October 17, 2017
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Unsealed police reports in quadruple slaying case offer grisly details

By Alex Acquisto, BDN Staff
Updated:
Associated Press photo | BDN
Associated Press photo | BDN
Groton, Mass., police officers arrest Orion Krause, covered in a white sheet, and walk him to a police vehicle on Sept. 8, 2017.

The Rockport native accused of killing four people told Massachusetts police officers, “I killed my family with a baseball bat,” according to court documents unsealed Friday.

“I freed them,” Orion Krause then said, according to heavily redacted police reports from the Sept. 8 killings that were previously sealed.

Krause was charged earlier this month with four counts of murder in the beating deaths of his mother, Elizabeth “Buffy” Krause, 60; her parents, Elizabeth “Esu” Lackey, 85, and her husband, Frank Danby “Dan” Lackey III, 89; and their home health aide, Bertha Mae Parker, 68, at the Lackeys’ house on Common Street.

The narratives from five different police officers revealed new details in a grisly case that rocked Krause’s hometown since the news of the slayings broke on Sept. 9.

All who interacted with Krause that evening portray him as being calm and obedient. Others detail the discovery of personal items, like shoes and clothes, scattered around the house on Common Street and in the nearby woods.

Krause, 22, of Rockport, calmly declared to the first three officers to arrive at the scene that he was responsible for the slayings, according to one officer’s report, which described Krause as naked with tiny cuts all over his body. Krause also appeared to have “rubbed mud all over his body.”

After an officer and the neighbor, Wagner Alcocer, wrapped Krause in a sheet while he sat in a chair in Alcocer’s backyard, “Orion started to sing quietly,” according to Officer Gordon A. Candow.

“I asked where the murders happened? Orion pointed towards the woods and said, ‘somewhere over there,’” Candow said in his probable cause statement.

Later that evening, Krause reportedly told a nurse at the Nashoba Valley Health Center that “he takes heroin,” according to Candow’s statement.

Sgt. Jason Goodwin, the officer who discovered the bodies, reported seeing the television on as he looked through the window of the home.

“As I looked in the window, I observed two elderly people seated separately in chairs facing my direction,” Goodwin said of the Lackeys, both of whom were seated in the kitchen and appeared to have severe head trauma.

Upon entering the house and the kitchen, Goodwin also found Krause’s mother in the kitchen, sitting in a chair with severe head trauma.

Shortly after, Parker’s body was found face down near the driveway in a flower bed.

A “wooden bat with what appeared to [have] blood on it,” was found in the backyard under a tree, along with a bag of golf clubs and a backpack, according to a report by Officer Nicholas Beltz.

A separate pile of clothes, a pillow and a pair of shoes were also found “placed not thrown” in the nearby woods.

At Krause’s Sept. 11 arraignment, Ayer District Court Judge Margaret R. Guzman initially impounded the police reports.

The Boston Globe and the Lowell Sun challenged the impoundment in district court Sept. 20, arguing that the public is entitled to view the public documents.

On Wednesday, Krause’s attorney Edward W. Wayland fought for the police reports to remain impounded, fearing their release might influence future jurors and only serve to further emotionally harm those close to the deceased.

Guzman released the redacted police reports Friday over the protest of Krause’s attorney, who argued the details could influence future jurors.

In Wayland’s affidavit, Alexander Krause, Orion’s father, pleaded with the judge to keep the records impounded.

“In just the past two weeks, I have had to bury my wife, my in-laws, and see my son confined to an institution for the criminally insane. Must I now also read the grisly details of the crime scene in the newspaper?” he asked in the affidavit. “Must I hear the public discuss the precise condition of my wife’s body when it was found?”

“What good will it serve to force that information on my family and me?” he added. “No doubt many are morbidly curious about such things, but I cannot bear them.”

In another affidavit arguing for the police reports to remain sealed, psychiatrist Christian Maetzenar, a friend of Orion Krause’s father, told the court the accused killer “may be … struggling to regain self control in the face of an emerging mental illness,” and the release of the detailed documents could set him back.

In a statement Friday after the police reports were unsealed, Wayland urged the public to “not make assumptions about anything [Krause] is alleged to have said, including that any of it was actually true.”

Krause’s “mental state at the time of his arrest is an open question,” Wayland said. “Determining the truth is what the legal process is designed to do, and it has barely begun to do it.”

 


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