New Bedford, Wareham, Fall River Victims Among Those Depicted on Playing Cards
Law enforcement in Massachusetts is hoping that a novel new idea will help with unsolved murders in places like New Bedford, Fall River, Wareham and Taunton, and that closure for the victims’ families is finally in the cards.
The Massachusetts State Police Unresolved Case Unit has teamed up with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, District Attorney’s offices across the Commonwealth, and other law enforcement agencies to release a first edition set of playing cards, with each of the 52 cards depicting an unsolved homicide or missing persons case from somewhere in the state.
The cards will be distributed to inmates in correctional facilities across Massachusetts in the hopes that seeing the victims on the cards will lead the inmates to provide any information they might have in helping to solve these cases.
“Every tip has the potential to bring law enforcement one step closer to obtaining justice for victims and a sense of closure for their surviving family members,” the unit posted on its official Facebook page.
There are six unresolved cases depicted on the playing cards that trace back to the SouthCoast.
Devyn Murphy’s Fatal Stabbing in West Wareham
Murphy was just 16 years old when he was stabbed to death in West Wareham on October 13, 2002. Murphy had been attending a house party when a fight broke out outside the residence. Murphy became involved in the altercation and was fatally stabbed in the stomach. Despite reports of there being anywhere between 30-50 people at the party, no witnesses came forth to provide any information about the killing.
Cecil Lopes III’s Fatal Shooting in New Bedford
Cecil Lopes III was shot on Chancery Street near the United Front Housing Project on October 31, 2004. The UMass Dartmouth business school student was 18 years old, and witnesses stated the shots were fired from a vehicle. Months later on July 4, 2005, 31-year-old Dana Haywood was fatally shot in Monte Park as retaliation for Lopes’ murder, as convicted killer John C. Burgos admitted on a jail cell recording that one innocent life was being taken for the loss of another.
Ashley Silva’s Fatal Stabbing in New Bedford
Ashley Silva was 21 years old when he was found stabbed at the intersection of Ruth Street and Viall Street in New Bedford on August 28, 2005. He later died at St. Luke’s Hospital, and it was believed he was stabbed because he cooperated with police following a shooting incident in which he and another man opened fire on a vehicle in 2002. Silva did three years in jail following that incident, and was stabbed shortly after his release.
Devon Hodo’s Fatal Stabbing in Taunton
Devon Hodo was 16 when he was stabbed during a confrontation at Memorial Park in Taunton on June 8, 2008. Although there were several witnesses, his killing remains unsolved. It was believed that it was the result of an altercation between two rival gangs, and Hodo had been shot in the leg during a previous confrontation on February 27 of that year. The fatal stabbing was believed to have taken place during a “Sweet 16” party at the VFW when rival gangs from Brockton and Taunton began fighting. Five other people were injured in the altercation.
Vincent Wadlington’s Fatal Stabbing in Fall River
Vincent Wadlington was 25 years old when he was found stabbed on the railroad tracks in the area of Danforth Street in Fall River, near the intersection of Durfee Street and Odd Street. His sister later told ABC6 that police told her it was like a “crime of passion.”
Marcus Roberts’ Fatal Shooting in New Bedford
Marcus Roberts, 33, was shot outside the Whiskey Lounge on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford on August 17, 2017, around 2:44 a.m. Witnesses reported a white-colored sedan leaving the scene just after the shooting occurred. Roberts was found lying in the street, suffering from gunshot wounds, and later died at Rhode Island Hospital.
If you have any information on these cases or any of the others listed below, please call 1-855-MA-SOLVE (855-627-6583).