Massachusetts State Police solved 57 homicides in 2016

Troopers also investigated 877 suspected deadly heroin overdoses

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts State Police announced on Tuesday that detectives investigated 67 homicides in 2016, and solved 57 of them.

According to State Police Media Relations, the homicides ranged from “street violence and outdoor shootings in urban areas to killings in suburban and rural settings;” 13 were domestic.

Of the 57 homicides solved, detectives made arrests in 51 of them, police said; of the other 6 homicides, 4 were murder-suicides, 1 died of natural causes, and the other was the Taunton mall attacker, who killed two people before he was shot dead by an off-duty officer.

State Police said 33 of the homicides investigated were shooting deaths, 16 were stabbings, and the rest were by other manners, including blunt trauma and strangulation.

Colonel Richard McKeon, Superintendent of State Police, said, “Our goal is not just to clear homicides for the sake of a statistic, but rather, to follow the facts and evidence to identify the person responsible, build strong cases that stand up in court, and to speak for victims who can no longer speak for themselves and provide some sense of justice to their loved ones.”

State Police also noted that in 2016, homicide detectives investigated 877 suspected deadly heroin overdoses. Due to the evidence collected, observations of the victims, and statements by friends or family of the victims, police determined that each victim died of a heroin overdose.

In each homicide and overdose investigation, State Police were assisted by local police departments throughout Massachusetts except for Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield generally.

In 2015, State Police investigated 69 homicides and 756 suspected deadly heroin overdoses.