Murder of Deanna Cremin

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Deanna Cremin
Deanna J. Cremin

(1978-03-26)March 26, 1978
DiedMarch 30, 1995(1995-03-30) (aged 17)
Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S.
Cause of deathStrangulation
OccupationHigh school student, employee of Star Market
  • Albert Rodgers (father)
  • Katherine Cremin (mother)

Deanna J. Cremin (March 26, 1978 – March 30, 1995) was a 17-year-old American from Somerville, Massachusetts, found sexually assaulted and strangled to death near her home. No charges have ever been pressed. The case deeply shocked the local community, and a $50,000 reward is still being offered for evidence leading to a conviction.


Cremin was a student of Somerville High School. She did volunteer work at Somerville Cable Access Television, worked with third graders at the Child Development Program at her school, and worked at Star Market.[1]


On March 29, 1995, Deanna Cremin followed her usual Wednesday routine of going out with friends and visiting her boyfriend. Her curfew was 10 pm; when she was not home by midnight, her mother tried unsuccessfully to reach her on her pager. Her boyfriend, considered the last person to see Cremin alive, admits walking her home that night, but says he left her halfway, which, according to Deanna's mother, was unusual, as he had always walked her all the way home prior to that night.[2][3]


Deanna Cremin was found behind a senior housing complex four days after her seventeenth birthday. An autopsy revealed she had been strangled, and her murder remains unsolved.[4][5][6]

Cremin's body was found at 8 a.m. on March 30, behind a senior housing complex, less than a block from her home. She was found by two children she babysat for, taking a shortcut on their way to school.[7] Her body was lying on its back, and mostly undressed. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted.[2][3]


Deanna Cremin Reward - now $50,000.00, as of 2014.

Police identified three men as persons of interest in the crime: Cremin's teenage boyfriend; a Somerville firefighter more than twice Cremin's age, said to have been fixated on her; and a third adult man, later imprisoned at Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Cedar Junction.[3][8][9] But no charges were pressed. In 2005, Middlesex district attorney Martha Coakley announced new forensic evidence had been found with procedures unavailable in 1995, raising hope of progress in the case, but again no charges were pressed.[4][5][10]

In 2009, Middlesex district attorney Gerard Leone stated that the murder would be solved, but law enforcement needed witnesses who had remained silent to come forward.[11] The Cremin family erects a billboard each year since her death, to offer a reward for information about the killer. At the bottom of the billboard, a quote reads: "You know what you did to me. How much longer must I wait! Please help make my time in heaven restful." The reward has grown from $10,000 in 1995[3] to $20,000 by 2005,[8] to $50,000 in 2014.


Deanna Cremin Square in Somerville.

A thousand mourners attended Cremin's funeral at St. Polycarp's church, including a procession with 150 vehicles.[12]

Trees and benches around the city have been dedicated to Deanna Cremin.[10] The Deanna Cremin Reward Scholarship is a $500 annual award given to one recipient currently attending the Child Development Program at Somerville High School.

In the summer of 1995, Deanna Cremin Square was dedicated to her. The idea was proposed by a friend, Danielle Shute.[13] The square is located on the corner of Jaques Street and Temple Street, Cremin's neighborhood.42°23′40″N 71°05′31″W / 42.394343°N 71.092041°W / 42.394343; -71.092041 It is also located near St. Polycarp's Church, where her funeral was held. The family places a new wreath on it every year.[14] In 2016, the former Otis playground, on the corner of Otis and Dane streets, was renamed the Cremin playground in her memory. It has improved security features including lighting and cameras.[15]

A friend of Deanna's published a poem titled "Waiting For Your Return" in Teen Ink magazine.[16] Willie Alexander, former member of The Velvet Underground, wrote a song about her death titled "Who Killed Deanna", which appeared on his albums The East Main Street Suite (1999) and The Dog Bar Yacht Club (2005).[17]

