South Boston fire victims formally identified as Richard Hallahan and Diane Bourglas; friends stunned by brutal deaths
Boston police have formally identified the man and woman who were found murdered Sunday inside a burning apartment in a South Boston housing development and have classified the deaths as a double homicide in a statement released late Tuesday night.
The bodies of Richard Hallahan, 70, and Diane Bourglas, 54, were discovered by Boston firefighters when they responded to a fire inside a unit in at 4 Linskey-Barry Courtin the West Broadway housing development.
Boston police reported today that Hallahan was stabbed to death and Bourglas died as the result of blunt force trauma.
Authorities did not disclose a motive for the double homicide.
Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said authorities have decided not to disclose some information to protect the investigation.
“Withholding certain information can assist investigators in determining the accuracy of statements that they develop during the investigation,’’ he said. “We are taking every step possible to find justice for the two lives lost.’’
No arrests have yet been made, but police reported they are actively pursuing several “good leads” in the investigation.
Law enforcement officials have told the Globe police are investigating the double homicide as a drug-related crime. The officials have also said that investigators believe the two people were slain and that the apartment was set on fire to try to destroy evidence of the crime.
Though authorities have said the slayings may be drug-related, development resident Kay Pyne said she never saw Bourglas or Hallahan doing drugs.
“Whatever she did behind closed doors was her business in her apartment,” Pyne said outside the Linskey-Barry Court building. “She didn’t bring it out here.”
Pyne said Bourglas was kind and used to ask for flowers from her rosebush to place in front of her icon of Saint Theresa.
Pyne also recalled that Hallahan would decorate his scooter, especially on Saint Patrick’s Day.
“They were really good hearted people,” she said.
Pyne added that she does not fear for her safety in light of the confirmation of the killings.
“I feel safe,” she said. “I walk the dog at 2 a.m., I’ve never been bothered by anybody. Everywhere has ... problems, it isn’t just housing developments.”
Pyne’s younger sister, Susan, 51, of Quincy, visits often and said she helped erect a memorial of candles, flowers, stuffed animals and farewell messages that is still standing outside the victims’ apartment complex.
Susan Pyne said she knew Bourglas well and she is saddened to learn that she and Hallahan were murdered.
“I don’t know how anybody could do that,” she said. “She [was] a very nice person.”
Hallahan and Bourglas were friends who formerly worked at Marian Manor, a Catholic-run nursing home on Dorchester Street in South Boston.
On Tuesday, US Representative Stephen Lynch visited the development to assure residents that authorities are working to provide as much assistance to them in the wake of the brutal crime.