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O'Leary Family Massacre

In June 1973, a 43-year old Dorchester man apparently felt his family was a burden to him. He shot and killed his wife and five children, and then committed suicide the next day. Their decomposed bodies were not discovered for about 48 hours, by the one sibling that wasn't home at the time of the shooting. The event was a huge tragedy, and empathy should be felt for the victims, and sole surviving daughter [she passed away in 2003].

George O'Leary was a uniformed security guard. He owned a .38 caliber revolver. At one point, the family had eight dogs, one of which was a police dog that residents said O'Leary teased a lot. After the massacre, an anonymous neighbor stated to reporters that O'Leary told her, "the family is a noose around my neck and someday I am going to kill them all." People also stated O'Leary used to occasionally brandish his .38 revolver.

On Friday June 8, O'Leary shot and killed his family members and placed their bodies in a bedroom. Some members were covered with bed clothing. O'Leary was last seen on Saturday, while one of the children was last seen on Friday. After killing his family, O'Leary later sat down on the floor with his back pressed up against a bureau, and killed himself using an overdose of drugs. The cause of death was determined to be suicide.

He killed is wife Thelma; son, age 13; daughter, age 11; daughter age 10; and twins age 8. His 15-year old daughter was in the hospital at the time of the shooting, and had returned on Sunday the 10th, discovering that all seven members of her family were dead. It must have been an extremely traumatic event for the surviving daughter.

George O'Leary had left a note, but its contents were not released by the police. There was a second note taped to a window from the landlord, with a strange message that related to painting: "I had to go to work.  I'm sorry, do not disturb Thelma, she and kids got virus and I had doctor [stop by?]. Appreciate if you can do it tomorrow. I am bad, at spelling they are sleeping, please. George"

The case of the O'Leary Family Massacre remains one of the most tragic domestic violence cases in the state's history.




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