Found Deceased MA - Michael Doherty, 20, Franklin, 14 May 2017

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msphilosopher

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I've been lurking on this thread since this story started. I grew up in Franklin and lived about 5 minutes from where this took place until I was like 24 (about 8 years ago). Being familiar with that area, the thing I keep going back to is why he would go into the woods at all? He should have gone down Oak St. Extension, taken a left on Pond, and just walked down to his street. Even if you measure an exact straight line on the map from Phyllis to Catherine, it's about 4/5 of a mile through the woods, streets, and whatever else was in the way. If you just walk on the road, it's about 1.3 miles. Nobody in their right mind, even marginally intoxicated would think taking a route through the woods at 1am made more sense than walking on the road, while going the WRONG direction.

Something about this still seems really off. How do we know he left the party alone? Does anyone think someone would actually own up to anything like that?

A little more background on people and my suspicions from someone who did not have a good experience growing up there. People may be painting a rosy picture of Franklin and surrounding towns, but be clear, there are layers to this. Nothing happens in Franklin, or so people say. Kids get bullied, a lot, cops abuse their power, a lot, and drug use is through the roof. Kids I knew did acid, ecstasy, weed, coke, drank, you name it, they did it. I was around it as little as possible and never participated but there needs to be more scrutiny put on this party, who was there, what they were doing, and further down the line, how it can be stopped. This may sound a lot like other places in MA and in the country, and it probably is, but to be totally honest, I'm shocked this sort of thing doesn't happen more. Just my perspective. Apologies if any of this violated your site's policy, this is my first post. Thank you.

:welcome: It's good to have a local's opinion! I think you're one of the first people who knows the area that actually suspects something more. I think this could definitely be a tragic accident. But I am not putting all my eggs in that basket until more is determined.

My heart is heavy for this family and this community who banned together to help LE and support the Doherty family. I hope everyone gets honest closure whether it be an accident or something more.
 

JaJo

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This remains a strange case--doubling back to 200 yards of the place he started from, and succumbing there--instead of in a different location, one that might indicate disorientation. He was oriented enough to return to the starting place, and to get there by wading through marsh? But not to get to the house? And his shoes and shirt were missing? Hypothermia, possibly, but the route is very puzzling. It's also hard to understand the geography that would prevent discovery within 200 yards of the party house. This is extra, extra tragic, considering the proximity to the starting place and that a search didn't cover a 200-yard radius. Is this information about the 200 yards accurate?

I'm confused by this because I also read he was found 450' from 495 which is quite a distance from 200 yrds from the party house:

"He apparently crossed Mine Brook and reached the Maplegate Country Club, where his second shoe was found, and then crossed back over the brook and wound up near I-495.

“It looks like he was just trying to fight his way home,” Mill said after a press briefing Saturday night.

The body was found about 450 feet from the highway in an area that law enforcement had searched earlier in the week."

Boston Globe
 

ArtChick83

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I would think his feet had to be a mess walking the distance he did through that rough terrain with no shoes on.

Exactly my thoughts. If he covered that much ground barefoot his body would definitely show signs of it. I live in Franklin and the terrain can be rough in the woods! Uneven ground, slopes, ditches, stumps and fallen branches... it makes me hurt thinking about walking through it in patch black barefoot. How does he have no signs of trauma?
 

Steleheart

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Exactly my thoughts. If he covered that much ground barefoot his body would definitely show signs of it. I live in Franklin and the terrain can be rough in the woods! Uneven ground, slopes, ditches, stumps and fallen branches... it makes me hurt thinking about walking through it in patch black barefoot. How does he have no signs of trauma?
On 2nd thought "trauma" is more severe than superficial wounds I would think.

"Major trauma is any injury that has the potential to cause prolonged disability or death"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_trauma
 

Justmexyz

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I've been lurking on this thread since this story started. I grew up in Franklin and lived about 5 minutes from where this took place until I was like 24 (about 8 years ago). Being familiar with that area, the thing I keep going back to is why he would go into the woods at all? He should have gone down Oak St. Extension, taken a left on Pond, and just walked down to his street. Even if you measure an exact straight line on the map from Phyllis to Catherine, it's about 4/5 of a mile through the woods, streets, and whatever else was in the way. If you just walk on the road, it's about 1.3 miles. Nobody in their right mind, even marginally intoxicated would think taking a route through the woods at 1am made more sense than walking on the road, while going the WRONG direction.

