Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CRIME WIRE: EDWARD FLYNN, JR.

Crime Wire Radio Investigates 64 Year Old Cold Case



Every Tuesday and Wednesday night shortly before 7 p.m., Edward Flynn, Jr. would take a bus from his home on Harriet Ave in Burlington, Massachusetts, to rehearsal with the St. Joseph’s CYO Championship Band in Medford, Massachusetts. On Wednesday, March 19, 1947, Eddie slipped into his brown leather jacket, picked up the case containing his clarinet and started out.

Eddie never got on the bus, and on March 21, 1947 a man hunting crows in the woods of southern Billerica came upon the naked body of Edward Flynn, Jr. Clad only in shoes and socks, his leather jacket lay across his waist and his pants, white shirt and tie were hanging from a low branch of a pine tree about twenty feet away. He was the victim of a violent sexual assault and died of asphyxiation. Eddie Flynn was 12 years old.

 Already waiting at the bus stop, on Winn Street, was a friend of Eddies’, “Ed walked by me,” the boy said later, “and I asked him whether he was going to take the bus and he said he wasn’t. I watched him while he walked a couple of hundred yards to a bend in the road. It was the same route the bus took.” Then he added, “I noticed a car pull up near where he would have been. The car was headed towards me. It stopped for a few seconds and then approached me fast. Its lights blinded me and I couldn’t see who was in it.”
The question was – was Eddie Flynn in that car? The questions the boy could not answer were what color, make and year the car was and he never saw the license plate number.

The body was found, supine, 15 feet off a rough road cut by car wheels. It was eight miles from the Flynn home and in the direction opposite from where he was heading when he left to go to the band rehearsal. Photos were taken of the body and the area in which it lay. Casts were made of what appeared to be fresh tire tracks in the road. The medical examiner, Mason D. Bryant, who viewed the body, estimated the boy had been dead at least 24 hours; he noted only that there were superficial wounds on the face and arranged for an autopsy. From the autopsy came three findings: Flynn had been asphyxiated by a cloth or hands held over his mouth and nose, that the killer was clearly a sexual predator and that the victim fought back. Under the boy’s fingernails were scrapings of skin. The time of death was fixed at no more than three hours after he left his home.  

Among LE there was a general agreement that the boy had been slain where he was found, but conceded there was a possibility that the crime had been committed in a nearby cottage unused during the winter. A padlock on its front door showed signs of having been only recently snapped and rather fresh residue was found in the kitchen stove.

Within 24 hours of Eddie’s body being found, police worked around the clock. They talked with those who knew him and with those who had last seen him alive. They stopped more than 100 cars moving along the section where the boy who knew Ed had exchanged a few words with him.


Joseph P. Trioli reported he saw a boy answering the description of Eddie Flynn get into a gray 1936 sedan with darker gray fenders on Winn Street at about 7 p.m. on the night in question.
Another Medford man claimed he rode the bus with Eddie to St. Joseph’s Church that night.
Nineteen days prior to Edwards’s murder, 11-year-old Jacqueline Maxwell of Malden was followed into a field near her home and murdered by Robert Coombs, 17, a Malden sex offender parolee.
The prime suspect in this case is a man by the name of Eugene Leach:

The following is taken from the Boston Record, September 11, l947:

Headline:  Remorse Leads Sex Killer of Flynn Boy to Suicide~  Remorse over the fiendish sex slaying last March of 12-year-old Edward J. Flynn, Jr., of Burlington, caused the suicide of his believed slayer, Eugene Leroy Leach, former Billerica farmhand, who took his life by carbon monoxide in Chattanooga, Tenn., last May 8, State Police revealed yesterday.  The apparent solving of the brutal crime, which came through a letter Leach wrote to his wife in Weymouth four days before his suicide, has been followed by almost five months' tireless work by State Police to seek the (????) clue to the solution of the murder.  In the letter to his wife, Leach said he had been informed by a psychiatrist that he was an incurable sex pervert and added that he had done things of which the law had no knowledge.  "I must rid the world of a living danger and certain heartbreak for others lurking in my subconscious mind," he wrote, "especially with relation to things the law knows nothing about."  In an effort to locate the unnamed psychiatrist who treated Leach, and who, authorities believe, may have heard his actual confession of the slaying of the Flynn boy, state police here have enlisted the aid of the highway patrol of two southern states. 

