Massachusetts Parole Board grills woman convicted of ritualistic murder

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A woman convicted for the ritualistic murder of Karen Marsden, in February, 1980, has appeared before the Massachusetts Parole Board.

As the Herald News reports Robin Murphy

pleaded guilty to that murder in 1980 and turned state’s evidence, earning a sentence of life with the possibility of parole. Her testimony was critical in the convictions of two men: Carl Drew and Andrew Maltais, on murder charges.

She was paroled in 2004 but went back to prison in August 2011, after she was stopped by the State Police on July 19, 2011, in a high-crime neighborhood in Revere. A woman was with her who had a felony conviction on her record and heroin in her purse. […]

Murphy was 17 in 1979 when she was living in Fall River with Marsden and associating with Drew, Maltais, Doreen Levesque and Barbara Ann Raposa.

Marsden, Levesque and Raposa were all murdered. Murphy ended up as the star witness, blaming Drew and Maltais for the murders, alleging the women were killed in Satanic rituals.

Murphy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the death of Marsden and she remained in prison until 2004, when she first won parole. […]

She has since denied the testimony she gave in 1980 and also now denies her guilt in Marsden’s murder. Drew also maintains his innocence. Maltais died in prison of cancer.

Murphy told the Parole Board on Tuesday that she lied during the trials of Drew and Maltais because she felt Drew was a danger to society and belonged in prison and Maltais deserved to be punished because he sexually abused her.

The paper quotes board member Cesar Archilla as saying, “This has been an odyssey of fabrications, of exaggerations, of lies and direct contradictions to what you’ve said in the past. You have woven this web that is impossible to sort out.

“To say you have muddied the water is a gross understatement. Your statements defy logic.”

Another board member, Roger Michel Jr., said, “I have never seen a case more shot through with lies and deceit by a person seeking parole than this one.

“I don’t think you would know the truth if it jumped out of the ground and slapped you in the face.”

Murphy remains in custody while the Parole Board mulls her request. The decision process typically takes about three months.

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This post was last updated: Mar. 14, 2012