Original article no longer available
March 11, 2000
Author: DOUG HANCHETT
Wearing pants stained with her mother’s blood, Valerie Hall cruised around Shrewsbury with her boyfriend for half an hour before telling him she had shoved her psychiatrist mom down the stairs and bashed her skull in with a small sledgehammer, court records show. The troubled teen’s alleged confession to 20-year-old beau Joseph A. Fulginiti came last Sunday as Kathleen Thomsen-Hall, a criminal psyciatrist, lay dying on the kitchen floor of her house just 200 yards from the Shrewsbury police station.
When police searched the home the following morning, they found evidence lending yet another twist: Twenty-six “I love you mom” coupons and a book entitled “Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales From Troubled Children” – chock full of black humor tales such as “Mary Had a Little Chainsaw,” “Rosie’s Crazy Mother” and “Emily Amputee.” Fulginiti, arrested on drug charges the night of the murder, told investigators that during the couple’s Sunday night drive, Hall asked him to pull over so she could make a phone call. From a pay phone at a Route 9 car wash, Hall anonymously dialed 911 and requested that an ambulance be sent to XXXXXXX for a “female who fell down the stairs.”
She hung up when a police dispatcher asked who was calling. West Boylston police picked up Fulginiti and Hall three hours later, with one of the officers noting a “reddish/brown stain that appeared to be blood on her pants.” On Monday the 16-year-old Hall, who friends say has grappled with manic-depression and has tried to kill herself on numerous occasions, was charged in Worcester Juvenile Court with attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and drug possession. Thomsen-Hall, a 44-year-old assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was pronounced dead at UMass Medical Center early Tuesday morning. Worcester District Attorney John Conte will present evidence to a Worcester County grand jury next month seeking to upgrade the charge to murder.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed by Shrewsbury police Lt. James Hurley in Westboro District Court, investigators found a bloody sledgehammer in the kitchen when they searched the house early Monday morning. They also discovered blood stains throughout the house – on floors in the dining room, hallway, living room and kitchen, a wall in the entrance way and on the phone in the dining room. Before leaving the house to jump in Fulginiti’s SUV, police think Hall made a futile attempt to cover up the crime.
According to the affidavit, one spot of dried blood at the foot of the stairs “had a swirl pattern in it, as if someone had attempted to clean up the stain.” “They’re not doing a lot as far as (follow-up) investigating,” one law enforcement source told the Herald. “They figure they have more than enough (evidence to convict).” Hall, a junior at Shrewsbury High School, was described by friends and classmates as quiet, a free spirit who was artistic and liked to write poetry like her late father, who died when she was a toddler. While some of her friends say they were shocked by the crime, allegations that Hall’s inner demons finally erupted in a violent rage against her mom didn’t surprise everyone. Hall had lashed out at her mother before. Two years ago, police investigated a domestic incident at the home in which classmates said Hall punched her mother in the face, giving her a black eye.
Hall had tried to commit suicide on a handful of occasions, most recently in January when she overdosed on Wellbutrin, a prescription medication she was taking to combat her manic depression. At a private memorial service at UMass Thursday night, about 175 people turned out to remember Thomsen-Hall. “A bright flame has gone out, and our world will be a poorer place without her,” said Kenneth L. Appelbaum, associate professor of clinical psychiatry. “As a measure of time, Kathleen Thomsen-Hall was not at UMass Medical School very long – 2 1/2 years,” said Dr. Aaron Lazare, the school’s chancellor and dean. “But as measured by her ability to touch us, it feels as if Kathleen was indeed with us a long time.” Another memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Worcester. The church is at 2 Airport Drive. Photo Caption: V. HALL: Allegedly called for ambulance after attack.
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Woman who killed mother is paroled
Worcester TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Valerie Hall of Shrewsbury was 16 at time of attack on Dr. Kathleen Thomsen Hall, psychiatrist