TOLD TO SURRENDER:  State police of both Tennessee and Mississippi, from where Leach wrote the letter to his wife, have been asked to locate the psychiatrist.  At the same time, a notice of the case will be inserted in the American Journal of Medicine, widely read by physicians, in the hope it may reach the psychiatrist and cause him to come forward with further information.  Leach, in the letter which told of his forthcoming suicide, wrote his wife, "I have come here to think things out.  I am using the assumed name of Ian Korvetsky.  I put myself at the mercy of a psychiatrist to determine whether or not I was a sex pervert.  I told him everything about myself.  He determined I was, and that the chances of my cure for sex perversion are remote.  He advised me to return to Massachusetts and give myself up. He said I might be put in an institution where I could harm nobody.  But I am going to rid the world of a danger and escape my subconscious."

"LONE WOLF" TYPEState Police Detective Captain Joseph C. Crescio said the letter made no admission of the Flynn crime, but he added that the exhaustive probe made by state police revealed that Leach was a "lone wolf" type who was absent from his quarters in the Tower Farm, Boston Rd., Billerica on the night and at the time of the crime.  Investigation showed that Leach left the Billerica farm on April 17, almost a month after the Flynn (??) murder. Although all known sex criminals in Middlesex County are checked, Leach escaped investigation because his sex record was in Norfolk County.  He was found guilty of rape on a 16-year-old girl in Quincy in 1943 and sentenced to two and a half years in state prison.  Crescio said he had sent Lieutenant Conniff to Tennessee to check the one link which would definitely establish Leach as young Flynn's slayer - the psychiatrist to whom Leach made his confession.  The accumulated evidence in the case, (Crescio said) had caused a "strong suspicion" that the suicide had solved the killing.  Police said the letter Leach wrote his wife was postmarked from Poplarsville, Miss, on the Tennessee border, and that the psychiatrist might have been a resident of either state.

HAD AUTO ACCIDENT:  Mr. and Mrs. John T. Musgrave, operators of the farm where Leach was employed said yesterday the farmhand was involved in an auto accident two days before the Flynn murder.  The Musgraves said his license to operate was suspended, pending a prove of the accident and that he had left his work, April 17, without filling out a report and after getting a $20 advance on his pay.  Police believe Leach realized he had a sex offense record and that his residence in the vicinity of the Flynn crime would bring him to the attention of authorities and that he decided to leave immediately.  The Flynn boy, a brilliant parochial school student, had been missing two nights and a day when his body was found by a hunter on Friday morning, March 21, beneath a Route 4 bridge in Billerica.  Most of the clothing had been torn from his bloodstained and violated body.  He had been on his way to a band rehearsal at St. Joseph's Church, Medford, and the clarinet case he carried was found near his corpse.  The boy was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Flynn of Medford.

 One supreme irony remains. Edward Flynn needn’t have gone to the rehearsal that evening. It was called off after the others arrived, for lack of required sheet music.
From John Flynn: [excerpt]

It is 63 plus years and one might ask why we cling to it or pursue such an old memory and why instead don’t we just move on and let it go. I would answer we have for the most part lived our lives and succeeded to a reasonable extent. To let it completely pass and put it to rest probably is not totally possible because that question of what happened and who might have been responsible does not escape the mind totally. Eddie had begun to grow and experience things and give experiences back i.e. his music, his involvement in the band, respect of his peers or in the sacristy at church as an Alter boy, also his contributions at home with his family as a central part. It is only conjecture from here as to what or who he may have become. Potential ambition and character are all mute testament to a creation robbed. Also, for the records or files to be cast aside, lost or incinerated  is the truly big dilemma personally for us and even much deeper for our late parents who never could learn anything or find out where the records might be, if they existed, and never for them to be able to recover any personal effects. For all these reasons we have chosen to pursue this to some sort of answer.  That answer whatever it is, might not be to our liking or it might be still somewhat inconclusive but at best will be an answer or a conclusion reached. Eddie, or any person deserves that much. No one should be so brutally eliminated and not have some or any public concern carried on for them. I can write these things because I somewhat understand what was taken or stolen on that dark night in March 1947.



