Fast Times at Marina Bay?
A quick police check revealed that Robert had a license to carry firearms, and owned a total of four guns, including two Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handguns. A .45-caliber shell casing had been recovered at the scene. Three days after the shooting, Robert turned himself in and gave police permission to search his car. They discovered gunpowder residue as well as a can of triple-action defense spray. At his condo they found the two Smith & Wessons and ammunition that matched the bullet doctors had removed from Joseph Fasano’s upper abdomen at Boston Medical Center. Fasano, who underwent multiple surgeries, remained in the hospital for nearly a week.
Before tracking down Robert, the police had labeled the whole thing a random act of road rage. “I would say this is probably fairly common,” Jeffrey Burrell, a Quincy police lieutenant, told reporters the day after the shooting. “This seems to be the way people drive now.”
THE RAGS-TO-RICHES ascent of William O’Connell and younger brother Peter has become something of a South Shore legend. They came from modest means — their dad was a milkman and their mom worked nights at a factory — and bought their first piece of land in 1958 with $450 that Peter earned from selling newspapers at Quincy’s Fore River Shipyard. In 1969, when William was 30 and Peter 26, the pair cofounded their development company. Their first project was a six-unit apartment building on that original lot.
Over the years, Peter and William O’Connell worked tirelessly and equally hard to class up Quincy, the geographic and socioeconomic pit stop between Dorchester and Braintree. O’Connell Management Company, which in later years grew to include Peter’s sons, Thomas and Robert, developed dozens of high-profile residential and office buildings, including the World Trade Center in Boston; Quincy’s Louisburg Square South; the nationally recognized Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy; and additional properties in Colorado, Florida, and overseas.
The brothers’ signature project, though, was Marina Bay in Quincy, which features restaurants, shops, offices, and the region’s largest private marina. First developed in the ’80s, the place became known as a celebrity haven, the “Nantucket of Boston” — home to boldface residents such as Tom Brady, Chet Curtis, and a host of other media types and athletes, some of whom became close friends with the O’Connells. During Peter’s ill-fated 1989 run for Quincy mayor, his personal friend Ted Kennedy was out there stumping for him. Former Cardinal Bernard Law was reportedly a passenger on an O’Connell family private plane.
Few high-end real estate developers get into the business to make friends, and it’s true that many O’Connell projects have faced opposition from politicians, environmentalists, and various other groups, but the family has for the most part been liked and respected. “They helped build Quincy,” Peter Forman, South Shore Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, has said. “[The family is] very much a part of the community.” As kids, the brothers passed out campaign fliers for Arthur Tobin, a former Quincy mayor who now serves as clerk magistrate of the city’s district court. Former Quincy Mayor Walter Hannon Jr. partnered with the O’Connells in the development of Granite Links. And over the years, the O’Connells have given thousands of dollars to local candidates, including former U.S. Representative William Delahunt (who lives at Marina Bay), former state Treasurer Tim Cahill, and current Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey. The brothers, it seems, were strategic in their donations; their close ties to so many local leaders didn’t exactly hurt their development projects.