Something about this still seems really off. How do we know he left the party alone? Does anyone think someone would actually own up to anything like that?

A little more background on people and my suspicions from someone who did not have a good experience growing up there. People may be painting a rosy picture of Franklin and surrounding towns, but be clear, there are layers to this. Nothing happens in Franklin, or so people say. Kids get bullied, a lot, cops abuse their power, a lot, and drug use is through the roof. Kids I knew did acid, ecstasy, weed, coke, drank, you name it, they did it. I was around it as little as possible and never participated but there needs to be more scrutiny put on this party, who was there, what they were doing, and further down the line, how it can be stopped. This may sound a lot like other places in MA and in the country, and it probably is, but to be totally honest, I'm shocked this sort of thing doesn't happen more. Just my perspective. Apologies if any of this violated your site's policy, this is my first post. Thank you.

Finally a voice of reason. I grew up there too and it is not Mayberry. Yes there are goid kids that grow up there. But there are a lot of wild kids there too. That marsh is in the WRONG direction and where he was found was very close to the yard of the party. The kids at that party know what happened. I hope the cops get to the bottom of it fast. The Penn States students parents are pursuing their sons death. I hope the same happens here.
 

JaJo

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"He walked in the door and everyone freaked out" attributed to a "friend", SH in the above link.

What do you make of that?

I took that to mean that they were so happy to see him. He had just come home from college for the summer that previous Thursday, so many were probably getting to see him for the first time. From what I've heard of him, he was very well liked both in Franklin and at college....and he was a very popular kid.

My son-in-law was involved in the search and he said the boy was very, very highly spoken of by everybody. He said the LEOs are simply crushed they didn't find him in time to save him. My daughter said my s-i-l went home one night and looked like he belonged in the hospital after searching all day. He was bitten from head to toe....the ticks and bugs and everything else out there, especially those two 90 degree days they searched, were brutal. This boy had everything going for him...smart, athletic, well-liked, etc.. What a great loss that's had an impact on so many lives.
 

xxxedgexxx

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In regard to that article, a few things.

First: I don't know where this "small" gathering comes from. 30 people at a party is a LOT in that area. Think of a normal sized house, and then think of your family in it, or maybe 10 or so people for a holiday, getting a little too close to your great aunt with 10 people in your house? Probably. Then picture 30 people. Small gathering is wrong and I have seen this "gathering" and "small" terminology used almost as much as the "no suspicion of foul play" statement before they even found his body! How would they or could they even know that??? "30 underage college kids at a sizable house party" sounds more like it to me. I know this seems like nitpicking but the way this was described from the start was very strange to me, and the atmosphere and verbiage of "gathering" leads someone to think of a calm setting. That is not what I am imagining.

Second: No one talking to the cops, the press, or their parents are going to talk straight about anything. "Everyone freaked out" probably meant they didn't expect him to be there. Nothing more or less. He's not alive anymore and whoever was talking probably knew that, or at least suspected it could be possible. Was he going to tell the reporter than Michael heard they had synthetic marijuana there and a girl he thought was cute and wanted to show up to see what would happen? Of course not. I'm also not speculating that happened, just that it could have.

Everyone at that party should have had their phones and social media checked for pictures and videos of Michael, as well as calls to and from his phone that night and the days before. Something is missing in this whole mess, and someone knows something.
 

Blythe

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I took that to mean that they were so happy to see him. He had just come home from college for the summer that previous Thursday, so many were probably getting to see him for the first time. From what I've heard of him, he was very well liked both in Franklin and at college....and he was a very popular kid.