26 comments:

  1. Update. I am john flynn. Since the airing
    of this case almost a year ago i have uncovered
    the following fact. St. Joseph's school and church from where he was buried and had been a
    band and church member and school student and
    St. Charles school also student have no records of him
    ever attending their schools. John Bishop was the
    photographer who covered the story and provided
    the stories and photos which my parents kept. Th
    record american - herald library has no stories or photos of John Bishop? The cold case file has no indication of a prime suspect on record.
    Records are erased every where you turn.
    John Flynn

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are in the process of trying to set up a memorial scholarship fund in Eddie's name for young
    students of the performing arts . We feel this might
    be the best way to restore his memory and rebuff the
    saga of erasures in this case. Their should be more
    coming on this in the future. Of course the pursuit
    of the cold case and some of it's hugh falacies should continue.
    John Flynn
    johnf561@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recently , within the past week mcoady who wrote a story about the Eddie Flynn case and my not letting go
    on it's part had also referenced another tragic case
    about a young college student Fidella Briand who was also murdered but the case solved. Sthe received a nasty response by the briand family about referencing
    the case and they also stated threatningly that she not write any more about Eddie Flynn. While I can
    respect in some way their being concerned i don't
    understand the ill and nasty response and threat about publishing anything on Eddie. Pursuit of that
    case is on my behalf as i helped write the story and
    will not stop publishing or pursuing until some favorable publicity will push the issue to resolution
    and also help in the scholarship fund establishment on
    Eddie's behalf.
    J. flynn

    ReplyDelete
  4. In a further update i a working with lietenant from
    the state police cold case file to arange to visit the
    crime scene. Through an old newspaper map i have been
    able using google maps to closely approximate the acutual location. in lieu of approval by parties of
    the property which emcopasse the site hopefully we will
    soon visit it. Examination even this late could still
    reveal something. Hopefully i be able leave a writing
    there which i have prepared and some flowers and
    release a baloon. If not maybe at least a visit.
    John Flynn Eddie's brother johnf561@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is only one picture of the original crime scene
    investigation. The only reason i have a copy is that my
    parents clipped it from original newspaper articles in
    1947 which don't exist in any files today. Pretty significant when you think of all the articles the record american (boston) did back then with many photos included in them. Yet today the media archives
    have none of those original articles or photos. St.
    Joseph's doesn't even acknowledge that an event ever took place including the funeral.
    in

    ReplyDelete
  6. You will notice that not one student (former) from
    that school or person will respond as they wish all facts relating to this case at St. Joseph's and Medford
    to stay or remain hidden and along with it Eddie's memory or existence is insulted and defamed by being
    bureaucraticly eliminated.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tomorrow i will be visiting the crime scene in North Billerica along with DAA Lt. Tom Sullivan Mass.
    state police cold case section and a seargent from the
    Billerica police. At that time i will leave a memorial
    item (poem) in a makeshift plaque which i will read
    and it will be a joyous occasion to celebrate Eddie's
    journey to reunification with our lord and savior launched from that spot on that cold dark march night
    in 1947 which is to be remembered joyously.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear everyone. The Eddie Flynn memorial at the crime
    scene was established on tuesday may 1, 2012 by myself
    with a simple reading of the poem and prayer. and all
    are invited to visit. It is located at carter Avenue
    Billerica Ma. off of rte 4 and accross from Riverview
    restaurant. Sincerely
    and it was a great feeling to finally do this
    John T. Flynn (to Eddie)

    ReplyDelete
  9. June 14 2012

    Yesterday , another significant day in the Eddie Flynn
    case. We place a permanent stone at the crime scene as
    a testament to his identity which has for the most part
    been hidden for 65 years. It's at carter ave in North
    Billerica Ma. Stop by and view and if you have anything citizens against homicide has a listed phone at their website for any info pertinent to this case.
    j.flynn

