As part of their investigation into the death of Sandra Birchmore for The CAse Podcast, Kirk Minihane’s producer David Cullinane submitted a records request with the State Police and received back this 84 page document.Mass State Police - Investigation Files
It revealed that dozens of people contacted the Norfolk County DA’s office with information regarding the death of Sandra Birchmore.
Why would so many people feel the need to reach out to the DA’s office if Sandra committed suicide? The answer is that most of her friends, family, and colleagues agreed on one thing – Sandra Birchmore’s alleged suicide was suspicious.
Most of the witnesses told State Police that Sandra was a talker who offered up inappropriate, personal details about her life to people she wasn’t close with, including teachers and her friend’s mothers. Almost all of them said that Sandra had told them that she was pregnant with Matt Farwell’s baby, that he wasn’t happy about her being pregnant, and refused to sign the birth certificate. Birchmore was a sitter for the Farwells, and Mrs. Farwell had another baby around the time Birchmore died, but Birchmore expected Farwell to leave his wife for her.
Nearly every witness who reached out said that Birchmore was excited about becoming a mother, and didn’t seem depressed or suicidal. According to Sandra, she had threatened to tell Farwell’s wife, who was supposedly unaware of their sexual relationship.
Sandra was socially immature, and quite frankly sounded crazy based on what her friends and coworkers said about her. She said she would be demanding $7K a month from Farwell for the baby and had already picked out a daycare in Easton. She told friends that Farwell denied being the father, but that Birchmore was content with being a single mother if Farwell would not step up and be a father.
According to one witness Birchmore got into frequent arguments with Farwell over the pregnancy, and said that Farwell had told her “I wish you would kill yourself,” or “I wish you were dead.”
Sandra messaged a coworker at 9 PM, half an hour before Farwell arrived, asking about school closures the next day.
This indicated that she planned on being alive the next day.
Also indicative that Sandra was not suicidal were witness statements that Sandra wasn’t the type to get sad and depressed, but rather became aggressive and angry when things didn’t go her way.
It seems much more likely that she lashed out at Farwell, who may have killed her in a heated argument, rather than Sandra committing suicide.
Sandra told one friend that she was sexually active with both of the Farwell brothers, something Billy Farwell confirmed, but wasn’t sure who the father was.
Five days after Birchmore was found dead in her apartment Matt Farwell was interviewed by State Police at the Norfolk County DA’s Office in Canton, at which time he agreed to hand over his phone to Trooper Nicholas Guarino for a full data extraction.
Guarino is the same trooper who did the “full data extraction” of Jen McCabe’s phone shortly after she voluntarily handed it over following John O’Keefes death. He claims to have used Cellebrite for the data extraction, but his report did not include any of the dozens of deleted phone calls, text messages, and the 2:27 AM “hos long to die in cold” Google search. Adam Lally would later blame this in court on Guarino not using the most up to date version of Cellebrite, even though the prior version of Cellebrite was capable of extracting deleted messages, phone calls, and Google searches.
On April 26 Stoughton Police also handed over Farwell’s work phone to Guarino for a full data extraction. His August 16 report about the findings was laughable and ridiculous.
Farwell told Trooper Guarino that he had deleted all communications with Birchmore, which somehow wasn’t suspicious to the State Police. Guarino, who the Norfolk County DA’s Office designated as their tech expert, somehow believed that this meant that the messages were gone forever and unretrievable. Anyone with a basic understanding of cellphones knows this isn’t the case. Those deleted messages potentially contain a plethora of evidence that could provide insight into Sandra Birchmore’s state of mind, and her relationship with Farwell.
Guarino also extracted the data from Birchmore’s computer, which showed that Farwell and Birchmore had communicated thousands of times.
For some reason State Police Sgt. John Fanning asked Matt Farwell to submit DNA samples and participate in a polygraph, which his attorney refused to allow.
But why? What would a DNA sample prove? Farwell admitted to having sex with Sandra, and his DNA would be in her apartment since he was inside on the day she died. A polygraph would not be admissible in court. Why were the State Police wasting their time pursuing useless leads that they know they know a lawyer would never agree to?
Just like with the Karen Read case, the State Police, Canton Police, and Norfolk County DA’s Office failed to do a proper and thorough investigation into a death that occurred in the town of Canton. Lt. Lank, Detective Albert, and Trooper Guarino are either incompetent, or regularly do not investigate leads if they believe a police officer might be responsible for a murder.
A big reason that Karen Read has gotten so much support compared to Sandra Birchmore is that Karen is alive and has a family that isn’t going to allow the police to cover up a murder. Sandra Birchmore’s closest relative is an aunt from New Hampshire named Darlene Smith, who seems more concerned with making money off her death than she is pursuing the idea that Birchmore might have been murdered. Darlene refused to participate with Minihane and Cullinane, both of who believe Birchmore didn’t commit suicide, and seems more concerned with profiting off of her alleged suicide. She has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Farwell brothers, Devine, and the Town of Stoughton.
But her attorney wasn’t even aware that Joshua Heal had also had sex with her until Minihane brought it to their attention. Since then they amended the wrongful death lawsuit.
The lawsuit blames the town for hiring the Farwell brothers, despite an incident when they were teenagers in which they impersonated police officers and pulled over motor vehicles. The town and its police force also owed Birchmore a “duty of care” to “protect her from the abuse and inappropriate conduct,” according to the lawsuit, but explicitly states that Darlene Smith believes Sandra committed suicide (as a result of sexual grooming by the Stoughton Police).
This is another similarity to the Karen Read case – the victim’s family is willing to blindly accept the police’s narrative, and in doing so provides cover for the potential killers.
Most of the lawsuit revolves around whether or not Matt Farwell’s homeowner insurance will cover the damages, and doesn’t focus at all on the lack of police work that occurred after Birchmore’s body was discovered.
Because of this focus the legal battle is over whether or not a scumbag like Robert Devine had sex with Sandra Birchmore, instead of whether or not Matt Farwell killed Sandra Birchmore.
It’s not too late to investigate Sandra Birchmore’s death. As we’ve learned in Karen Read’s case, cell phone evidence can be critical to solving murders. The cellphone data showing John O’Keefe going up and down stairs inside 34 Fairview Road proved that he was inside the house, and that Karen Read could not have killed him. Likewise, a full data extraction of Birchmore’s phone could show when she alive or dead based on movements of the phone. If her phone moved after Farwell left then he could not have killed her. If her phone suddenly stopped moving while Farwell was inside it’s substantial evidence that he killed her.
The lack of justice for Sandra Birchmore, and the apathy surrounding her death, is yet another stain on District Attorney Michael Morrissey.