It’s been almost five years since Erika Murray’s house of horrors was discovered in Blackstone. On Facebook she seemed to be a loving and caring mother, and her 13 and 10 year old kids were taken care of and appeared well adjusted. But upstairs were a 6 month baby girl, her 3 year old, and the bodies of three dead infants. The house itself was a complete disaster zone, and it’s remarkable anyone could actually live there.
In this web extra, WBZ's @Karynregal recounts what has happened so far in the Blackstone "House of Horrors" trial. Erika Murray faces two counts of murder and multiple charges of child neglect. https://t.co/HXdtPInaki
— WBZ NewsRadio (@wbznewsradio) June 10, 2019
Her murder trial began last week and is still going on. Here’s 10 things we’ve learned so far:
- She blamed her 10 year old son for exposing her secret.
- Murray left the house unattended for hours and her 10 year old son could not get the baby to stop crying, so he got a neighbor to come over. She went upstairs, found the two children, wrapped them in her shirt, and called the police. By the time she went outside the police were there (she lived 100 yards from the police station) and Murray told her son, “I can’t believe you did this to me.”
2. The two children upstairs were covered in feces from head to toe.
- The kitchen was covered in maggots, there were maggots in the children’s ears, they were covered in feces, a mattress was caved in due to all the feces, and there were feces handprints on the walls from the children.
3. Within minutes the cops had to leave the house because of bugs.
- “The investigators began to notice bugs or flying insects, fleas began to collect on our clothing. There was some further concern about our health,” Gilmore said. The chief said he and another officer were eventually forced to go outside to decontaminate.
4. Murray didn’t seem to care when DCF told her the kids were being taken away, nor did she ask about them several days later.
- DCF said she put up “little resistance” when informed that her 10 and 13 year old were being taken away. They described her reaction as “unfazed” when told she wouldn’t be allowed to keep them, and voiced more concern about one of her dogs, which was in the basement and mangey.
5. Murray gave birth to the the dead children and the two kids upstairs in the bathtub, and her defense is that the babies were born stillborn.
- There are hospital records for the older two kids, but the rest were all born in the house. None of them had been to a doctor, nor did she get prenatal care. Her defense attorney called a world renowned doctor this week who testified that he believes the babies were born stillborn, although the prosecution disagrees.
- The Judge in this case is Janet Kenton-Walker, often called “Let em walk Walker” by police officers because of her notoriously lenient sentences. Murray waved a jury trial, likely because of this notoriety.
6. She called one of the living children “it.”
- The dead babies and the two kids upstairs did not have names, and she referred to one of the living children as “it” several times.
7. She told her 10 and 13 year old children that she was babysitting the kids upstairs, and went so far as to make a fake identity for the children’s mother on Facebook.
- In order to keep the identity of the children a secret she told her older kids that she was babysitting for “Michelle Ridgeway,” a Facebook nom de plume she created. Cell phone evidence shows many Facebook notifications in her email for that account.
- She told her kids that Michelle had to work a lot so she wasn’t around much.
- The older kids had no idea that they were related to the two living children upstairs and were in shock when DCF informed them on their way to foster care.
8. The 3 year old was socially and emotionally stunted, but her defense is claiming the child is autistic.
- According to doctors the 3 year old was remarkably “remarkably frightened by anything that we did. When approached — or any noises were made — she would close herself up and fold her body down.”
- Murray’s attorneys have tried to prove in court that the child suffers from autism, and that this is not a result of trauma or neglect.
9. She said she didn’t tell the older kids or her husband who lived with her that the baby was her’s because she was embarrassed and couldn’t afford them.
- Murray said she had no health insurance and could not afford to raise any more kids.
- She said that her husband, Ray Rivera, would be upset if she told him she was pregnant.
- Her two older children did not seem to go without, had plenty of food, and weren’t neglected.
10. When initially questioned by the police she denied the existence of the dead children, which were located in cardboard boxes.
- The house was discovered by police on August 28, and the kids were taken from DCF on that day.
- A search warrant wasn’t obtained until two weeks later, and was only done so in order to look for birth records on the two living kids upstairs.
- While searching for the birth records police came across one skeletal remains of a baby next to the remains of a dog. The other two were found in a closet in cardboard boxes. One had the umbilical cord and placenta attached, while the others were clothed in diapers and onesies.
- After finding out about the dead babies the Northbridge Police asked her if there were any more kids in the house. She denies it until they confronted her with what they knew. She then claimed they were born stillborn before saying that one of them had lived for several days under intensive questioning.
Photo credit @Karynregal Blackstone mom Erika Murray arriving this morning. She is now listening to state anthropologist explain that the remains of one of the infants allegedly found in her home indicates it may possibly have been a week old at death. #wbz pic.twitter.com/KnbZHDzafj
— Christina Hager (@HagerWBZ) June 6, 2019
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