    ReplyDelete
  10. Read sgt. crescio's story on the looney leach. It's
    a patchwork attempr to put a propped up story together
    to save them any further investigation . He wrecked
    his car and had his licensce suspended 2 days before
    the murder. He had no car or went to hertz and rented
    one without a license or he used a bicicle or he walked from Billerica to Burlington (8 miles) and talked a boy he didn't know to accompany him to the
    piny grove on foot . Sound believable? No wonder the
    cold case evidence vanished or was disposed of . There are more answers at St. Joseph's than anywhere else but the police never pursued them but only went
    there to remove records and destroy them. Next we'll
    here the memorial we had placed doesn't exist.
    j.flynn

    ReplyDelete
  11. Still can't believe this show bought the phony leach story which was never backed up by any evidence or attempt to link crime scene evidence to the leach
    charactor. What they (investigator) was destroy the
    existing evidence, refuse at any time to exhume the body for dna andcontinually ignore any requests by eddie's parents to provide information or return personal items because they had been disposed of.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Recently i have referred the case to the FBI for review
    regarding a possible criminal profiling of crime scene
    which was never done because the local authorities didn't believe in it. I also wish to announce that
    starting this March 19 i am begininning a call to have
    anyone who wishes meet at the Eddie flynn memorial site
    (original crime scene for a reflection commemoritive
    of eddie flynn and the bright person he was. This
    memorial site is in liewu of what St. Joseph's never
    provided.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Leach memorial,
    Proposed a leach memorial since everybody's so sold
    on him as the prime mover in this case and needed to
    be promoted as the villain evan without any real
    evidence. Amazing predator's rights
    j.flynn

    ReplyDelete
  14. Update,
    Contrary to what i have stated , Eddie never got on the bus that night and apparantly neither did any of the people who talked to him there. (4 girls who knew him took a ride from one of their relatives) All went in the same direction.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello ,
    Anybody out there from Burlington have anything?
    jf

    ReplyDelete
  16. Correction; Eddie did not get on the bus at that
    winn st. carbone's market stop but got on at the mountain road stop. His arrival at st. joseph's is
    confirmed in newspaper articles from that time period
    as confirmed by school oddicials.
    j flynn
    We will be visiting the Eddie Flynn memorial at the
    crime scent on carter abe no. billerica tomorrow pm
    66th anniversary Poem reading celebrate joy of Eddie.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Update.
    In the past year, checked out the Eugene Leroy Leach charactor
    Tennessee Bureau of investigation, Tennessee State Police , Chatt
    anooga TN. police dept. and none had any information on Eugene
    Leroy Leach who supposedly committed suicide in thiat state. Also obtained docket on Lecch's conviction in Norfalk Ma. Superior court on statuatory rape on Dec 15 , 1943. No records
    available there either.( Rape of a female) minor. NO pictures of
    this charactor available anywhere. No evidence or records to tie
    him to the crime either. This is not the person . Just a name
    thrown out to direct suspicions astray .
    March 19 next will be visiting memorial in north billerica once
    again for a reading (poem) to celebrate Eddie 's life.
    jflynn.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Addition note: on update.
    In my search could not obtain any photos of Eugene Leroy Leach
    the possibly done it character in the Eddie Flynn case. In support
    of him not being the suspect thought in 47.
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  19. I will continue to pursue this case . Economics being considered
    it can only be a limited pursit. If at some point i can reach a better
    economic position i would naturally pursuit would be enabled on
    a grander scale. This cold case is just that. No suspects no
    real clues and only limited suspicians. Having said that there are
    points that stand out as begging answers. St Joseph's church
    The point of Eddie's trip that night has no records of him ever attending that school and church where he was a student band
    member and burried out of a Mass there. There is no crime scene evidence in the cold case file even though it was collected
    by investigators after the body was found in 1947. We were tole
    it was lost in a move which i fail to believe. I have photos (media)
    of his bandmember pall bearers from 47 newsclippings which
    no newspaper will publish as a means of seeking contact to learn
    anything.
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  20. The assumptions in the aricle above about Leach as the keller
    are unsubstantiated by the lack of evidence and recordords in the
    cold case file in the district court in Woburn Mass. These assumptions were made in newspaper articles supplied to the DA's
    office . The cold case file contains no records of any suspect in the
    case. . There is no evidence in that file to substantiate any Psychiatrist and statement by Leach or anyone else and the
    file could convict no one and lacks evidence to do so. The evidence obtained from the crime scene and stored in the file
    vanished long ago. We only know evidence was gathered from
    the news stories i supplied to the clerk during the inquiry in 2011 which consists of 1947 newspaper articles
    Dan Rooney our family cab driver in 1947 to take mom to the
    super market in woburn Mass. (we had no car) stated he saw Eddie get off the bus in Woburn Ma. i believe him and what he
    states and it's too bad the police dismissed his statement . He
    knew eddie and our family.
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  21. 20 May 2014
    In the past year , one item that was researched by myself
    was the identity of Mr Leach. I found there is no existant photo-
    graph of this person existent anywhere . Not in Chattanooga
    Tennessee where he committed suicide, not in Norfolk Superior
    court in Wellesley Ma. and not in the cold case file. Interesting
    because the newspapers stated him as a probably done though
    not a listed suspect and never linked to the case. Another
    hidden like all the rest in this case
    jflynn

