Murder in Brattleboro, 1950 to 1956
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dnburr

Kissimmee, FL

#21 Jul 19, 2010
Michaela wrote:
Robet Magoon died of lung cancer back around 1990--I forget the exact year, but it was around then.
Thanks. I appreciate having that info.

I don't think any family members would object to this discussion as long as it is respectfully done. I think that some would appreciate the chance to again clear the air even at this late date.
I know that the really important thing that every family member whom I ever talked with about this would wish to convey is that the only scandal in this was in the minds of the tabloid writers who imagined way more into this than there ever was. After a thorough investigation the State's Attorney visited my grandparents and laid it all out on the table. The conclusion: Robert Magoon killed Rosamond Burrington on the side of the street where she was discovered the next morning, stated he didn't know why and he was given a double life sentence. He may have said that he had an insane moment or whatever but he was never declared insane and he served his time in the State Prison.
One more thing. After reading my brother's post here, I realize that my memory may be faulty in regard to Magoon working on a farm in Guilford after his release. I know that he worked on a farm somewhere but it may not have been in Guilford.

dnburr

Apopka, FL

#22 Jul 20, 2010
I have lived away from New England for 32 years now and I wanted to check my memory of things that I had learned mostly as a kid so I visited my elderly mother today. Her long term memory regarding Rosie's murder is still very good and she was able to offer one correction along with some additional information.

First, let me make another correction. According to my mother, the State's Attorney had told my grandparents that Rosie had been stabbed in the neck with the carotid artery being severed on one side, causing her to bleed to death. Mom stated that her neck had not been slashed from ear to ear as I had thought.

Rosie had been an office worker at a factory in town while Robert Magoon had been a fellow employee at Fishman's store where my mother worked. Magoon had seemed like a nice young man to my mother and she was shocked when she learned that he had perpetrated this horrible crime.

My father, mother, and older brother had been shopping in Brattleboro on the evening of the murder and saw Rosie walking home at around 7:00 PM. They couldn't offer her a ride to where she lived as they had no room in my Dad's pickup truck. They were the last family members to see her alive.

The following morning, Dad's boss at the Crosby Milling Company in Vernon summoned him to the office, and told him something had happened, then sent him home immediately without telling him what had happened. At the time, Mom and Dad lived in an apartment in the back of a little church on Cottage street. On the way home I believe that Dad told me that he drove up to a group of policemen standing on the side of the street (Frost?) near a covered up body. At that point he figured out the terrible truth. It had been a foggy night and nobody had noticed Rosie's body until that morning.

Mom stated that even as a young man, Dad never expressed any hatred for Robert Magoon and I know that he had none in his later years as he had told me so. He merely missed his little sister. I think that Dad was good on that and I said so to him.

This has been a tragedy that those who knew Rosie and those of us who know of her will never forget. Rosie has always been the missing family member. Magoon killed her for whatever unknown reason and that is all there is to it. The only mystery or scandal related to this was in the minds of the tabloid writers who fabricated evil stories just to make a quick dollar. That's what the State's Attorney said and that is what we understand to be true.

My mother had a few brief tears in her eyes today when I discussed Rosie's death with her. My grandfather only lived a couple of years after the murder but both my late Dad and my late grandmother were very hurt and offended by some of the evil conjecture regarding Rosie's death at the time as well as in subsequent years. Dad hated the tabloids. Mom stated that Dad would appreciate my brother and I attempting to set the record straight again at this late date here in this forum.

