Murder of Yngve Raustein

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Yngve Koehler Raustein (17 Oct 1970 – 18 Sep 1992) was a Norwegian undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a resident of Baker House. On the evening of 18 September 1992 he was walking down Memorial Drive by Hayden Library when he and his companion were attacked by three students[1] of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Shon McHugh (aged 15), Joseph D. Donovan (aged 17), and Alfredo Velez (aged 18) robbed Raustein and his companion of $33, and McHugh stabbed Raustein, causing fatal injuries. MIT President Charles M. Vest issued a statement the next day.[2] A memorial service for Raustein was held on 9 October 1992.

Raustein's murder was the first of an MIT student for over a decade and sparked a Town and gown debate centering on the tension between the wealthy universities in Cambridge, MIT and Harvard University, and the poorer permanent Cambridge population.[3] A vigil held the week after his death drew representatives from both communities.[4] A permanent memorial award, the Yngve Raustein Award for Scholarship, Teamwork and Community, was established at MIT in 1993. Raustein has been memorialized in the Garden of Peace memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.[5]

McHugh was tried as a juvenile, and was released from prison after less than 11 years. Velez testified against Donovan and was sentenced to less than 10 years in prison. Donovan was charged with felony murder and was sentenced to life without parole. Donovan (aged 33) in 2009 appealed against his sentence of life without parole for felony murder on the grounds that, although he punched Raustein, he had no knowledge of a knife or planned robbery. Raustein's family have said that "the life without parole sentence was way too harsh".[6] The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declined an appeal in 1996.[7] In 2014, the Massachusetts Parole Board decided he should be released following six months in a rehabilitative program and one year in a lower level security prison.[8]


  1. ^ "Student Slain on Memorial Drive - The Tech".
  2. ^ "President Vest's Statement - The Tech".
  3. ^ "Killing Fuels Safety Debate - The Tech".
  4. ^ "The Harvard Crimson 25 Sep 92".
  5. ^ "The Garden of Peace - A Memorial to Victims of Homicide".
  6. ^ Puffer, Brad (6 August 2009). "Man serving life without parole, finds support from unlikely people". NECN. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  7. ^ Associated Press (30 March 1996). "SJC WON'T REVERSE MURDER CONVICTION". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  8. ^ Cramer, Maria. "3rd man convicted of murder as teen to be freed - The Boston Globe".

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