WHO KILLED JOHNNY McCABE?

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Maggie Coffey

Hazard, KY

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#1
Jul 28, 2010
 
Does anyone remember Johnny McCabe, murdered after leaving the Knights of Columbus dance with Kevin Bevelaqua (who died of asphyxiation snuffing cooking oil years later)- supposedly, the two boys were hitchhiking home. Johnny was later found tied in such a way as to strangle himself when he struggled to get free. There were rumors among us kids back then... it has always haunted me that I was supposed to meet Johnny at the dance that night, but was not allowed to go because I had to babysit! Over the years, I have not forgotten him... have the Tewksbury Police? I'm thinking of contacting "Cold Case Files" and suggesting it as a show. Someone should do something - I'm sure there was DNA left at the scene. Rumors were that a local kid just back from Marine boot camp was responsible.
FRIEND OF JOHNNY MCCABE

Hazard, KY

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#2
Jul 29, 2010
 
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CRIME?
Curious

Hudson, NH

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#3
Jul 29, 2010
 
When did this happen?
Friend of Johnny McCabe

Somerset, KY

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#4
Jul 30, 2010
 

Judged:

1

I was in 7th grade, maybe 8th, at Tewksbury Jr. High - I'm not sure of the exact date, but it had to be approx. 1969-1970. About 2 years ago, I contacted the Tewksbury P.D. to see what was going on with this case. A detective returned my call and we discussed it as far as I could; he said he'd look into it and let me know what the results were, but he never called back and, frankly, I have no love lost over the Tewksbury P.D., having lost faith in them way back in my hippie-dippie years, when at least half the force was dirty. Al Stevens was an asshole. Sonny Jopp was cute, but hit on me every chance he got (even let me keep the pot he found on me a few times, just to be able to pat my ass over the pocket it was in.) That's enough from me. If you don't mind, I'd like to know who you are - if you lived there, and do you have any information? Or are you only curious? Either way, thanks for responding.
Friend of Johnny McCabe

London, KY

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#5
Aug 28, 2010
 
I'm keeping this topic alive. Does anyone remember anything about this murder? I have collected articles from the Tewks libary and been contacted by a few people still interested. The Lowell Police, rather than Tewks PD are handling it (thank God!), because John's body was found in Lowell. If anyone has anything to offer, I would appreciate it very much. I was known, back then, as Carol Coffey. I'm C. Maggie Coffey now, living in Kentucky, but still haunted by this unsolved murder. Please respond if you can.
mr Crowley

Wilmington, MA

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#6
Aug 28, 2010
 
im keeping this topic alive,
TewksburyTweet

United States

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#7
Aug 29, 2010
 
Probably the only one who knew (Kevin) is dead. I heard that whoever killed him was trying to scare him because the druggies thought he was a snitch (which I don't think he was) and it went too far. That was what the rumor mill at the time was saying. I don't think anyone will ever really know.
Friend of Johnny McCabe

London, KY

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#8
Aug 30, 2010
 
OMG, Mr. Crowley! Is it really you? How are you, you ol' fat bastard?[just yanking your chain, affectionately]

I can't forget this boy or stop pecking at this case. Lately, I have reconnected with a few other "kids" from there and then and they seem to be equally unable to simply accept that this case might never be solved. I have made some inquiries recently, as I have occasionally over the years, and have begun doing some research, treading lightly but determinedly.

I welcome any comments you may wish to share and offer to you my assistance either way.

It's really fun to hear from you, Mr. Crowley.

Carol Coffey (now C. Maggie Coffey)
Livingston, KY
Friend of Johnny McCabe

London, KY

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#9
Aug 30, 2010
 
Thanks for responding. It's interesting that the same two or three rumors were spreading at the time. Like myths, legends, religion and superstitions, rumors lasting decades always have some thread of truth. Kevin B. was definitely some sort of key. The rumors begin with him: He got in the car with John; He was going to get in, but saw who it was and backed out; he was with John at the phone booth and knew who he called for a ride; he was wisked away to California the very next day (or ran away) in some self-styled witness protection gambit; he died huffing Pam; he was killed and the killer made it look like suicide.

You were obviously there and remember Kevin. Kevin was a scrappy little guy, liked to party, talked a lot. He would obviously have heard the rumors (his family remained in town) by the time he returned to Tewksbury. He was back for a few months before he died - at a party full of kids? He said something to someone, or someone said something to him, about that night. Who? I believe WE "KIDS" from Tewksbury can figure out who killed our classmate Johnny McCabe if we do what we all so often had to do: stick together.
Friend of Johnny McCabe

London, KY

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#10
Aug 30, 2010
 
From of the articles I received from Freyja (THANK YOU!) at the Tewksbury Library, here are some dates and headlines:
9.30.69: FINGERPRINT holds clue to Tewksbury murder; 9.29.69: Fear more than one involved in slaying; 10.1.69: Murder probe centers around teenagers; [this one breaks my heart...] 8.22.71: How much longer can those who know keep the secret? And, on 1.19.72: New leads in McCable Murder.

I thought this might stir up interest, stimulate memories and incite some action.