Dan Burrington
Renee

Boston, MA

#23 Oct 25, 2010
Primavera wrote:
It has just occurred to me that I should not be talking about this online, as the relatives of the parties involved might become very distressed. Perhaps we can connect about this somewhere else.
I am very interested in this case and disturbed by it...that was my uncle Robert who murdered that woman and I knew about it, though not in detail, since I was a child. I never dreamed I would find anything about it online. His mother and brothers and father are dead, so no close relatives are alive, though I am not sure about his son, his son might be alive. I am also interested in this case because his brother, my father was also mentally ill. I do know this much...Robert was mentally ill. As for any homosexuality, I know nothing of that though it may be possible.
dnburr

Kissimmee, FL

#24 Oct 25, 2010
Renee,

I'm glad that you wrote something here. It doesn't surprise me that Robert was mentally ill. He wasn't legally insane by any means but mental illness explains a lot of what happened. I understand that he was very distraught afterward. Certainly there was no conspiracy nor was Robert trying to shut Rosie up about something sinister as the tabloids suggested. My mother was acquainted with Robert and had thought that he was a nice young man.

Something interesting happened to me this past summer here in Florida. A patient of mine was watching a murder documentary of a young girl on TV and I mentioned that the same thing had happened to my aunt many years ago during the 1950s. The lady's husband asked me where this happened and when I told him Brattleboro, Vermont you should have seen his jaw drop! He asked what her name was and when I mentioned Rosie he told me that he was a good friend of hers and still had a picture of her in his photo collection! He told me that Rosie was the "most mello girl" that he knew. He was smiling and had fond memories of her.
memoriesofthe50s

Brattleboro, VT

#25 Nov 10, 2012
I was a small child living in the area at the time of Rosamond Burrington's murder. The mothers in my neighborhood all walked over to Brook Street and stood on the bank looking down to the area where Rosamond was covered with a cloth. I remember well that there were groceries, some fruits, I think spread up and down the hill going down toward Crystal Ice and Fuel and I remember the police going over to the body every few minutes and lifting the cloth and peering under it. Neighborhood people were all questioned about events of that night. I do remember being told that Mr. Magoon wanted Rosamond to date him and she refused. So...... However, I do remember overhearing my mother and her sisters discussing the matter and all of them thinking the same person was responsible but none of them felt it was Mr. Magoon. Their thoughts were, if the person had wounds to his hands and didn't want to be caught, why would he go to the hospital for treatment. Good question? Perhaps he was not the perpetrator but agreed to plead guilty I still remember my mother saying to my aunt the initials of the person she felt had done this crime and my aunt totally agreed with her. He continued to live in Brattleboro and never got into any criminal activities that I know of. I still think of Rosamond and will never forget those fruits spread over the hill and her body lying covered on the right side of the road, under a tree. It truly was a different town then. One could walk around at night and be perfectly safe. Police went in pairs, they patrolled certain places on foot. Never did we hear anything regarding homosexuality in regard to Mr. Magoon or Miss Burrington's fiance. I'm glad I read these responses...I've often wondered what happened to Mr. Magoon. I guess I missed when he was released. Good thing, maybe, I might have been a little uneasy. RIP Rosamond.
Placid Bratt Dweller

Jaffrey, NH

#26 Nov 14, 2012
I wonder if DNA studies could be done now to prove who the murderer of Rosamond Burrington really was. Mr. Magoon has a grown son and daughter who would benefit greatly from knowing that their father was not a murderer, if it turns out that he wasn't one. Many a convicted murderer has been freed from prison and death row because DNA evidence proved them innocent.
bkm