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have a newspaper article which had been overlooked previously
    It clearly shows via printed statement from St. Joseph's church
    that Eddie Flynn had made band practice on the nght he disappeared. The statement is by officials from the school and church. this contradicts Cresco's theory that he never made it
    that far or out of burlington. Was the theory of most of the investigators from back then as they hit some information they
    wished to divert the investigation away from. Thus the vanishing
    evidence from cold case file and all records at St Joseph's school.
    People are to eager to buy the incomplete story that this unknown person Eugene Leroy Leach was the culprit. There is
    nothing in the file to support this . There is no mention of him or
    who he was. There is no photo anywhere of him. I checked
    by the way and the tennessee bureau of investigation , State
    police and dept. of public safety and the Chatttanooga police
    have no records of his suicide in 1947 even though the papers
    claim he did it there.
    whoever did it had something to do with St. Joseph's church
    and school or Medford proper. The Medford mercury knows nothing about the case and has no arcives stories on it .
    j. flynn I have more photos from this years visit to the memrial
    but need instructions to send to this site.
    thanks
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  23. Last May Citizens against homicide conducted
    a reading or had one done on the Eddie Flynn
    case. I have copies of the event. I can submit them if know how to do it. Let me know. I'm glad I had access and it definitely changed my perspective on the case
    and also showed me why I had respect for Eddie and realized from this event it was his strait and true integrity .
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear sirs,
    Was to visit this Monday(coming) but,due to
    weather postponed for one week. Monday nest.
    This is the memorial to eddie at the crime scene
    in No. Billerica ma. We placed a stone memorial
    5 years ago and I can send photos. I have a former private investigator and other people who
    might attend the reading of poetry.
    the key perhaps is if the surviving band members could be contacted about the case.
    I can send photos of the memorial visit if desired or could email them etc.
    thanks
    john t. flynn

    ReplyDelete
  25. On Monday april 3 finally able to have visit to
    memorial in no. Billerica. Was a sunny day and
    had biggest group ever. 9 . Did readings and
    discussed some facets of the case with investigators who showed up along with relatives.
    It is a long drive but was worth it to see some
    interest in the case which never has received
    major news coverage in any way and perhaps we
    can work towards with this start thanks.
    john flynn

    ReplyDelete
  26. John, have you reached out to newspapers in the Billerica area? I have visited Eddie's stone twice since my friend saw it the other day when she was looking at property on that road. We would like to honor Eddie and care for and decorate the area where the stone is, but would like your permission. Joyce Higgins Billerica, MA

    ReplyDelete