Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

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Normal Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by lisette on Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:35 am

Mass.-- Three suspects are in custody after the murder of a Massachusetts teenager more than 40 years ago.
Sixty-year-old Walter Shelley, of Tewksbury, Mass., and 57-year-old Michael Ferreira of Salem, N.H., have been charged with the 1969 murder of 15-year-old John McCabe, MyFoxBoston reports. Allan Edward Brown, 59, of Londonderry, N.H., has been charged with manslaughter.
McCabe’s elderly parents, Bill and Evelyn, looked on, knowing they never stopped pushing police to arrest their son's killers.
"I never gave up. I kept calling I’m guessing probably made a thousand calls in the last 41 and a half years," Bill McCabe told MyFoxBoston.com.
"I prayed every single night and I wear my medals every single day and I ask God. I think it had to be solved," Evelyn McCabe told the website.
In September of 1969, McCabe’s body was found in a vacant lot. He’d been tied with rope linking his wrist, ankles and neck. Adhesive tape covered his eyes and mouth. Police believe he was strangled, trying to free himself.
Brown finally confessed to details known only to the killers after detectives revisited the case.
Brown says in 1969, Shelley was upset McCabe had been flirting with his girlfriend and wanted to "teach him a lesson."
He says they picked up McCabe as he tried to hitchhike his way home from a dance and beat him, tied him up and left him alive in the lot.
Brown says Ferreira threatened to kill the two if they said a word.
Bill McCabe says of John, "He was a good kid. We used to sleep in the backyard, in sleeping bags and a tent."
Both Ferreira and Shelley are being held on $500,000 cash bail and Brown has been released on personal recognizance.

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So sad that he strangled trying to get loose. What a terrible way to die!
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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:53 pm

:cheering: I am so glad there as been arrest for this murder. It is really sad that he strangled him self trying to get lose.
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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:04 pm

