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  1. #1
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    MA - Michael Baer O'Gorman, 12, Gloucester, 18 March 1974

    http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/...b333ec4d0.html
    The boy who never came home


    • By James Niedzinski
    • Aug 14, 2014
    Michael was an “all A’s” student from Lanesville, and when he went to Fuller School the morning of March 18, 1974, he was wearing a dark brown corduroy jacket, a green sweater, brown pants and dirty white sneakers.

    After he was seen outside the school at the end of the day, none of his family members or friends would see him alive again. Five years after his mysterious disappearance, his body was found near a rest stop off Route 128 in Manchester. To this day, no one knows what happened to him.

    While Michael’s death certificate indicates only that the cause of death remains “under investigation,” Manchester police officer Alan Gilson, who attended the autopsy, recalls it showing that Michael had sustained a blow to the head.

    With the 40th anniversary of Michael’s disappearance passing earlier this year, the case sparked the interest of a Gloucester High School teacher, Jude Seminara. Researching other local history for his students, Seminara came upon the case of the 12-year-old boy who left school back in 1974 — and never came home.

    “It was interesting,” he said. “There were really no answers.”
    The placement and position of Michael’s body, Gilson said, suggested that Michael’s killer knew the rest stop and its environs. The body was found under a “V” shape of rocks, leaves and sticks.

    “Somebody put him in there — to hide him,” Gilson said.
    He’s also always been convinced that the murderer killed Michael elsewhere. For one thing, Gilson and two other police officers lived on Old Essex Road, which accessed the rest stop.
    “If you’re going to commit a crime,” he said, “I don’t think you’d want to do it on a street where three cops are living.”
    Aiello recalled that Michael regularly took the school bus — though he never got on that fateful day. Others, however, recall that, as he grew older, Michael would often hitchhike — a relatively common practice among young people well into the 1970s.

    Weiner believes that someone picked Michael up as he was hitchhiking home from school, then later murdered him.
    “My recollection of what we do know, is that on that day that he disappeared, he had been spotted hitchhiking,” said Weiner, who does not recall meeting the boy. “That’s my memory.”
    Last edited by dotr; 03-31-2017 at 01:16 PM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for starting this post, dotr. I've been researching Michael's abduction and murder for about three years now. It's not much talked about in Gloucester anymore. James' article encompasses much of what we uncovered and what is known about the case with a few exceptions, which I'll add here. As I continue to review my files, I will continue to add information.

    The first person I contacted back in late 2013 was the O'Gorman family attorney. He was reluctant to discuss particulars of the case because of rumors that had abounded in the city implicating family members. I talked to numerous people that lived in Gloucester in the time around the murder and discovery of the body, and some of those people recalled the rumors as well. However, no evidence ever substantiated that anyone in the family was involved in Michael's abduction and murder. Tragically, the local gossip likely hindered the police investigation, and certainly was damaging to Michael's survivors.

    Michael's family was prominent in Gloucester. His father was a respected art historian who worked for a time at the Cape Ann Historical Society and Museum. He traveled in a social circle of wealthy and influential Gloucester residents that included the likes of famed sculptor Walker Hancock, one of the Monuments Men, who was a distant neighbor in Lanesville.

    I have yet to visit the rest area where Michael's body was found, as it was closed in 1983 after State Police sting operations were conducted at rest stops throughout the state. According to a Boston Globe article from that year, Mass State Police were conducting operations to reduce the frequency of the use of rest areas for homosexual encounters. The Manchester rest area was one such place. Several people with whom I spoke alluded to the Manchester rest stop as a "lovers' lane," teenage drinking spot, and place for sexual liaisons between men. One person, a retired police officer, claimed that it was a preferred place favored by older men to bring their younger partners.

    Search dogs followed Michael's scent from his school through the woods in Dogtown up to Cherry Street, where the trail was lost. A right on Cherry Street would have taken Michael towards his home in Bay View. A left would have taken him to Poplar Street and then to the Grant Circle rotary where he was allegedly seen hitchhiking. Had he been picked up on Rte 128, and brought south to Manchester, his abductor would have had to make a u-turn to return to the rest area on the northbound side of the highway.

    Witnesses reported seeing Michael in the months following his abduction, as far afield as Blandford, Mass.; however, none proved true -- Michael likely never left Cape Ann, as his body was recovered in the same clothes as he was last seen wearing.

    The day prior to Michael's disappearance was rainy -- thus the woods that he possibly traveled through would have likely been muddy and rugged, as would the wooded area behind the rest area. Michael's assailant would have had to have access to a vehicle, and been strong and fit enough to move a 100 lb body through muddy and fairly rugged terrain, then bury it at the location which was thirty or forty feet below the top of a granite knoll. The body was concealed beneath stones described as over a foot in diameter.

    I suspect Michael knew his murderer and may have planned to meet him, and that his assailant was local to the area. He would have known when the rest area was heavily trafficked, and been familiar with the terrain behind it. I also suspect that his attacker may have assaulted or attempted to assault Michael, and then killed him.

