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Police ID 3 victims in Waltham killings

Search continues for assailants

By Peter Schworm
Globe Staff / September 15, 2011

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Authorities yesterday identified the victims of a triple slaying in Waltham earlier this week, but provided no details on the search for their assailants.

The men killed were Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham; Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge; and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, according to the Middlesex district attorney’s office, which is investigating the deaths.

The men were killed at Mess’s apartment Monday afternoon. The other two men did not live there. Authorities say the slayings were targeted, and they are seeking one or more suspects. They are awaiting autopsy results.

A woman whom neighbors identified as Mess’s girlfriend found the three victims covered in blood around 2:30 p.m.

Residents of the quiet side street say that police have told them the men had been stabbed and that the killings were drug-related.

Larry Aaronson, who taught Weissman at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, recalled him as a bright, well-liked student with an “enormous heart.’’

“He had such potential and was such a good soul,’’ he said. “He was just a good friend to a lot of people. He was friends with all kinds of kids, regardless of background. And that was what was important to him, that network of friends.’’

In 2008, Weissman was charged with marijuana possession and intent to distribute, according to a report. Police pulled Weissman over for failing to yield and smelled marijuana smoke in the vehicle. When asked about it, Weissman said, “I knew you would smell it,’’ and handed the officer a brown paper bag filled with bags of marijuana, police said.

He also told police he had been previously arrested on charges of marijuana possession and said he was carrying marijuana to share with his friends.

Weissman’s family declined comment at their Cambridge home Tuesday evening.

Beth Ladew, who went to high school with Weissman, said he had a great appreciation for the arts and was an avid sports fan, especially basketball. He was “extremely genuine,’’ she said, and had a “contagious smile and easy laughter.’’

“I know he loved his family,’’ she said. “When he spoke of his younger sister his face would light up.’’

Ladew said they had stayed in touch since high school, and she was devastated by his death.

“I don’t know why this horrific crime happened, but it ended three young lives too soon,’’ she said.

After Mess’s girlfriend discovered the bodies, she ran from the house screaming.

Neighbors described Mess and his two roommates as quiet, nice people who were a welcome change of pace from previous residents who often had loud parties late into the evening.

Mess, who was active in martial arts, received a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Champlain College in 2008.

In 2010, Mess and another man were arrested on charges that they assaulted several people at a store, according to a Cambridge police log.

Teken lived in Waltham, and two neighbors who asked to remain anonymous said they believed he was a drug dealer, saying he rarely left the house and had a steady stream of visitors.

Globe correspondents Derek J. Anderson and Katherine E. Landergan contributed to this report. Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.