Monday, June 27, 2011
Case goes to trial 42 years after boy’s murder
By JAKE BERRY
For 41 years, Debbie McCabe-Atamanchuk couldn’t picture the faces of the men who killed her brother. Now she can’t chase them from her mind.
One, two, or even three times a week, Atamanchuk, a Merrimack resident, joins her family in the cold, wooden seats of Lowell’s Superior and juvenile courts, where she sits face to face with the three men who allegedly bound her brother, John McCabe, and left him to die in a vacant lot.
Police arrested the suspects – Walter Shelley, Edward Brown and Michael Ferreira – in April, more than four decades after the murder, launching a seemingly endless string of court appearances.
Shelley, now 59, of Tewksbury, is charged with first- degree murder, while Brown, 59, of Londonderry, is facing manslaughter charges. Ferreira, 57, of Salem, who was a juvenile at the time, faces juvenile murder charges, among others.
Attorneys representing the men did not return calls for comment for this story.
“I can’t stop thinking about them,” Atamanchuk said Tuesday after she left a criminal hearing for Ferreira at Lowell Juvenile Court.
“I keep going through my mind, thinking ‘did I pass them in the hallways at school? Did I see them at the grocery store?’” she said, choking back tears. “I always wonder, did I see them then?”
Forever 15 in their hearts
The constant picture of the suspects hasn’t changed the picture of John that Atamanchuk and her family members hold in their hearts of John – slim, red-headed, always smiling and forever 15 -years -old.
“He’s Huckleberry Finn. That’s who he is,” said Roberta McCabe-Donovan, the youngest McCabe sibling, who recalled stories of Johnny bringing home a constant stream of fish and frogs, among other new pets. “That’s who he’ll always be.”
Stricken with a head cold, Roberta, 6 years old at the time, was home sick that fateful night, Sept. 26, 1969. Debbie, 17 at the time, was out on a date, and their father, Bill, was returning from a business trip.
John, in his final year of Tewksbury Junior High School, had asked his parents if he could attend a dance that evening at the Tewksbury Knights of Columbus hall, and Bill got home just in time to give his permission.
“He told us he had a ride home,” said Evelyn McCabe, John’s mother, now 78 years old. “I wasn’t sure whether he should go, but he had a ride both ways. That was the key thing. ... I always wonder what would have happened if we said no.”
Despite John’s promise of a ride, police reports indicate that he was attempting to hitch-hike home from the dance that night when the suspects, enraged by over a dispute over a girl, picked him up in Shelley’s 1965 Chevy Impala.
According to the police report, the three men dragged him into the car and brought him to the field on Maple Street, where they left him bound and tied. “Because he was crying and screaming, McCabe’s mouth was taped,” Lowell police Det. Linda Coughlin wrote in her report. “After (he) was bound, the three stood there as he continued to struggle.”
Authorities found him the following morning, pronouncing the cause of death asphyxiation by strangulation.
“I’ll never forget that day. I was at work. My boss came and told me there was an emergency at home,” Atamanchuk said of the moment she heard of her brother’s death. “My boss drove me home and my father and the priest met me at the door. ... It was like you’re watching a movie and you’re trying to figure out ‘how do I get out of this?’”
A killing over a girl
For years, the killing left the family in a dizzying circle of fear and anguish.
By day, Evelyn attended church and visited her son’s grave site at the Tewksbury cemetery, and at night she continued to set his place at the family dinner table.
“You do it out of habit,” she said, choking back tears. “Then you get mad at yourself.”
Meanwhile, Bill would walk the streets in fear, not knowing who had killed his son, or why. “For a long, long time, we were afraid for the other two kids,” he said. “We had them sleep in bed with us. ... I kept wondering if I had done something to make somebody mad. ... We were petrified.”
Rumors circled for years about the murder.
Neighbors whispered that it was classmates, gang members, even area police who were responsible for John’s death.
Early on, Bill started work on a book about the murder, recording every lead, and he has been in contact with police ever since, calling each week to check on the case. “It got to the point where I didn’t have to say who it was, they just knew my voice,” he said.
But it wasn’t until this year, that the family learned of the likely motive.
Police investigators had identified Shelley and Ferreira early on as possible suspects, and they continued to question them for years to follow. But they lacked sufficient evidence to charge them.
Then earlier this year, grand jury testimony from Ferreira helped lead investigators to Brown, who acknowledged he was with Shelley and Ferreira the night of the murder.
Coughlin’s police report doesn’t mention Brown by name, but court testimony last week indicated that he confessed to police in March, breaking a pact between the men never to speak on the matter.
According to the report, Brown acknowledged that the three had picked up McCabe that night, believing he had been flirting with Shelley’s girlfriend.
“The cooperating witness told us that their intent was to find McCabe and ‘teach him a lesson,’ ” Coughlin wrote in her report.
“It’s incredible. You’d think it would help to know why, but it doesn’t,” Roberta, McCabe’s sister, said last week. “It was over a girl. ... Are you kidding me?”
Horrible details
After 40 years silence, details of John’s death are coming fast and furious these days. Evelyn and Bill, in the final stages of writing his book, thought they had heard all there was to the story, but through the court appearances, they are learning more about the events that led to their son’s death, detail by gory detail.
“We thought he wasn’t tortured, but then we hear that he was there struggling in the field,” Evelyn McCabe said. “How do you sit through that?”
And it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.
Prosecutors with the Middlesex District Attorney’s office are continuing to build their case against the three in hopes of bringing them to trial in the coming months, according to agency spokeswoman Jessica Pastore.
“That’s going to be difficult,” said Atamanchuk, who will assume her seat in the front row of the Lowell courthouse. “It’s like we have to live through it all over again. But what choice do we have? We have to be there for (John).”
By the time the cases go to trial, a full 42 years will have passed since McCabe’s death, and what would have been his 58th birthday, in March, may have come and gone. Forever stung by his loss, McCabe’s family members are hopeful that the trials will start a new chapter in their recovery process, bringing a sense of closure, and perhaps, the end of Bill McCabe’s book, 40 years in the making.
“That’ll be the last chapter,” he said, sharing a quick smile. “Seeing them get what they deserve, losing a piece of their lives, just like (Johnny) lost.
“Half my life I’ve been working on this. It’s time for it to end.”

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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:08 pm

UPDATED: Judge Rules Ferreira To Be Tried As An Adult In McCabe Murder
Defendant was 15 years old when he and two others allegedly murdered Johnny McCabe in 1969.
By Bill Gilman July 15, 2011
Lowell District Court Judge Patricia Flynn has ruled there is probable cause for Michael Ferreira, one of three men charged in connection with the death of Johnny McCabe back in 1969, to be tried as an adult for first-degree murder.

