When residents of Lee’s Trailer Park saw the sirens and heard the commotion in their trailer park, they said they thought it was just another heroin overdose.
Residents say they get about two or three of those per week, and fire trucks and ambulances are as common as passenger vehicles.
However, neighbors quickly realized this was not the typical crime they see. In fact, it was a grisly murder, one in which suspect Peter DeConinck, 46, of Vane Street, was accused of stabbing Ronald Russo, 50, some 69 times inside trailer number 46.
“We saw all the sirens and figured it was just another overdose, but then we saw more and more police cars and knew something had happened,” he said. “Then we saw a guy and he said someone better call the cops because there was a guy running around covered in blood. It was awful.”
Witnesses described the scene inside the trailer as a bloody mess, with blood all over the walls and the victim allegedly stabbed more than 69 times – a crime that was the result of a serious argument between the men after a night of drinking.
Police responded around 8:30 p.m. and quickly set to work interviewing witnesses and finding out information about the crime and where DeConinck might have gone.
Through those interviews they learned that he had fled towards the Beachmont Train Station. Police scoured the area and found DeConinck walking near the train station with blood all over him. After a short altercation in which he allegedly threatened to kill officers, he was detained and taken for medical treatment. The 46-year-old – who was once the victim of a brutal beating by a Revere firefighter – was charged with murder.
“The actions and police work of the first responding uniform officers was right out of the textbook,” said Revere Police Lt. Amy O’Hara. “Several years ago there was a study in policing called the ‘Rand Study’ that stated the actions of the first officers on scene are the most important factor in the solvability rates of crimes. The actions of these patrol officers and the involved supervisors certainly lends creditability to that and makes the follow up investigation by the Revere and State Police detectives a lot easier.”
On Monday at the arraignment, the case took a whole new twist in Chelsea Court when Russo’s brother, Thomas, was overcome with grief during the recitation of the details of the crime and charged after DeConinck.
The scene was over the top, with Court Officers rushing to subdue Thomas Russo as he rushed towards the defendant. One of the Court Officer was injured and had to be taken away by ambulance.
Thomas Russo, 51, of Goodwin Avenue in the Pines, was later arraigned on charges of disrupting court proceedings and resisting arrest.
He was apparently set off when the prosecutor described 69 stab wounds allegedly delivered to the victim by DeConinck.
DeConinck was requested to be held without bail, but the judge called for a high-bail of $1 million.
Neither man lived in the park, and apparently both had been drinking together prior to the argument. The argument got serious enough that the men apparently armed themselves with knives, according to a third man who was drinking with them. He said he had left the room briefly and when he returned, the two men were in a full on knife fight.
Police found Russo on the floor of the trailer clutching a knife and covered in blood and stab wounds.
DeConinck denied killing Russo, and said he had been stabbed as he tried to flee the trailer.
He is due back in court on Sept. 26th.
DeConinck is not a stranger to the Chelsea Court, as he was the victim of a vicious beating by Revere Fire Lt. Peter Napolitano in a case where a prolonged case dragged out over several weeks in the courthouse. The two men crossed paths on Jan. 2, 2006 at the Big Lou when DeConinck was drunk and being a bit obnoxious.
Napolitano – a boxer – followed him outside and punched him in the face with such force that DeConinck fell backward and fractured his skull. He spent several days in a coma and suffered severe head injuries and brain damage.
A jury deadlocked on the case in January 2008, and Napolitano pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge just before the second trial in October 2008.
DeConinck’s family members told the Journal in 2008 that the man had never been the same after suffering the permanent brain damage as a result of the altercation.
Nevertheless, police and fire officials – including Napolitano – have indicated that DeConinck has been known to them for many years and was believed to be violent and dangerous.
Residents of the Parkway Trailer Park said they weren’t surprised there was a murder, and they said it’s only a matter of time before there is another one. They questioned whether the owner, William Settipane, should be able to continue operations.
“It will happen again; there will be another murder,” said one resident who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s only a matter of time. These people are zonked out. They on hard drugs, shooting up all the time, and they walk around totally out of it. Most of them just got out of jail and they walk around angry with their fists clenched all the time. Someone will get mad again, and they’ll kill someone else.”