Did Massachusetts Fail Alleged Murderer Donald Rudolph?

By Steve Holt | Boston Magazine |

A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO WEEKS before he was due back in court on the stolen-goods charge, Rudolph allegedly killed his sister, his mother, and his mother’s boyfriend. His lawyer — who pleaded not guilty on Rudolph’s behalf — says the teen has no memory of the tragic events of November 10, saying as recently as January that he believes his mother is still alive. When Rudolph’s sister Brittany attempted to visit him in jail, he refused to see her.

Brittany says she tries not to let thoughts of the murders distract her from pursuing her dream of becoming an art therapist after she graduates from college. But when she does think about the events leading up to the deaths, she sees a disturbing trail of missed signs and botched care by immediate family, police, and courts, as well as the schools and agencies tasked with helping.

Brittany says that in her final years, her mother would often make an ominous prediction: “Donald’s going to kill me someday.” “She would say it to the police and the caseworkers,” Brittany recalls, “and whenever she would say it to me, I would say, ‘Don’t be ridiculous. He’s your son.’ And look what happened. No one listened.”

  • Rachel Fafard

    I think this young man needs to be shown both love and forgiveness. Mental illness is nothing to overlook yet too often it falls through the cracks in our care systems.