    As I stated above, I will add more to this thread as I review my notes. I hope that a fresh set of eyes can uncover something that I've missed. James' article prompted no new leads that I know of, which is unfortunate. Gloucester is a small city, and the Bay View area is much smaller and insular.

  4. #4
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    MA - Michael Baer O'Gorman, 12, Gloucester, 18 March 1974

    This past winter, police in Georgetown, MA, searched the house of a recently-deceased man whom another man implicated in the bludgeoning death of a boy in about 1970.

    Georgetown is about 35 miles from Gloucester, where Michael was last seen. One of the items recovered in the search of the Georgetown home was a Beverly. MA soccer jersey and the subject was a Beverly youth soccer coach. Beverly borders Manchester, where the rest stop once was and Michael's body was recovered.

    http://thelocalne.ws/2016/12/28/geor...dered-in-1970/


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    Last edited by jude_061; 04-02-2017 at 12:07 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jude_061 View Post
    This past winter, police in Georgetown, MA, searched the house of a recently-deceased man whom another man implicated in the bludgeoning death of a boy in about 1970.

    Georgetown is about 35 miles from Gloucester, where Michael was last seen. One of the items recovered in the search of the Georgetown home was a Beverly. MA soccer jersey and the subject was a Beverly youth soccer coach. Beverly borders Manchester, where the rest stop once was and Michael's body was recovered.

    http://thelocalne.ws/2016/12/28/geor...dered-in-1970/


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    From your link, part 2.
    This is really freaky stuff, hope the person has been looked at in regards to other murdered and missing children,both male and female, imo.
    The mutilated dolls are beyond the pale, as for the photo below, was this a mannequin that was found in the man's house?!
    http://thelocalne.ws/2016/12/29/desp...getown-search/
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Haskell and Witness A were alleged lovers, Witness A was positively identified by victims of an alleged abduction, and Haskell fit the description of the other man in the vehicle. Both are old enough to have been familiar with the cruising spot in Manchester, at the now closed rest stop, near where Michael's remains were found. Witness A is still alive.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete1977 View Post
    Haskell and Witness A were alleged lovers, Witness A was positively identified by victims of an alleged abduction, and Haskell fit the description of the other man in the vehicle. Both are old enough to have been familiar with the cruising spot in Manchester, at the now closed rest stop, near where Michael's remains were found. Witness A is still alive.
    Just found the thread concerning the search for bones in the house.
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...dy-in-Basement

  8. #8
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    I think the rest stop and it's use is significant. The killer likely was familiar with it and its use. It would also explain why no witnesses came forward -- they would have outed themselves. Also, the connection to a rest stop frequented by gay men for encounters could explain why there has been so much local resistance to discussing the case.


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  9. #9
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    The rest stop was closed by the state in 1983 after state police stings.

    A hundred or so yards behind it is a knoll where the body was buried.

    I think the killer was a frequent visitor to that rest stop. He was familiar with the terrain behind it -- he carried a hundred pound body into the woods in muddy terrain to where he buried it. He had to be fit and have access to a vehicle. He could have killed Michael anywhere, but I think it was in the woods. It's risky to drive with a body in the car.

    I think he picked up a vulnerable Michael, who was allegedly hitchhiking. He may have even known him. From Grant Circle to the rest stop is seven or eight miles in the opposite direction from Michael's home. He would have had to have had Michael's trust or a way to coerce him. Maybe he offered him something. Most likely the murderer is from Cape Ann. I think the killer must still live in the area.


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  10. #10
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    MA - Michael Baer O'Gorman, 12, Gloucester, 18 March 1974

    The O'Gorman family engaged the services of a lawyer shortly after Michael disappeared. The lawyer was the point person for the police and the press.

    He stated that all of the alleged sightings of Michael were disproven by the police investigation. James' request for reports detailed almost nothing related to the investigation.

    One thing I haven't been able to reconcile is a report that a Gloucester resident who had recently returned from overseas encountered Michael in North Station in Boston a few months after he was abducted. The witness alleged that he had spoken with Michael, who told him he was staying with friends in Boston. The police investigated the address that the witness provided and neighbors said they recognized the boy.

    I have been unable to locate any information on this witness. He described Michael in clothes that didn't match the description provided by the police and in which his body was found. The witness lived in the downtown waterfront area, whereas Michael lived in a more remote part of town. He was significantly older than Michael. I found a yearbook entry for who I assume is his sister, who was closer to Michael's age, but nothing about him.

    What I find unusual is how he recognized Michael, and how he claimed to have had a conversation with him, despite how the evidence indicated that Michael never left Cape Ann, and was likely killed shortly after his abduction.

    I'm just tossing things out there as I review my file. More to come later.



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    Last edited by jude_061; 04-07-2017 at 08:27 PM.




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