Years later, the case has not been forgotten. On October 1, 2006, hundreds of people wearing shirts reading "Justice for Deanna" marched through her old neighborhood seeking action on the case.[7][18] The case has been repeatedly featured on WFXT television "New England's Unsolved", through 2009.[11] On March 30, 2013, hundreds of supporters retraced her last path through the streets of Somerville's Winter Hill neighborhood.[19][20][21] On March 31, 2014, the Mayor of Somerville announced a $50,000 reward to help find the people, or person behind Deanna Cremin's murder.[22] In 2015, on the twentieth anniversary of the murder, the case continued to receive national coverage, Middlesex County district attorney Marian T. Ryan was still asking anyone with information to contact her office, and the reward for information had reached $70,000.[23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Victim loved to work with kids", by David Weber, Boston Herald, March 31, 1995, page 12.
  2. ^ a b "'Everybody loved her' Somerville shocked by murder of girl, 17", by David Weber and Beverly Ford, Boston Herald, March 31, 1995, page 1.
  3. ^ a b c d "Anguish drives mom's quest for daughter's killer 'I will not let this go'", by Beverly Ford, Boston Herald, September 24, 1995, page 15.
  4. ^ a b "A mother's renewed hope for justice", by Megan Tench, Boston Globe, March 30, 2005. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Mother of murder victim survives, organizes for daughter", by George P. Hassett, Somerville News, September 05, 2006. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "The Unsolved Murder of Deanna Cremin – The True Crime Files". The True Crime Files. 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  7. ^ a b "Unsolved slay haunts mother" Archived 2012-11-08 at the Wayback Machine, by Laurel J. Sweet, Somerville Journal, Aug 20, 2006. Retrieved Mar 13, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Billboard touts reward in slay probe", Tom Farmer, Boston Herald, March 31, 2005.
  9. ^ "Teen's unsolved slaying weighs heavily on mom", by Peter Gelzinis, Boston Herald, Mar 30, 2005, page 4.
  10. ^ a b "Cremin family still seeks justice for slain daughter" Archived 2010-04-04 at the Wayback Machine, by Erin Dower, Somerville Journal, Mar 29, 2006. Retrieved Mar 14, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Unsolved: Deanna Cremin" Archived 2011-07-14 at the Wayback Machine, video WFXT, 3 May 2009. "NE Unsolved: Deanna Cremin" Archived 2010-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, Bob Ward, WFXT blog, May 2, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  12. ^ "1,000 mourners bid farewell to slain Somerville teen-ager", by Matthew Brelis, Boston Globe, Apr 4, 1995, Metro/Region page 25. Retrieved Mar 13, 2010.
  13. ^ "Deanna Cremin Square" Archived 2009-07-27 at the Wayback Machine Deanna Cremin official site. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  14. ^ "Family still seeks justice, 13 years after Deanna Cremin's murder" Archived 2009-08-16 at the Wayback Machine, by Kathleen Powers, Somerville Journal, Mar 26, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  15. ^ Nason, Vanessa (October 20, 2016). "Somerville to dedicate Cremin Playground". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Waiting For Your Return", by Emilie D., Teen Ink. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  17. ^ "Punk's 'Godfather' is Still Rocking", by David Wildman, Boston Globe, Jan 2, 2000, City Weekly, page 10.
  18. ^ "Hundreds march, seeking justice for murdered teen" Archived 2012-11-08 at the Wayback Machine, Somerville Journal, October 01, 2006. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  19. ^ "18 years later, family and friends of murdered teenager demand answers", By Emily Cataneo, Wicked Local Somerville, Mar 31, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  20. ^ 18 years later, still no answers in Deanna Cremin’s death, by Meghan E. Irons, Boston Globe, March 30, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  21. ^ 18 Years Later, Unsolved Murder of Deanna Cremin Haunts Somerville, by James Edwards, WGBH News, March 29, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  22. ^ "Somerville mayor announces $50,000 reward to find Deanna Cremin's killer", by Marcia Dick "Boston Globe", March 31, 2014.
  23. ^ "Deanna Cremin cold case: Search for killer continues in Massachusetts teen's 1995 murder". CBS News. March 30, 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  24. ^ Smith, Jennifer (March 29, 2015). "Twenty years after her murder, Somerville teenager's loved ones hope for new leads". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 October 2017.

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