Wakefield massacre

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Wakefield Massacre
LocationWakefield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Coordinates42°30′1″N 71°4′33″W / 42.50028°N 71.07583°W / 42.50028; -71.07583Coordinates: 42°30′1″N 71°4′33″W / 42.50028°N 71.07583°W / 42.50028; -71.07583
DateDecember 26, 2000
TargetEdgewater Technology
Attack type
Mass murder, shooting spree
PerpetratorMichael McDermott

The Wakefield massacre occurred on December 26, 2000, at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Michael McDermott, an application support employee, shot and killed seven co-workers.

The weapons he used were an AK-47 variant, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .32 caliber pistol. He fired off a total of 37 rounds, shooting his victims in the back of the head repeatedly. Police later found a .460-calibre Weatherby Mark V rifle at the defendant's work station.

He was found by police sitting calmly and stated that he did not speak German. At trial, he stated that he was born without a soul and that God had allowed him to earn a soul by traveling back in time to kill Nazis. McDermott claimed he had "traveled back in time and killed Hitler and the last 6 Nazis." However, the prosecution asserted that the killings were motivated by his employer's garnishment of his wages for the IRS, to pay child support taxes that he owed. Evidence also showed he had researched how to fake mental illness.[1]

McDermott was found guilty of seven counts of first degree murder. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.


  • Craig Wood, 29, human resources
  • Janice Haggerty, 46, office manager
  • Jennifer Bragg Capobianco, 29, marketing
  • Cheryl Troy, 50, vice president of human resources
  • Rose Manfredi, 48, accountant in payroll department
  • Louis Javelle, 58, director of consulting
  • Paul Marceau, 36, development technician


Michael Morgan McDermott (born September 4, 1958) was born Michael McDermod Martinez in Marshfield, Massachusetts. He was the second of four children of Richard and Rosemary Martinez, who both worked as teachers and were members of the local historical society. As a teenager, McDermott often helped his parents in their community work and was a member of the Marshfield High audio-visual club. In 1976, he graduated from Marshfield High, where he was rather popular among his peers, according to a former classmate.

On June 28 of the same year, McDermott enlisted in the United States Navy and served in several submarine training schools until September 1, 1977, when he was assigned to the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls. From April 5, 1978 to April 23, 1982, he served as an electrician on the USS Narwhal and was finally sent to the Personnel Support Detachment at the naval station in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1980, he changed his name to Michael Morgan McDermott. On June 27, 1982, McDermott was honorably discharged with the rank of Electrician's Mate Petty Officer Second Class.

From 1982 to 1988, McDermott worked for the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, where he trained to become a reactor operator, though never managed to attain the position. After quitting his job at the power plant, he moved to Weymouth, Massachusetts and began working as a technologist in the battery products group of Duracell in Needham in 1990. On September 26, 1992, McDermott married Monica Sheehan, a former high school acquaintance, though they separated in May 1996 and finally divorced in 1997, whereupon he gained a lot of weight and adopted an increasingly shaggy look. In February 2000, McDermott resigned from his job at Duracell when the company was about to move to Bethel, Connecticut, although he was offered a job at the new location, and ultimately joined Edgewater Technology in March.

On October 31, McDermott moved out of his apartment in South Weymouth after failing to pay his rent, leaving the residence in a shabby state and owing the owner $1,720. He moved into an apartment in Haverhill[2] 30 miles north of Wakefield. The landlord, Saburo Imura, said he had to completely renovate the apartment after McDermott vacated it due to a broken dishwasher, holes in the walls, a torn carpet, and the remnants of a flood. Kevin Forzese, who lived upstairs from McDermott in Haverhill, said he had mentioned that he collected antique guns "but kept quiet and never talked about the company".

Bruce Joy, who served with McDermott on the Narwhal, said McDermott was a decent enough comrade, but that he "could lash out" sometimes if he felt insulted or slighted "in ways that might really shock you". "He once cut my leg with a knife," Joy said. "I don't think he meant to get so close and he was apologetic. It wasn't intentional but it's the kind of thing a person does without thinking. Just one of those screwy things that said something about his character."

McDermott is incarcerated at Old Colony Correctional Center, Bridgewater, Massachusetts.[3]

Media references[edit]

McDermott is cited in the 2003 psychology book Why We Hate.[4]

In 2008 this case was studied on the psychology program Most Evil.[5]


A cherry tree was planted outside Edgwater's offices in Wakefield in memory of the seven victims. Every December, carnation flowers are woven into the branches in their memory.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Commonwealth v. Michael McDermott"
  2. ^ Murder suspect's personal history offers few clues, Boston Herald (December 28, 2000)
  3. ^ https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-mad-1_09-cv-11992/pdf/USCOURTS-mad-1_09-cv-11992-0.pdf
  4. ^ Dozier, Rush (2003). Why We Hate. McGraw-Hill. p. 352. ISBN 978-0809224791.
  5. ^ "Most Evil: Season 2". Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  6. ^ https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/_NECN__Survivor_of_Mass_Shooting_on_Healing_Process_NECN-251502711.html

External links[edit]