“We are pleased with the Judge’s ruling which found probable cause to have Michael Ferreira be tried as an adult for the murder of John McCabe," said District Attorney Gerald Leone. "We will now continue to prepare to hold all three defendants accountable for the death of John McCabe in a court of law.”

McCabe's family, who spent over four decades wondering who had killed Johnny and why, were pleased with the decision.

Roberta Donovan, Johnny McCabe's sister, said her mother, Evelyn, said "that's where he should be," when told of the ruling.

"We suffered and constantly wondered and now I want Superior (Court) to do what is right," added Donovan.

Ferreira will now be arraigned on charges of first-degree murder in Superior Court, though no date has been set. In the meantime, he remains in jail on $500,000 cash bail. The bail was established when Ferreira was charged with perjury as an adult, for allegedly lying to a Grand Jury regarding McCabe's murder back in 2008.

McCabe was allegedly kidnapped while walking along Route 38 after leaving a dance at the Knights of Columbus in September, 1969. He was allegedly beaten and taken to a vacant lot in Lowell, where he was bound and gagged in such a way that he suffocated while trying to free himself.

Ferreira's co-defendants, Edward Alan Brown and Walter Shelley are both free pending their next court appearances. Brown, charged with manslaughter, is free on personal recognizance. Shelley, also charged with first-degree murder, posted $500,000 bail.

Ferreira's attorney, Eric Wilson, could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:12 pm

Ferreira indicted in connection with John McCabe homicide
Monday, August 22, 2011

WOBURN– A Salem, NH man has been indicted on a charge of first degree murder in connection with the previously unsolved and decades-old homicide of John Joseph McCabe, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public recently.
Michael Ferreira, 57, of Salem, NH, was indicted on Friday, August 12, by a Middlesex grand jury on one count of first degree murder. The defendant was also indicted on May 26 on one count of perjury for lying to the Grand Jury.
An arraignment date has not yet been set.
Two additional defendants have been charged in connection with the murder. Edward Allen Brown, 59, of Londonderry, NH, was charged with one count of manslaughter. Walter Shelley, 60, of Tewksbury, was charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of intimidation of a witness.

Due to recent evidentiary developments, coupled with a 41-year investigation, the three defendants were charged. It is alleged that Shelley, Ferreira and Brown were all involved in abducting the victim, holding him in a car against his will on September 27, 1969, where they assaulted him, and subsequently bound and gagged him in such a way that it led to his death.
It is alleged that Shelley drove the car to the vacant field on Maple Street in Lowell and that the defendants left the victim in the field, where he died alone.
The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to strangulation.
Arrest warrants for the three defendants were issued on April 14, 2011. Brown and Shelley were arraigned in Lowell District Court on April 15 before Judge Tobin Harvey. Shelley was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail. Brown was released on personal recognizance. Ferreira was arraigned that afternoon in Exeter District Court in New Hampshire on the fugitive from justice warrant and was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail. He was arraigned on April 19 in Lowell District Court where Judge Michael Brooks ordered the defendant held on $500,000 cash bail. Ferreira was previously charged with murder in Juvenile Court, but was moved to District Court following a Judge’s ruling. He was arraigned in Lowell District Court on July 22 where Judge Thomas Brennan ordered the defendant held without bail.
Shelley was indicted on May 26 and arraigned in Lowell Superior Court on June 21 where Judge John Lu ordered the defendant held on $500,000.
Brown was also indicted on May 26 and arraigned in Lowell Superior Court on June 28 where Judge John Lu ordered him held on $1,000.
These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The investigation is ongoing.
The Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case is Tom O’Reilly. The Victim Witness Advocate is Dora Quoriz. This case was investigated by The Lowell Police Department, The Tewksbury Police Department, and The Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office with assistance from the Salem, New Hampshire Police Department.

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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by lisette on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:21 pm

Plea Bargains Possible With Two Of Three Defendents In McCabe Killing
Prosecutors in conversations with Walter Shelley and his attorney.
By Bill Gilman July 25, 2012

The McCabe family waited more than 41 years for arrests to be made in the murder of their son/brother.

Their pursuit of justice may be nearing a conclusion.

In April, 2011, law enforcement officials arrested Edward Brown of Londonderry, NH, Michael Ferreira of Salem NH and Walter Shelley of Tewksbury in connection with the death of Johnny McCabe. The 15-year-old Tewksbury High student was walking home from a dance at the Knights of Columbus on Sept. 26, 1969, when he was grabbed off the street, driven to a vacant lot in Lowell and tied up in such a way that it caused him to suffocate.