My son-in-law was involved in the search and he said the boy was very, very highly spoken of by everybody. He said the LEOs are simply crushed they didn't find him in time to save him. My daughter said my s-i-l went home one night and looked like he belonged in the hospital after searching all day. He was bitten from head to toe....the ticks and bugs and everything else out there, especially those two 90 degree days they searched, were brutal. This boy had everything going for him...smart, athletic, well-liked, etc.. What a great loss that's had an impact on so many lives.

Thank you for the insight.
 

Blythe

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In regard to that article, a few things.

First: I don't know where this "small" gathering comes from. 30 people at a party is a LOT in that area. Think of a normal sized house, and then think of your family in it, or maybe 10 or so people for a holiday, getting a little too close to your great aunt with 10 people in your house? Probably. Then picture 30 people. Small gathering is wrong and I have seen this "gathering" and "small" terminology used almost as much as the "no suspicion of foul play" statement before they even found his body! How would they or could they even know that??? "30 underage college kids at a sizable house party" sounds more like it to me. I know this seems like nitpicking but the way this was described from the start was very strange to me, and the atmosphere and verbiage of "gathering" leads someone to think of a calm setting. That is not what I am imagining.

Second: No one talking to the cops, the press, or their parents are going to talk straight about anything. "Everyone freaked out" probably meant they didn't expect him to be there. Nothing more or less. He's not alive anymore and whoever was talking probably knew that, or at least suspected it could be possible. Was he going to tell the reporter than Michael heard they had synthetic marijuana there and a girl he thought was cute and wanted to show up to see what would happen? Of course not. I'm also not speculating that happened, just that it could have.

Everyone at that party should have had their phones and social media checked for pictures and videos of Michael, as well as calls to and from his phone that night and the days before. Something is missing in this whole mess, and someone knows something.

The subtext.....what I am thinking about. He left alone. He died alone. I always wonder "who wanted to see you fail, or fall?" Who enabled your lapse in judgment? JMO, MOO

Probably no foul play but maybe no fair play either. MOO
 

Justmexyz

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In regard to that article, a few things.

First: I don't know where this "small" gathering comes from. 30 people at a party is a LOT in that area. Think of a normal sized house, and then think of your family in it, or maybe 10 or so people for a holiday, getting a little too close to your great aunt with 10 people in your house? Probably. Then picture 30 people. Small gathering is wrong and I have seen this "gathering" and "small" terminology used almost as much as the "no suspicion of foul play" statement before they even found his body! How would they or could they even know that??? "30 underage college kids at a sizable house party" sounds more like it to me. I know this seems like nitpicking but the way this was described from the start was very strange to me, and the atmosphere and verbiage of "gathering" leads someone to think of a calm setting. That is not what I am imagining.

Second: No one talking to the cops, the press, or their parents are going to talk straight about anything. "Everyone freaked out" probably meant they didn't expect him to be there. Nothing more or less. He's not alive anymore and whoever was talking probably knew that, or at least suspected it could be possible. Was he going to tell the reporter than Michael heard they had synthetic marijuana there and a girl he thought was cute and wanted to show up to see what would happen? Of course not. I'm also not speculating that happened, just that it could have.

Everyone at that party should have had their phones and social media checked for pictures and videos of Michael, as well as calls to and from his phone that night and the days before. Something is missing in this whole mess, and someone knows something.

I think the crowd was freaked out to see him there because it was not his crowd. He may have been too innocent for this crowd and played the fool by having something slipped in his drink.
 

msphilosopher

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The subtext.....what I am thinking about. He left alone. He died alone. I always wonder "who wanted to see you fail, or fall?" Who enabled your lapse in judgment? JMO, MOO

Probably no foul play but maybe no fair play either. MOO

Yes, I suspect someone may have been jealous of him....

Was his cell phone found on him?
 

AzPistonsGirl

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Just from the vibe from the locals sharing perspectives... I sure hope no one who was at that party is sitting back, glad this young man is no longer with us.

So sad this happened to you and those who knew and loved you, Michael. You had your whole life ahead of you.
 

stormymama

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Coming into this late, but have been thinking about his leaving the house to walk home. IF that's how it really went down, maybe he decided walking might help him sober up some? I did that a few times in college, i.e. taking the long way back to my dorm or later walking around the block an extra time before getting back to my apt.
 

