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May 3, 1992
By Boston Globe
Note: We know from other coverage that Kenneth Seguin was taking Prozac, or had stopped taking it, at the time of the murders. See Judge dismisses Seguin jury chief.
Hopes For The Safety Of The Seguin Children Is Dwindling Since Searchers Have Come Up Empty-handed And Police Have Few Clues As To Their Whereabouts.
Kenneth G. Seguin of Holliston, Mass., 35, a software marketing executive, was ordered held without bail on a murder charge by Framingham District Court Judge Paul Healy.
Seguin, described by his lawyer as suicidal, was being held at Bridgewater State Hospital, the corrections system’s psychiatric hospital.
Middlesex prosecutors allege that Seguin beat his wife, 34, with a blunt instrument while she was in bed on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. They say he then wrapped her body in towels and linens and placed her in the Sudbury River, where she was found at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The Seguin children, Daniel, 7, and Amy, 5, are thought to have been with their father late Tuesday, prosecutors said. Police still do not know if they were alive and unharmed.
”We’re still hoping, but as each day goes by there is less hope,” said State Police Sgt. Mark Delaney at Hopkinton State Park, where searchers again combed the woods and the nearby Sudbury River. Delaney said the search, scaled down from a massive effort Thursday, turned up no evidence that the children had been in the area.
”We are very worried about the children. That’s all we can say. That’s what we are thinking about,” Nancy Cox-Castaldi, Mary Ann Seguin’s sister, said by telephone.
Law enforcement officials offered no motive in the killing. Friends and neighbors said the Seguin family gave no sign of distress and had moved only last Saturday into a home they had bought in Holliston center.
At district court in Framingham, Middlesex Assistant District Attorney David Linsky would not say what comments Kenneth Seguin had made to police about the children, but Seguin’s lawyer, Thomas Giblin of Brookline, Mass., said his client was severely depressed, suffering memory lapses and did not have the presence of mind to help with the search.
”His memory is very poor right now,” Giblin said. ”He is quite honestly in a state of shock. He hasn’t been able to say much about anything.”
Giblin said Seguin ”is very concerned about the safety of his children, and he’s very upset about what has happened to his wife. He claims that he wants to find his children. At this point in time he’s made no comment about where they are or having any knowledge of where they are.”
Kenneth Seguin has been in custody since Wednesday afternoon, when police found him after an apparent suicide attempt in the woods near Hopkinton State Park.
Seguin, assisted by corrections officials, limped during his walk to and from court Friday for arraignment. His right temple was stitched and his neck and hand were bandaged. But Linsky said he was in ”fine” condition. He did not speak during the court proceeding.
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Executive Gets Life Term in Killing of His Family — (New York Times)
Published: February 7, 1993
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 5— A judge on Friday sentenced a computer executive to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 30 years, after convicting him the day before in the killing of his wife and two children last April. It was a surprise verdict in a case that has gripped the Boston area.
The jurors in Middlesex County Superior Court found 35-year-old Kenneth Seguin guilty on three counts of second-degree murder. They had been expected to choose between verdicts of first-degree murder or not guilty by reason of insanity.
Lawyers for Mr. Seguin had told the jury that he was in a psychotic episode last spring when he slit the throats of his son, Daniel, 7, and his daughter, Amy, 5. He then killed his wife, Mary Ann, 34, with an ax while she lay sleeping at their home in nearby Holliston.
Jurors, speaking after the verdict, said they had decided on second-degree murder because they believed Mr. Seguin had indeed been mentally impaired at the time but understood the wrongfulness of his actions.
Mr. Seguin remained impassive, his jaw set, as the verdict was handed down.
His lawyer, J. W. Carney, said it had been difficult to square the facts of the case with a verdict of murder. “There is a great deal of ignorance, misunderstanding and fear of mental illness, and it is impossible in the context of a single criminal trial to educate a jury enough for them to surmount their prejudices and biases in this area.” He said he would appeal the verdict.
The verdict did little to assuage the pain in Holliston, a picturesque bedroom town of 13,000 people 20 miles southwest of Boston. The trial, which was televised by a local cable station, had provoked a mixture of reactions.
“My son asked my wife, ‘Mommy, would Daddy ever do that to us?’ ” said John Paltrineri, owner of Fiske’s General Store on Holliston’s main street and father of a 7-year-old who played in Daniel Seguin’s soccer league.
“That happened in probably 95 percent of the families,” Mr. Paltrineri said. “It really hit home. It hurt so much to hear that.”
Louise Boland, a Holliston resident who taught aerobics to Mrs. Seguin said, “Some people feel a great deal of compassion for Ken, and others just want to string him up.” ‘He Just Loved That Family’
She expressed compassion for Mr. Seguin, saying: “He just loved that family. He couldn’t have known what he was doing.”
In the trial, Mr. Seguin was portrayed as despondent over the death of his father-in-law, pressures at work and the failure of a six-month effort to build the family’s dream house.
His lawyers argued that he was under the delusion that he could save his family only by killing them and himself and reuniting in heaven.
Whatever his state of mind, the authorities charged that on the evening of April 28 Mr. Seguin took the children for a drive, then gave them sleeping pills, waited for them to lose consciousness and slit their throats. He then submerged their bodies in a pond in Franklin, Mass., about 10 miles south of Holliston.
Returning home, he found his wife asleep and lay beside her for two to three hours. Then he got an ax and killed her with one blow to the head. After dumping her body into the Sudbury River in nearby Southborough, he slashed his wrist. He would have died, the defense said, if two fishermen had not happened by.
An assistant district attorney, David Meier, argued that Mr. Seguin’s behavior showed premeditation, including his leaving a coherent but evasive message for his wife on their answering machine while on his way to kill the children. He also cleaned up carefully after the slayings and lied to the police after he was found, the prosecutor said.
Mrs. Seguin, who was known as Polly, was popular with townspeople. Mr. Seguin was known as an involved father, helping to coach his son’s soccer team and devoting weekends to the children.
“He seemed like anyone else in town,” said Mr. Paltrineri, the general store owner. “This kind of thing scares people. You ask yourself, ‘Would something in my life make me crazy enough to snap like that?’ “