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Editorial: Why are there no answers one year after Waltham triple homicide?

Published: September 21, 2012
Section: Editorials, Top Stories


More than one year has passed since last Sept. 12, when detectives began an investigation into the triple murder of Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham; Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge; and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, who graduated from Brandeis in 1998 and majored in history. Updates on the investigation have not been significant.

The scene at 12 Harding Avenue last September, when police detectives, reporters and families huddled behind crime scene tape, shocked at the violence on a quiet Waltham Street, rattled the community. There, three men under the age of 40 were stabbed to death just three miles from Brandeis University. Law enforcement officials were left searching for answers.

This week, officials provided similar lines as they did one year ago. On Thursday, Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said that the investigation is still active but that she had no public updates to report.

“The investigation is active and ongoing. We are following leads,” Guyotte said in a phone interview. “We do not believe that this was a random attack.”

A spokesman for the Waltham Police Department declined to comment, referring inquiries to the District Attorney’s office.

We recognize that there is no timetable on murder investigations and do not pretend to understand or assume the motivations behind last year’s triple homicide. When three bodies are found, however, reportedly covered in marijuana and police believe that the murder was targeted, a full year should not go by without answers as to what happened and who committed the crime.

Last year, police and detectives rushed to the scene on a warm summer afternoon. We do not doubt that there are still police and detectives investigating the murder now, but we question how effective their investigation and allocation of resources and personnel has been to date.

As we have written before in this paper, the crime scene on Harding Avenue, although only three miles in distance, felt much further from the South Street campus. But the impact of that murder, which claimed the life of a Brandeis alum, is still felt closely by the Brandeis and larger Waltham community.

As members of this community, we urge investigators to find new ways, methods and officials to investigate what happened. The time for answers, one year later, is more urgent than ever.