Jmoose

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I've been lurking on this thread since this story started. I grew up in Franklin and lived about 5 minutes from where this took place until I was like 24 (about 8 years ago). Being familiar with that area, the thing I keep going back to is why he would go into the woods at all? He should have gone down Oak St. Extension, taken a left on Pond, and just walked down to his street. Even if you measure an exact straight line on the map from Phyllis to Catherine, it's about 4/5 of a mile through the woods, streets, and whatever else was in the way. If you just walk on the road, it's about 1.3 miles. Nobody in their right mind, even marginally intoxicated would think taking a route through the woods at 1am made more sense than walking on the road, while going the WRONG direction.

Something about this still seems really off. How do we know he left the party alone? Does anyone think someone would actually own up to anything like that?

A little more background on people and my suspicions from someone who did not have a good experience growing up there. People may be painting a rosy picture of Franklin and surrounding towns, but be clear, there are layers to this. Nothing happens in Franklin, or so people say. Kids get bullied, a lot, cops abuse their power, a lot, and drug use is through the roof. Kids I knew did acid, ecstasy, weed, coke, drank, you name it, they did it. I was around it as little as possible and never participated but there needs to be more scrutiny put on this party, who was there, what they were doing, and further down the line, how it can be stopped. This may sound a lot like other places in MA and in the country, and it probably is, but to be totally honest, I'm shocked this sort of thing doesn't happen more. Just my perspective. Apologies if any of this violated your site's policy, this is my first post. Thank you.

Do we know if Michael went to the local high school, or did he go to prep school? Here is the reason that I am asking-my husband went to private school all the way through high school, including 4 years at a boarding prep school. He lived in the same town his whole life, except for the time beyond the age of 14, and so he never really drove anywhere in his town in Massachusetts. I swear, sometimes he doesn't know where he is going if he isn't using some sort of GPS app up in the same town where he used to live. I realize it might sound crazy when Michael was only about a mile from home, but this whole thing just sounds so ridiculous that he couldn't find the way home, unless he was severely impaired.
 

Justmexyz

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He went to private high school. But did not board there. I believe he knew his way around town. I also don't think that he walked around in the rain to sober up.
 

JaJo

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I think the crowd was freaked out to see him there because it was not his crowd. He may have been too innocent for this crowd and played the fool by having something slipped in his drink.

The mother said it was a "friend's" party he was invited to. He was obviously having a good time because he didn't take the ride he planned on going home with because she said he wanted to stay later. Numerous friends offered him a ride but he refused them. The thought crossed my mind that maybe someone slipped something into his drink but from the looks of the map that was posted earlier, he headed home in the right direction. It must have been pitch black out that night with no stars/moon to shine any light for him to see. Looks like when he should have beared to the right, he stayed on the road that beared to the left and ended up crossing the brook to the country club. Seems he knew he went the wrong way and crossed back over the brook. In the pitch black, he may have decided to go towards the lights of 495 because it was the only lights he saw in that darkness. I'm thinking now that he could have very well been straight as an arrow at that point and was only trying to find his way out of the pitch black darkness he was in. Poor kid must have been petrified! I lived in the northern woods of Maine and when there was no stars/moon shining above, dark was VERY dark! So dark you couldn't see your own hand in front of you. JMO
 

JaJo

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Do we know if Michael went to the local high school, or did he go to prep school? Here is the reason that I am asking-my husband went to private school all the way through high school, including 4 years at a boarding prep school. He lived in the same town his whole life, except for the time beyond the age of 14, and so he never really drove anywhere in his town in Massachusetts. I swear, sometimes he doesn't know where he is going if he isn't using some sort of GPS app up in the same town where he used to live. I realize it might sound crazy when Michael was only about a mile from home, but this whole thing just sounds so ridiculous that he couldn't find the way home, unless he was severely impaired.

He graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School, Westwood, MA in 2015
 

KitCat

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I'm sorry to post this here - but I'm new and I cannot find the answer anywhere or any way to contact anyone. How do I post a new thread? This site is not very user friendly..
thank you.
 
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