Burlington, VT

#27 Dec 11, 2012
For most of my life I've wondered about this and finally googled to see what I could learn. I too was a young child (8) living on Williams St in Bratt and remember the murder because I lived next door to Rosamond's relatives (the Bread man) and knew the Magoons who were cousins living up the street. I was also a paper boy and followed the events as they unfolded but for some reason I don't remember any detail of the crime. It has bugged me all my life. I know my parents would never talk about it. So thank you all for all these posts - you have filled in the gaps of one more "unknowns" in my brain. Sorry I couldn't have responded earlier when this was active. I would like to know who some of the early Bratt posts are but not sure how that is done.
\QUOTE who="memoriesofthe50s "]I was a small child living in the area at the time of Rosamond Burrington's murder. The mothers in my neighborhood all walked over to Brook Street and stood on the bank looking down to the area where Rosamond was covered with a cloth. I remember well that there were groceries, some fruits, I think spread up and down the hill going down toward Crystal Ice and Fuel and I remember the police going over to the body every few minutes and lifting the cloth and peering under it. Neighborhood people were all questioned about events of that night. I do remember being told that Mr. Magoon wanted Rosamond to date him and she refused. So...... However, I do remember overhearing my mother and her sisters discussing the matter and all of them thinking the same person was responsible but none of them felt it was Mr. Magoon. Their thoughts were, if the person had wounds to his hands and didn't want to be caught, why would he go to the hospital for treatment. Good question? Perhaps he was not the perpetrator but agreed to plead guilty I still remember my mother saying to my aunt the initials of the person she felt had done this crime and my aunt totally agreed with her. He continued to live in Brattleboro and never got into any criminal activities that I know of. I still think of Rosamond and will never forget those fruits spread over the hill and her body lying covered on the right side of the road, under a tree. It truly was a different town then. One could walk around at night and be perfectly safe. Police went in pairs, they patrolled certain places on foot. Never did we hear anything regarding homosexuality in regard to Mr. Magoon or Miss Burrington's fiance. I'm glad I read these responses...I've often wondered what happened to Mr. Magoon. I guess I missed when he was released. Good thing, maybe, I might have been a little uneasy. RIP Rosamond.

QUOTE]
dnburr

Longwood, FL

#28 Dec 12, 2012
I will believe that Magoon killed my aunt until I see overwhelming evidence pointing anywhere else. Currently there is no evidence of any kind! Magoon's niece has said that he was mentally ill. He was cut up enough to require treatment at the hospital. He readily admitted to killing her and never retracted that to my knowlege. He was emotionally distraught afterward. One hundred percent of the evidence points to Magoon. It was the unfortunate action of a mentally ill man and he was remorseful afterward. If any blood can be found on Rosie's clothing (if any exists), I'll volunteer for DNA testing

Show me any evidence that Magoon took the fall for someone else and show me the motive. Who is this other person and what was their motive? I don't know exactly what the tabloids said at the time, but I know they were full of wild speculation. I'd like to learn more if anyone knows anything.
dnburr

Longwood, FL

#29 Dec 12, 2012
I should have said if Magoon's (not Rosamond's) clothing still exists, and has blood on it, I'll volunteer for DNA testing.
dnburr

Longwood, FL

#30 Dec 12, 2012
For Mr. Magoon's family I would like to say again that my Dad never held a grudge and had no hatred of him. He simply missed his sister. It surely was a painful tragedy for both families and I'd like to think that while regretting his actions, that Mr. Magoon discovered some peace and forgiveness for his soul. In the history of my own family there were heros and there were people who had done things that they shouldn't have. Some were both. I don't feel responsible for any of it and I wouldn't want Mr. Magoon's family to feel that way either. Apparently Mr. Magoon was mentally ill. Perhaps the best that we can do is to try to help others who are similarly ill to avoid situtions like this.
Asleep No More

Montpelier, VT

#31 Dec 14, 2012
dnburr wrote:
I will believe that Magoon killed my aunt until I see overwhelming evidence pointing anywhere else. Currently there is no evidence of any kind! Magoon's niece has said that he was mentally ill. He was cut up enough to require treatment at the hospital. He readily admitted to killing her and never retracted that to my knowlege. He was emotionally distraught afterward. One hundred percent of the evidence points to Magoon. It was the unfortunate action of a mentally ill man and he was remorseful afterward. If any blood can be found on Rosie's clothing (if any exists), I'll volunteer for DNA testing
Show me any evidence that Magoon took the fall for someone else and show me the motive. Who is this other person and what was their motive? I don't know exactly what the tabloids said at the time, but I know they were full of wild speculation. I'd like to learn more if anyone knows anything.
Most likely Mr. Magoon really did do it. It's possible that something with blood exists in a locker somewhere, but who in today's world really and truly questions the whole thing? The adults who believed it was someone else besides Robert Magoon are probably gone now. Unless a relative (he has two grown children)steps forward proclaiming his innocence and demanding a DNA test, why go through the trouble and expense? When it comes to crimes, there is always someone who thinks somebody else did it.
dnburr