Brown, 60, whose confession during a March 2011 interrogation led to the arrests, has been charged with manslaughter. Shelley, 61, and Ferreira, 58, have each been charged with 1st degree murder.

Ferreira's trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 9 in Lowell Superior Court, with Shelley's trial set to begin on Dec. 3. However, prosecutors from the office of District Attorney Gerry Leone appear now to be focusing their efforts on Ferreira.

According to a source close to the investigation, Shelley and his attorney were scheduled to meet with prosecutors on Tuesday, July 24, to discuss a possible plea bargain. But the meeting was postponed to Aug. 2.

Any deal with Shelley would likely involve him pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony against Ferreira. In Brown's confession to investigators in 2011, he accused Ferreira of being the member of the trio most directly responsible for McCabe's death. It was Ferreira, said Brown, who tied a rope around McCabe's neck and then tied it to his legs, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Brown claimed that he and Shelley just wanted to scare and humiliate McCabe.

Brown has not pled guilty in the case but no trial date has been set either. It's possible that prosecutors already have a deal in place in exchange for his testimony against Ferreira.

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Boy! This case sure is taking a long time to come to a conclusion!
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Normal UPDATE: Michael Ferreira Acquitted In 1969 Cold Case Murder Of John McCabe

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:25 am

January 25, 2013
After deliberating for only five hours, a Middlesex Superior Court jury cleared a New Hampshire man in the 43-year-old killing of a teenager in Lowell, stunning prosecutors and the boy’s family, who had waited decades for justice.

Michael Ferreira, 59, of Salem, N.H., walked out of the courthouse in Woburn a free man, his lawyer saying he was looking to ­return to a quiet life with his wife.

“Their lives have been turned upside down for the last two years, and they just want to ­resume their normal life,” Ferreira’s lawyer, ­Eric Wilson of New Hampshire said after the verdict. Ferreira had been accused with two other men of killing John McCabe, 15.

Wilson said he was thankful for the courage of the jury, and added, “We also recognize the anguish the McCabe family continues to suffer for the loss of their son.”

But Wilson said, “The questions that surround the death of John McCabe could not be answered by prosecuting Mike Ferreira.”

The case had been built in large part on the testimony of Edward A. Brown, who told ­jurors that he, Ferreira, and Walter Shelley were teenagers at the time and meant to ­harass McCabe, by tying him up and taping his mouth, for flirting with Shelley’s girlfriend. Brown said they left McCabe in a parking lot on the night of Sept. 26, 1969, drove away, and found him dead when they returned.

Brown pleaded guilty to a reduced count of manslaughter in a deal with prosecutors and is expected to serve a sentence of probation with no jail time. Middlesex District Attorney ­Gerard T. Leone Jr. said in a statement Friday that, despite the jury’s verdict, he will still try Shelley on murder charges. No date has been set for the trial.

One of McCabe’s sister’s, Debbie McCabe Atamanchuk, told reporters outside the courthouse: “Our family wasn’t looking for revenge. We were looking for justice.” She said the last 43 years have been “a nightmare for our family.”

Leone said in the statement that “we appreciate the challenges of trying a homicide case 43 years after the killing occurred.

However, we make decisions on the facts and law and feel that we have built a strong and solid case against all three defendants that withstands our high burden of proof and persuasion,” he said.

The verdict was a surprise to Walter Jamieson, a retired Tewksbury deputy police chief who was a patrolman and met McCabe’s parents at the time of the killing.

He was called to testify about an investigation into ­another man in a separate case who had hogtied a woman, but said there were no similarities to what had happened to ­McCabe.

Jamieson said he thought Brown’s testimony would have been enough to convict Ferreira. “I can’t imagine someone telling you they took part in a murder if they didn’t do it,” he said. “It just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but you never know when you go to a jury.”

But Wilson said that jurors were left with too many questions about the case, and he had argued that there were too many other possibilities that were not investigated.

Wilson said that Brown agreed to testify only after he was continuously harassed by law enforcement officers and that his testimony was based on what he had been told.

“He just, in essence, said I’ll take a deal and tell you what you need to know, which is sad,” Wilson said. “Everywhere [jurors] looked, at every turn in that case, there was reasonable doubt.”

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Normal Two Trials, Two Different Verdicts

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:36 am

09/23/2013

Why would he lie?

