MA MA - Henry Bedard, 15, Swampscott, 16 Dec 1974

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by GoodAim, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Websleuths and to this thread, WSFalcon! We certainly appreciate all the helpful information you provided. Thanks for the insight into local life and people.

    I do agree, LE probably bungled some things back then. Like other small city/town LE back then, they probably didn't have a lot of experience handling murder cases, especially one as unusual as this.

    I also agree with you about the current police chief. He's been interviewed numerous times and sounds very sincere about trying to solve Henry's murder. Not many police chiefs today put that kind of effort into solving a case this old.

    A lot of people dismissed the idea of Henry being attacked by a pedo or adult with other motives because of the remote location, known mostly to local kids. It's possible, though, that someone followed him there. That brings up the question of the weapon, though. An adult walking through town carrying a baseball bat probably would have been noticed. Where do you think the baseball bat was located? Did the killer bring it with him or was it left lying around up there on the hill, with the killer grabbing it on the spur of the moment?

    Just a few questions, hope you don't mind. We don't often have locals visit here for discussion, so we like hearing your opinions, memories, etc. What do you and other locals think about the reason Henry went up to the hill that day? Was he taking a shortcut? Did someone arrange to meet him there? Was he going there to wrap the Christmas gift he had just bought?


    I agree, the possibility of a stranger following him there and accosting him exists. Did that kind of crime (mugging, robbery) happen much in Swampscott back then? Do you recall if the town had many vagrants passing through or a criminal element that lived there? Not saying Henry was involved at all, but was there much drug use in the area back then?

    Thanks again, we appreciate your sharing what you know. If you ever have the opportunity to communicate with Henry's family, please give them our best. They seem like such a great family and we're so sorry they lost Henry. I admire their persistence in finding out who killed him.
     


  2. WSFalcon

    WSFalcon New Member

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    Betty P-good point on dismissing an adult or pedo walking up there as it was remote, plus why did they have this bat (I hadn't fully thought of that). I have had the same thought on if it was an adult from the community that was not known then to be a problem as in the 70s we did not know much about that stuff. We were naive back then and most did not know about serial abusers or pedos.
    It was not easy getting up there the way Henry went (a kid, teen could go that way but it would stand out to see an adult going up that way right off a busy street). The kid that found the wallet house abuts the old tracks and that small wooded area which is why he had easy access and would play in the woods.
    The road that Henry was walking on is the main road thru the town and is a very busy route connecting Swampscott with Lynn & Salem and other cities. I only recently wondered if someone saw him and that set off the perp. It is possible the bat was laying around.
    Many think someone knows who the bat belonged too but I am not sure. I played baseball and it s not like today's baseball. We had bats we liked but bats were cheap an old bat could've been lying around.
    "Just a few questions, hope you don't mind....
    What do you and other locals think about the reason Henry went up to the hill that day?" Many say and think that he was meeting someone. If so probably another kid. I heard one or two rumor guesses but I don't want to repeat as just a guess unsubtantiated rumor in my opinion.
    If he was meeting an adult that he thought was ok but was not (teacher, friend, coach, etc.) at a park, parking lot, or in a car, I could see that being a possibility, but I find it difficult to imagine a known adult walking up into that small wooded area.
    "Was he taking a shortcut?" No, it was Not a short cut home. The shortcut story has been repeated in papers and by locals but what bothered me ( I grew up 1/2 mile from there) was that it was not a shortcut. I think I read where his sister said that in the later stories too, that it was Not a short cut home.
    There were old train tracks and woods in town that were very common shortcuts by kids but this was hard to get to and was not really a shortcut anywhere.
    "Did somoen arrange to meet him there"? That is the main thinking .
    Was he going there to wrap the Christmas gift he had just bought? I doubt that. Why go up there. He could have wrapped them in the park, on a bench right across the street.
    Did that kind of crime (mugging, robbery) happen much in Swampscott back then? No, small town though it is in a very settled area. Surrounding cities had more crime but considered safe. Though crimes were not as widely reported then.
    Do you recall if the town had many vagrants passing through or a criminal element that lived there? Not saying Henry was involved at all, but was there much drug use in the area back then?
    I would say no but it is very easy for vagrants and people to pass thru. The bus that ran from Boston to all these towns/cities stopped right across the street. I took it many times to go to neighboring cities and even in to Boston with only friends. It was a different time.
    The main train/commuter rail runs thru the town. The train station is about a 5-10 min. walk from there. We did have some bad local elements, like most towns/cities and there were some vagrants that would pass thru. I believe the local police were good back then at keeping an eye out on them. I have never heard of a connection with any bad people in town, and if so, how did they get him up there is still a big mystery and question.
    I have never heard anything credible that he was involved with drugs. I did not know him personally and I am sure that like most teens he could have been involved with partying, drinking, pot, etc. at times but I have never heard anything other than he was a good regular kid. I do not believe this was like a hardcore drug or money related incident.
    Unfortunately we did not have the awareness back then of strangers, or known people in the community that were preying on kids/teens, plus the technology is not what we have today for pinpointing where people were and solving crimes.
     
    CraigP, Betty P and UnlicensedPI like this.
  3. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much, WSFalcon, for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it. Given the remote location, hard to climb up to and somewhat out of the way, it sounds like Henry went to meet someone there. I traced the route on Google maps a while back and it certainly didn't look like a short cut.

    Henry went there to meet someone and it was a little out of his way. He probably didn't plan to stay long as it was getting close to dark and he still had a long walk ahead of him.

    Whomever he met with was angry and attacked him without much warning. Maybe it was like an ambush. I wish we knew whether the bat was already there (maybe left by some kids playing in the area) or if the killer brought it with him.

    I agree, it also doesn't sound like the kind of spot where a teacher, coach, etc. would arrange to meet with Henry. As you see from past comments here in this thread, most who have gone to the site agree it was a quiet neighborhood where someone would probably notice a stranger coming up the street or parking at the end to go into the woods. The killer would possibly have blood on his clothing, so he took a big risk leaving the scene. Then again, it happened around dinner time when a lot of families might not have been outside or looking out a window.

    I hope some others here drop by and read your posts. I'd like to hear what they think, too. I may also ask one of our WS members here who is retired LE to see if he can give us an idea. I've been reading up on another cold case of the shooting of two teen boys in a nice middle class neighborhood in Detroit the night before July 4, 1964. One of their detectives stated back then when young men are murdered, its most often done by other young men.

    Thanks again!
     
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  4. CraigP

    CraigP New Member

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    Wow WSFalcon, great info. Thanks for posting. I have a quick question. You said you lived in the area and there were some rumors. If I PM'd you a name that I found I am curious if it would match one of these rumors. I am also interested in that local neighborhood obviously since I think the perp would have lived nearby. Otherwise how did they get the blood off of themself and simply walk away? Anyways let me know in PM please and I will pass a name to you.
     
    Betty P likes this.
  5. PerhapsIt'sYou

    PerhapsIt'sYou Member

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    This was a crime of rage. Very personal. It wasn't a stranger or a transient
     
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