Longwood, FL

#32 Dec 14, 2012
Asleep No More wrote:
<quoted text>Most likely Mr. Magoon really did do it. It's possible that something with blood exists in a locker somewhere, but who in today's world really and truly questions the whole thing? The adults who believed it was someone else besides Robert Magoon are probably gone now. Unless a relative (he has two grown children)steps forward proclaiming his innocence and demanding a DNA test, why go through the trouble and expense? When it comes to crimes, there is always someone who thinks somebody else did it.
Adding up the physical evidence, along with Mr. Magoon's confession and his distraughtful remorse, I can't imagine that anyone would want to spend the money on DNA testing today. This case would have certainly met the standard of no reasonable doubt if taken in front of a jury at that time. Even with a confession DNA testing would likley have been done in 1952, had it been available, but it was not yet conceived of. Not every case is settled like CSI shows on T.V.
ekm209

Lodi, CA

#33 May 5, 2015
Renee wrote:
<quoted text>
I am very interested in this case and disturbed by it...that was my uncle Robert who murdered that woman and I knew about it, though not in detail, since I was a child. I never dreamed I would find anything about it online. His mother and brothers and father are dead, so no close relatives are alive, though I am not sure about his son, his son might be alive. I am also interested in this case because his brother, my father was also mentally ill. I do know this much...Robert was mentally ill. As for any homosexuality, I know nothing of that though it may be possible.
Many close relatives were alive in 2010 including a two sisters and many in laws.
Shadorider

Brattleboro, VT

#34 Apr 16, 2016
waybur wrote:
<quoted text>
My Dad was Roseamond's brother and it troubles him terribly when ever he would read story's about the murder years later in the news paper. I only know what Dad told me, but he felt their was no truth regarding the homosexual relationship issue. It was mentioned that the MaGoon had made romantic overtures toward Roseamond prior to the murder was was turned down. Magoon was deemed insane and spent many years in a state facility prior to his release to a farm in the northern part of the state. He is now deceased.
A number of other speculative stories we published at the time of the crime as well as years after as well.
I am a cousin to Rosamond's finance. I have heard all the stories for many, many years now. I was a child, 3 years of age at the time, but I still remember the chaos around my mothers house, the crying the yelling and my cousin, so handsome and strong now a broken man. My cousin Charles Davies lived with my family most of his life so he was more like a brother than a cousin. I think I could say with all certainty that he really was a broken man after that. I mean he lost the love of his life, they were to be married with in weeks of her death, he just never was the same ever again. He died alone in Biloxi, Mississippi. He never married and to my knowledge never had another girlfriend. I don't think he ever got over the loss of his Rosie or the manner in which she died. Now about Magoon, you are all correct he was insane. Who commits a crime like this, no one in their right mind. Evil died the day he did.
Candles

Williston, VT

#35 May 23, 2016
Shadorider wrote:
<quoted text>

I am a cousin to Rosamond's finance. I have heard all the stories for many, many years now. I was a child, 3 years of age at the time, but I still remember the chaos around my mothers house, the crying the yelling and my cousin, so handsome and strong now a broken man. My cousin Charles Davies lived with my family most of his life so he was more like a brother than a cousin. I think I could say with all certainty that he really was a broken man after that. I mean he lost the love of his life, they were to be married with in weeks of her death, he just never was the same ever again. He died alone in Biloxi, Mississippi. He never married and to my knowledge never had another girlfriend. I don't think he ever got over the loss of his Rosie or the manner in which she died. Now about Magoon, you are all correct he was insane. Who commits a crime like this, no one in their right mind. Evil died the day he did.
I'm very sorry that Mr. Davies did not find another woman to make him happy. He certainly deserved to be happy. But maybe he and Rosamond are together somewhere else.

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