We "Tewksbury teenagers" don't come off very well in a few of these articles. But we all wear our big girl panties now, right?(none of us wore panties back then, but still, you get my point, I hope) Someone knows something. Someone knows who drove the car John got into. The dance was letting out. A crowd of kids was there. John and Kevin were popular enough. Dome lights go on when car doors open. There were a lot of kids getting rides or hitchhiking home - in a town with two or three main roads. What about records from the payphone that night? Are they available? Were they available back then? What about the fingerprint. DNA evidence? Why was there such a prominent rumor that a young Marine was involved? Where, and with whom, did Kevin stay in California? What made him decide it was "safe" to come back to Tewksbury? Was it?
Friend of Johnny McCabe

East Bernstadt, KY

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#11
Sep 8, 2010
 
Seven people took polygraphs just after this torture/murder and FAILED. Two other persons refused to take polygraphs.

WHO ARE THEY? WHO IS MARLA?

Please use this anonymous forum to come forward with what you know. It has been over 40 years since John was tortured and killed. If it was an accident, say so! If anyone knows something, say so! This case is not going away.
Friend of Johnny McCabe

London, KY

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#12
Sep 12, 2010
 
HOW IS IT that a person or persons can MURDER a young Tewksbury boy, dump his body in Lowell, then simply get away with it for 41 years?!?! HOW IS IT that nobody knows what happened? HOW IS IT that they could leave a complete, intact crime scene, tape, fingerprints, trace evidence and profile-able evidence, and simply GET AWAY WITH MURDER?

Here's how: If everybody keeps their mouths and eyes as tightly sealed as the MURDERERS left young Johnny McCabe's mouth and eyes sealed.

SOMEONE KNOWS SOMETHING! Who took the polygraphs and failed? Who refused a polygraph? Who was in the car the night of the KofC Dance? Where are John's shoes? Who folded his jacket and placed it under his head before walking away from his cold body? WHO, TEWKSBURY?
Friend of Johnny McCabe

Somerset, KY

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#13
Sep 24, 2010
 
What if today's headline read: Tewksbury Boy Tortured, Murdered, Body Dumped in Lowell. What if that boy was at a dance with your own children the night he was killed. What if he rode the bus with your daughter and was in classes with your own boy? Now, what if you knew the Murders were local people who would get away with it for 41 years of what the police call "intensive investigation?" What if your child was tortured and killed after a Knights of Columbus dance, and for 41 years, nobody eased your suffering by telling you the truth? Someone from Tewksbury - probably several people from Tewksbury - KNOW what happened to Johnny McCabe. Please, drop a note in the church collection box, make an anonymous call to the State Police, or use this forum to speak the truth without fear of repercussion. Please speak up, Tewksbury. What if it were your child?
GANGSTA

Dracut, MA

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#14
Jan 14, 2011
 
MIKE FERREIRA STILL A SUSPECT?
Interested

Lyme, NH

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#15
Apr 11, 2011
 
Friend of Johnny McCabe wrote:
Seven people took polygraphs just after this torture/murder and FAILED. Two other persons refused to take polygraphs.
WHO ARE THEY? WHO IS MARLA?
Please use this anonymous forum to come forward with what you know. It has been over 40 years since John was tortured and killed. If it was an accident, say so! If anyone knows something, say so! This case is not going away.
Answer to your qoestion who is Marla: Marla Shiner
Interested

Milford, NH

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#16
Apr 14, 2011
 
Maggie Coffey wrote:
Does anyone remember Johnny McCabe, murdered after leaving the Knights of Columbus dance with Kevin Bevelaqua (who died of asphyxiation snuffing cooking oil years later)- supposedly, the two boys were hitchhiking home. Johnny was later found tied in such a way as to strangle himself when he struggled to get free. There were rumors among us kids back then... it has always haunted me that I was supposed to meet Johnny at the dance that night, but was not allowed to go because I had to babysit! Over the years, I have not forgotten him... have the Tewksbury Police? I'm thinking of contacting "Cold Case Files" and suggesting it as a show. Someone should do something - I'm sure there was DNA left at the scene. Rumors were that a local kid just back from Marine boot camp was responsible.
You know this for a fact or just what you heard from the rumor mill.
TMHS GRAD

United States

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#18
Apr 15, 2011
 
Walter Shelley 59 of Tewksbury is being charged with murder.
catty

Woburn, MA

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#19
Apr 15, 2011
 
there are 2 people being arraigned this morning at lowell district, walter shelley is 1 of them , dont know the others name yet, also a third person is due to turn themselves in today, making 3 people being charged, a press conferemce is being held today by lowell pd and mccabes family !! About time !!!!
Childhood friend

Virginia Beach, VA

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#20
Apr 15, 2011
 
Check the Lowell sun this morning! They found the murderers!
Linda Locklear

Norfolk, VA

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#21
Apr 15, 2011
 
I worked on this murder case back in the good old days when I worked for the Tewksbury Police Dept. and you just do not know how relieved I am that the detective has made a case after all of these years. Can't wait to see who else is being arrested. I will be keeping a close eye on this story, having worked on it in the past. Congratulations to the officers who made the arrests.

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