to killing his wife, imploring officer to “just arrest me,” according to the police report. Acevedo was found unresponsive inside the apartment. A not guilty plea was entered on Castillo’s behalf, and he was ordered held without bail. In addition, investigators found a black metal baseball bat with what appeared to be dried blood. Castillo’s brother stated that they argued sometimes but not unlike any other couple, and he was unaware of any troubles in the relationship. Castillo’s next hearing will be held on May 4 , 2018.
April 13, 2018: Kassedi Clark, 24, of Hinsdale, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle in front of property owned by her estranged boyfriend, Michael Boulais, 32. An autopsy determined that the death was a homicide. Police responded to a call of a possible shooting at 8:30 AM and found Clark’s body inside the vehicle. Police arrested Boulais and charged him with a single count of murder in connection with Clark’s death. Boulais was arraigned and charged with murder. State child welfare authorities were called to the scene to assist with the children who lived at the site of the homicide.
April 21, 2018: Wendi Rose Davidson, 49, of North Andover, was discovered dead in the basement of her home and her former fiancé, Brian Chevalier, 51, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, was charged with murder. According to the Essex County District Attorney’s office Davidson’s brother found her body on the night of April 21st and that she appeared to have been strangled. Chevalier was paroled last year from a New Hampshire prison, where he was serving up to 30 years for the 2003 kidnapping of a Jaffrey, New Hampshire woman. Davidson and Chevalier had been engaged earlier this year but according to one of Davidson’s family members, they had recently ended their relationship. Davidson is remembered by family and friends as a “free spirited loving mother, aunt, sister, niece and cousin. Everyone that met her knew she was a genuine, kind, caring and compassionate woman who would do anything for anybody.”
May 12, 2018: Bethgy Cator, 26, of Avon, was shot and killed by Renardo Williams in a parking lot outside of the Brockton Mini Mart and Wash Hour Laundry Mat at about 10:15 PM. Cator was rushed to a hospital, where he died shortly before 11 PM. The other victim, a 24-year-old man, suffered at least five gunshot wounds. Prosecutors say that Williams was angry because he suspected that one of the victims had been hitting on his ex-girlfriend. Both Williams and his current girlfriend, Chanel Martins,29, of Taunton, were arrested. Williams charged with murder, armed assault with intent to murder, and carrying a firearm without a license; Martins was charged as an accessory after murder. Friends of Cator held a vigil in his honor a few days later.
May 28, 2018: Yesinia Torres, 28, of Lawrence, was stabbed by to death in the apartment she shared with her husband, Joel Monegro, 32. Lawrence police officers found both Torres and Monegro suffering from stab wounds. According to the police report, Torres and Monegro offered different accounts of who started the knife fight. They were both taken to the hospital. The couple of 13 years has three young children. Five years ago, Monegro was reportedly arrested for beating up Torres. A current neighbor said that Monegro was looking to move out because “things were not working out with my wife,” and he asked that people keep an eye on the children. Torres died in surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Monegro pled not guilty to murder charges.
June 25, 2018: Dolores Chisholm, 79, of West Boylston, was found fatally shot in her car along with her husband Robert Chisholm 78. The shooting occurred at around 2:30 PM in the parking lot behind the old town hall at 127 Hartwell Street, where Dolores and Robert were found in a parked car, both with gunshot wounds to the head. Dolores was pronounced dead at the scene; Robert was taken from the driver’s side to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Authorities are investigating the scene of the shooting, as well as the couple’s home, where notes were found. While details were not released, the West Boylston Police shared that the deaths appears to be a mutual suicide that had been planned by both Dolores and Robert. Neighbors remarked how kind the two were; one source also reports that both Dolores and Robert have been sick over the past few years. Dolores was known as an active volunteer in the community. Robert, who served on a town planning committee, was running for Board of Selectmen last month but withdrew, though his name appeared on the ballot on June 5th. The investigation remains active and ongoing.
June 29, 2018: Janet Kastberg, 60, of Holland, was found in her home beaten to death, allegedly by her husband, Jonathan Kastberg, 75. Police responded to a call to the Brimfield Road home late Friday afternoon where they pronounced Janet dead. Janet had an abuse prevention order against Jonathan and recently installed an alarm system after threats from him. Jonathan, who was found with blood on his clothes and body, denies killing his wife and claims that he found her and was trying to help her; the police say he gave conflicting accounts of the events. Jonathan Kastberg filed for divorce the day before Janet was killed. He was charged with murder and pled not guilty to both murder and violation of a restraining order.
August 9, 2018: Maddilyn Burgess, 28, of Sturbridge, was found dead in the car trunk belonging to her boyfriend Gyrth Rutan, 34. After being pulled over by the Maine State Police, Rutan shot himself in front of a Trooper. Police then found Burgess’s body in the trunk of Rutan’s car. The medical examiner has determined she was killed by blunt force trauma and evidence suggests that the incident took place in Rutan’s apartment in Sturbridge. Burgess’s parents are speaking out about their daughter’s relationship: she had lost touch with most of her close friends, and her parents described Rutan as both physically and verbally abusive. After moving out of Rutan’s apartment and filing a restraining order against him, Burgess had moved back into his apartment weeks before she was killed.
September 24, 2018: Shana Warner, 47, of Marshfield, was stabbed, shot and run over by a car allegedly by her estranged husband Allen Warner, 47 of Rockland. The Warners were married for three years and Shana had filed for divorce in May. She had previously sought out protection through the courts. Shana was on the way to visit her current boyfriend when Allen jumped into her car. Shana called 911 for help but was pronounced dead when police arrived. After attacking her, Allen took off and an 18-hour manhunt ensured before he was apprehended by police. The investigation was aided by a bystander followed Allen and provided the police with his license plate number and other witnesses. Police also reported that Allen had been seen in Shana’s father’s neighborhood, claiming he was “looking for cans.” Allen was charged with murder and pled not guilty; he was held without bail and send to Bridgewater State Hospital to be evaluated for his competency to stand trial.
October 9, 2018: John DiCristina, 57, of Acton, was stabbed multiple times by his son, Benjamin DiCristina, 25. The attack came after Benjamin DiCristina allegedly strangled and stabbed a 28-year-old woman he knows, and cut his mother with a knife, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. His mother was treated at a local hospital and released. Prosecutors say his family sought mental-health treatment for him earlier on the day of the attack. He was assessed at a local hospital and then released.