Tragedy struck the greater Boston area on Sunday as three family members – and dedicated local parishioners – were stabbed to death in their own home on the same day two of the victims were believed to have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
The 911 call came to the Newton Police Department from someone who knew the family. The caller arrived at the Broadway Street residence late in the morning and found the worst.
Jill D’Amore, 73, Bruno D’Amore, 74, and the wife’s mother, Lucia Arpino, 97, had been beaten – and all had visible stab wounds.
Police did not identify the victims in their initial press release about the gruesome killings. They were later identified in a letter from the family that was released by their church.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that the terrible tragedy that occurred yesterday in Newton struck very close to home…impacting our faith community and our own family,” Paul Arpino and Ginny Arpino wrote. . “They were our cousins and aunt…and to Rita (Dugan) and Isabella, they were more than best friends, they were adoptive family.”
Fellow church members grew concerned when they noticed the deceased failed to show up for mass at Our Lady of Help Christians parish, in a highly atypical turn of events.
“Their 50th anniversary was to be celebrated in a blessing after Communion at 10 a.m. Mass,” said Father Dan Riley of Boston-based WCVB affiliate Our Lady Help of Christians. “When they didn’t show up – I can’t go into detail as to who discovered them – but we were told, and myself and a number of staff spent the day there. “
“They are great people,” continued the priest. “Very well known.”
The family letter fondly remembered each of the deceased as devoted practitioners:
Jill had taken on the ministry of beautifying the surroundings of our church. Without a single day of liturgical training, she simply followed her heart, tending to flowers and decorating for the liturgical seasons. She spent endless hours in the care of our church.
Bruno was known for his big voice and rambunctious personality and as a ‘chef de cuisine’ he proudly flipped burgers at the church picnic.
Lucia, until Covid, never missed a 10 a.m. mass. For over 60 years she and her husband Alberto have sat in the “North End” section of our church. Lucia will be particularly missed during the upcoming Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festa weekend as she walked faithfully in this procession through the streets of Nonantum until her 90th birthday.
“Three beloved parishioners – salt of the earth people, great people – and this is a terrible tragedy,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Monday.
A press release issued by the district attorney’s office said there appeared to be signs of forced entry into the home while noting that an attempted break-in was recently reported “about half a mile from the scene of the the death inquest”. The two incidents, however, do not seem to be linked yet.
Police have urged caution in the Nonantum and Newtonville neighborhoods of Newton.
“I am very concerned about such a violent crime,” Newton Police Chief John Carmichael said at a news conference. “While this individual [or] individuals are still at large.
Law enforcement is asking for the public’s assistance in this matter, particularly with any surveillance footage from the day in question.
There are no known suspects at the time of this writing.
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