Any idea what the story is Howie mentioned — the topic of his tomorrow column that should have run today but was held?
Here it is...it’s posted now on the Herald site and I’ll
reproduce it here. And the column on it by Laurel
Sweet and Jessica Fargen will be below it.
Column ping, everyone:
This prison meeting will now come to disorder
By Howie Carr | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
Muffy Healey was right - in the 2006 campaign she said that if Deval Patrick were elected governor, the murderers would be running wild again in Massachusetts.
And so it comes to pass - for the first time in years, Im getting dimes dropped about the Lifers Group Inc. at MCI-Norfolk, a club of stone-cold killers. The lifers are very excited about their prospects for getting back out onto the street now that the Parole Board is filling up with the Friends of Ben LaGuer.
The Lifers Group, according to a statement from the Department of Correction, is one of many inmate support groups.
Its leaders are a couple of really nice guys. I shouldnt recount their crimes, because on their Internet mission statement, Who We Are, this is what they say:
The Lifers Group at Norfolk believes that human beings should not be defined by their worst moment.
Speaking of worst moments, the chairman is Gordon Haas, who murdered his wife and two small children, ages 4 and 2, in 1973. Haas wife was black; next to her body was a note that said, White and black dont mix.
The secretary of the Lifers Group is Kenneth Seguin. Like Chairman Haas, Seguin too has three notches on his belt - his wife and two kids. His wife was sleeping when he smashed her head with an ax in 1991 after he had slaughtered his two children.
Six murders for the top two guys in the group. The treasurer is a bit of a piker - Milton Rice only murdered his wife, down in West Barnstable, in 1993. He beat her to death with a piece of lumber, then put her body in a car and tried to make it look like an accident. It was their 18th wedding anniversary.
Then there is the sole candidate for Majority Camp Cochairman. That would be Bill Duclos, who was convicted of the 1989 murder of his parents. His mother was a former nun. According to newspaper stories at the time, police believed Duclos was after $35,000 in insurance money Ma and Pa had recently collected after a fire at their pig farm in Winchendon.
But why concentrate just on the leaders of the group? Sometimes more than 70 assorted killers show up for the meetings. They used to have Christmas banquets, but, as triple-murderer Haas says, There have been roadblocks in the past, specifically leakage of information to the press and subsequent articles.
A roadblock - that would be me, and Im damn proud I could stand in the way of these vermin getting anything.
Lets go straight to the minutes of the Lifers Group meetings, excerpts now available online for your reading pleasure. From last Sept. 4: Lonnie Watkins began reading an excellent report entitled Jailing Nation: How Did Our Prison System Become Such a Nightmare?
Lonnie Watkins: convicted of murder in the 1993 double slaying of a Madison Park high school basketball star and his cousin. Lonnie and three other gangstas took the dead boys gold chains.
From April 2007: Russell Regan ... presented what Toastmasters International was and its importance of growing ones communication skills.
Out on the street in Lowell, Regan liked to express himself by starting fires. In 1994 he was convicted of killing a 3-year-old and an 18-month old in a blaze he set for the thrill of it.
There is - or was - at least one good lifer in the DOC system. That would be Rus Dagenais, for whom a moment of silence was held at the March 20 meeting after his suicide at the prison in Shirley. He hanged himself, and I say, good riddance.
Dagenais was convicted at age 21 in 1997 for murdering his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend. Her body, bound and gagged in duct tape, was found in the Merrimack River.
This is the Lifers Group. And now theyre excited. Theyre going to get out, they just know they are. First Arnie King, then Ben LeGuer, then who knows? Elect Deval Patrick, watch more stone killers go free to murder again and again and again.
Dont blame me, I voted for Muffy!
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1079963
A bloody fraternity of the states most monstrous killer cons are plotting their releases from prison as part of a Department of Correction-sanctioned club whose aim is to shorten its members lengthy sentences.
Groomed by two men who murdered their own wives and children, dozens of lifers recognized by the state as the nonprofit Lifers Group Inc. convene twice a month at MCI-Norfolk and - according to minutes of their meetings obtained by the Herald - have focused in the last year on:
# Lobbying outside support for abolishing life without parole.
# Starting a Toastmasters club.
# Discussing the biographies of the Parole Boards seven members.
# Charity work, including a Walk for Hunger in their exercise yard to benefit Project Bread.
Judith Hartnetts 21-year-old daughter Tara Hartnett was killed by Lifers Group Inc. director James Cyr in 1993. Convicted of first-degree murder for repeatedly stabbing the mother of his baby, then setting her ablaze after soaking her with gasoline, Cyr is not eligible for parole.
Give them an inch, they take a yard, railed Hartnett, 56, of South Boston. He doesnt deserve to live after what he did to my daughter, let alone be free.
Parole for first-degree murder is never going to happen, she believes, and if it does, (Cyr) will have me to contend with.
Michael OKeefe, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, wonders, Would they prefer that we go back to the death penalty? Perhaps that could be an agenda item for their next meeting.
I would suggest theres no appetite for taking life without parole out of the equation, the Cape and Islands DA said, either in the Legislature or the public.
State Parole Board Chairwoman Maureen Walsh would not comment.
Massachusetts Department of Correction Commissioner Harold W. Clarke released the following statement: The MCI-Norfolk Lifers Group Inc. has existed since the early 1970s. It is one of many inmate support groups permitted by the Department of Correction. The group has a governing body led by a chairman and it meets twice monthly.
That chairman is Gordon Haas, a former department store manager who on June 26, 1973, smothered his pregnant wife, Shirley, and toddler son and daughter with plastic bags in their Ipswich home.
Haas secretary is Kenneth Seguin, a computer software executive from Holliston who on April 28, 1992, drugged his son and daughter and slit their throats, heaved them in a pond, then went home and split open his wife Mary Anns head with an ax.
Seguin was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving three consecutive life sentences, but one day will be eligible for parole. He was given the lesser sentence after his defense attorney argued Seguin was mentally ill at the time of the killings.
Time may not be on the lifers sides, but occasionally they see light at the end of their tunnel. By a 5-1 vote, Edgar Bowser III, who serves on Lifers Group Inc.s board of directors, was granted parole in December from his sentence for murdering Shrewsbury police officer James Lonchiadis in 1975. Bowser will be released later this year.
On Jan. 17, 2007, Bowser gave his behind-bars brethren a report on the physical layout of the Parole Board hearing, where everyone sits and how restraints are used, according to minutes from that meeting, attended by 72 members.
Lifers found encouraging that former cop Mark Conrad, nominated to the Parole Board by Gov. Deval Patrick, was confirmed by a 5-3 vote of the Governors Council, declaring in minutes from their June 19 meeting, The vote shows that the loud cry to stop making the board a criminal justice only board is being heard.
But Kurt Schwartz, Patricks undersecretary in the Executive Office of Public Safety, said, We support the sentence of life without parole for first-degree murder. We would oppose any efforts to change that sentence.
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1079965