That is what prosecutor Thomas O'Reilly essentially asked a Lowell Superior Court jury to ponder in considering the credibility of Edward Allan Brown's confession to the 1969 murder of 15-year-old John McCabe.



Brown, a co-defendant and key prosecution witness, testified against his childhood friend, Walter Shelley, 61, of Tewksbury, during Shelley's murder trial a week ago. The jury convicted Shelley of first-degree murder in the "cold case'' killing 44 years ago of 15-year-old John McCabe of Tewksbury.

Brown, 60, of Londonderry, N.H., also testified in January against another childhood friend and co-defendant, Michael Ferreira, but that jury found Ferreira not guilty of murder.

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Brown


The evidence was the same, so what was different between the two trials that triggered such different results?

O'Reilly prosecuted both cases, but there were different defense attorneys, different judges and -- most importantly -- different juries.

Roberta McCabe-Donovan, John's younger sister, who sat through both the Ferreira and Shelley trials, points out that during Shelley's trial, O'Reilly essentially asked the jury a significant question in his closing argument: Why would Brown admit to murder unless he did it?

O'Reilly stressed that Brown confessed to the McCabe murder knowing that by doing so, he could spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

"Why would a 61-year-old man, with 38 years in the Air Force, confess, thinking that once he does he is going to jail?" O'Reilly asked the Shelley jury.

Defense attorney Stephen Neyman stressed that Brown cut a deal in which he would plead guilty to manslaughter and serve no jail time in exchange for his tailor-made story and agreement to testify against both his childhood friends.

But O'Reilly told the jury Brown confessed to murder before there was a deal on the table.

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Ferreira


Neyman told the jury Brown told many versions of the story, finally conforming his story to the police theory of the case -- that John McCabe was kidnapped, tied up and left in a vacant field in Lowell to teach him a lesson for flirting with Shelley's then-girlfriend.

"To convict Shelley, you have to believe Brown's testimony,'' Neyman told the jury in his closing, adding that Brown is "a liar and not even a good one.''

O'Reilly told the jury, "Edward Brown is a killer. ... He was also a witness in the death of John McCabe.''

He added, "Whatever secret he was carrying around for 43 years came out.''



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Normal UPDATE: Walter Shelley, 62, Was Sentenced To Life With The Possibility Of Parole

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:40 am

February 21, 2014

A Tewksbury man was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he committed in his teens, more than 40 years ago, Middlesex prosecutors said.

Walter Shelley, 62, was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in Middlesex Superior Court on Thursday, said Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney. He had been convicted in September.

John McCabe, 15, of Tewksbury, was walking home from a dance at the Knights of Columbus hall in Tewksbury on Sept. 27, 1969, when three teens spotted him, prosecutors said.

One of the boys thought that McCabe had been flirting with his girlfriend and wanted to confront him.

Shelley, then 17, and two of his friends abducted McCabe and strangled him, the district attorney’s office said.

Police discovered McCabe’s body in a field off Maple Street in Lowell. He was tied up, with his eyes and mouth taped shut.

For four decades, investigators pursued the case. The teenagers had promised each other to never tell, authorities said.

But in 2011, Edward A. Brown came forward. He entered a plea agreement with the Commonwealth, and prosecutors charged Shelley and Michael Ferreira in the killing, prosecutors said.

Ferreira was acquitted in January 2013.

Shelley, who lived for yearsjust miles from the McCabe family’s home in Tewksbury, was sentenced Thursday.

He was given a chance at parole because he was under 18 when he committed the crime, said Guyotte.

Under a recent Supreme Judicial Court decision, juveniles who commit murder in Massachusetts cannot be sentenced to life without parole.

Evelyn McCabe, mother of the slain teenager, said she was happy the trial is over.

“It’s finally done,” she said in a telephone interview Friday.

She said she wanted to thank everyone who helped with the case. John’s father, William McCabe, dedicated his life to figuring out what happened that night.

When he died in January 2013, Evelyn McCabe said she promised him she would continue their quest for justice.

“I promised him I would continue this battle,” she said. “I’m happy it’s finally over.”


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Normal Re: Three Men Charged in 1969 Murder of 15 Year Old John McCabe~ Brown Cops A Plea & Is Sentenced To Probation~ Ferreira Is Acquitted~ Shelley Sentenced To Life In Prison With The Possibility Of Parole

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