Who Killed Laura Shifrina?

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Needham, MA - On the afternoon of Wednesday May 31, 2017, the lifeless body of Laura Shifrina, 81, was found, by her daughter, on the floor of her 146D Linden Street apartment.    According to Court records, the murder was committed on Sunday May 28, 2017.  The crime was reported that week by several TV news stations, also, by the Boston Globe, the Herald, the Needham Times, and other local newspapers.   The charges, ultimately, were murder, home invasion, armed robbery, and larceny of an automobile.   Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, later said, "Based on information during this investigation, (Ms. Galloway) was also indicted for the unlawful possession of a firearm related to separate conduct, and additionally indicted as an armed career criminal." 

After almost a Month, the family of Ms. Shifrina was beginning to lose hope that the crime would ever be solved.  The mostly elderly and disabled tenants of the State subsidized apartments, owned and managed by the Needham Housing Authority, were understandably disturbed.  Several renters found temporary lodging elsewhere.  The Needham Police Department established a yellow taped perimeter and round the clock protection at the scene of the crime.  The Needham Health Department provided counselling for the residents of the Linden Street cluster housing and the adjoining Chambers Street Apartments, both located across the street from the High Rock Middle School.

As for myself, I'd been living at Chambers Street since 2010, and I was bothered that I was so bothered.  It surprised me.   After all, cities and towns have had their unfortunate murders throughout history.  And people are killed all around the world, all the time.  But this was Needham.  This was a neighbor.  And what we had in common was our place in public housing. 

I recall, at the time, listening to D.A. Morrissey, in a press conference, say that everything was under control, and that the public was safe.  I am sure appointed and elected officials and Housing Authority folks wanted everybody in Town to breathe a collective sigh of relief, except that his next utterance to the press, was NOT, "Yes, we have the killer in custody." 

It was, "No, the perpetrator is still at large."  ...but we have a suspect. 

After her arrest, on or around Sunday June 11, 2017, on unrelated gun charges, Tammie Galloway, then 57, a next door neighbor, living at 146C Linden Street, was brought to Dedham District Court on June 30, 2017, where she pled not guilty to murder.  There was, indeed, a sense of relief, in that another dangerous criminal was off the streets and being held securely at MCI Framingham.  Once again, we were told we had nothing to worry about. 

Over three years later, however, on November 17, 2021, at a pretrial hearing in Norfolk District Superior Court, Galloway's  Defense Attorney, Elliot R. Levine, offered that there was DNA evidence found on the finger nail clippings taken from the right hand of the deceased victim.  And, while the DNA samples were such that they could not be used to identify any specific individuals, it could be used to determine that the DNA came from two men.    

So, in the weeks before the trial, scheduled to begin on Monday December 6, 2021, the public learns that there is evidence of a possible third party culprit, that Galloway, the prime suspect until now, may not have acted alone, and/or that the real killer, or killers, may be other than the defendant. 

The question remains, who killed Laura Shifrina?

(...to be continued.)

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