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That’s How I Left Them . . .

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A man returns home to the Boston suburb of Hopkinton to discover the bodies of his 27 year old wife Rachel and 9 month old daughter Lillian Rose.

Neil Entwistle claims that on Jan 20, 2006 he had gone to a local office supply store and returned to find the grisly murders of his wife and child.

The world might have sympathized with him. Who wouldn’t after uncovering such a horrific occurrence? But what many find hard to believe is what Entwistle did after the discovery.

Overcome with grief and powerless to act—Entwistle merely covered the bodies of Rachel and Lillian Rose. The next day he boarded a plane for England without ever notifying the police or Rachel’s parents.

Police had been summoned to 6 Cubs Path on Jan 21st by Rachel’s mother, Priscilla Matterazzo after being notified that her daughter wasn’t home for a dinner engagement. Their cursory search, showing no signs of break-in or foul play, police allowed Rachel’s friend, Joanna Gately and her sister Maureen to enter the house.

According to the Gatelys, they had watched television in the living room and even took the Entwistle’s dog, Sally for a walk, before camping out in the driveway until morning. When the Entwistles still hadn’t returned home, Joanna called Rachel’s mother.

On Jan 22, the Matterazzos filed a missing-persons report.

Although they had been there the day before, police conducted a more thorough search this time and discovered the bloody bodies of Rachel with her arm draped over Lillian Rose underneath a comforter in the Master Bedroom.

In this country an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but public sentiments has not sided with the man portrayed as a devoted husband and doting father, who absconded to his parents’ home in England—leaving his murdered wife and child behind.

Prosecutors contend that Entwistle murdered his family due to mounting debts and dissatisfaction with their sex life. Their theory is that Entwistle went to his in-laws’ home twice: once to get the gun, and after the murders, to put it back. They also believe that it was to be a murder-suicide, but he had apparently gotten cold feet.

The defense has the monumental task of trying to plant the seeds of doubt. Their conjecture is that Neil Entwistle was too grief-stricken to do anything else but run away upon discovering the bodies of his wife and daughter.

They further intimate that Rachel may have killed herself.

This far-fetched theory is so incredulous given the entry points of where the wounds were inflicted . . . one has to wonder if Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Page, the lawyers of the accused, have taken leave of their senses.

Circumstantial evidence aside, although one has to admit, the amount that exists so far is overwhelming. These are the problems Entwistle’s lawyers will have in mounting a proper defense:

  1. Getting a jury to believe that their client was too grief-stricken to contact police, neighbors, family members or anyone for that matter, but wasn’t too overwhelmed to withdraw money from the couple’s joint account via an ATM machine and board a plane bound for his parents Worksop home in England.
  2. To accept the fact that this is the action of a man, portrayed as a loving husband and doting father would undertake after discovering the bloody bodies of his wife and child.
  3. That someone else killed Entwistle’s family with his father-in-law’s gun. They’ve already hinted that it was Rachel herself. What hypothesis will the defense use to explain how and who returned the gun to the Matterazzo’s home has the earmark of intriguing drama.
  4. Trying to convince the jury that their client simply misspoke when he told Rachel’s stepfather Joe Matterazzo . . . “that’s how I left them,” when in reality what he meant to say was . . . “that’s how I found them.”

Prosecutors are not exempt from their share of problems in trying to gain a conviction in the case as well:

  1. No tests were conducted for occult blood either in the bedroom or bathroom. It seems as if an overzealous forensic team had already formed a conclusion as to who the murderer was.
  2. Entwistle’s fingerprints were not the only ones on the gun. There is even a set that can’t be identified.
  3. That the accused drove 40 miles each way to not only steal but to return the gun without the knowledge of the owner . . . who else could have easily taken a revolver from Joe Matterazzo’s collection?
  4. The detection of gunpowder residue on the front and back of Rachel’s hands, which the defense claims supports their theory that it was indeed a murder-suicide . . . Rachel, fired a bullet that passed through Lillian Rose into her own chest, then shot herself on the top of the head.

What will be the outcome of this sensational trial that is deeply rooted with sordid details of a man who seemingly has a split personality?

Are we to believe the defense . . . Neil Entwistle was overcome with grief by the horrific site of his slain wife and daughter, so much in fact, that his only thought was to flee to his parents’ home in England without notifying Rachel’s parents or authorities?

Perhaps prosecutors have it right . . . mounting debts coupled with a voracious sexual appetite that wasn’t being satisfied by his wife, led him to kill her and his daughter.

When asked by police if he knew what 911 was.

“Ya, I do,” he answered.

As for not notifying anyone . . . “I’ve never been in any situation like that, everything was trance-like. The only think I could think of was the knife downstairs.”

He concluded his statement by saying he backed off stabbing himself because it would hurt.

Being Britton and not having a great command of this country’s dialect, perchance Neil Entwistle misspoke again . . .

What he probably meant to say was—that it didn’t hurt the person who killed his wife and daughter—as much as a self inflicted-knife wound to join them would.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

 

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