Beverly woman facing charges of threatening to kill public safety officials, blow up Beverly Hospital
A Beverly woman is facing 23 criminal charges after police say she spent the last two days sending emails to officials in which she threatened to kill Beverly public safety officials and bomb Beverly Hospital, the police station and the fire station.
Ashley Galvin, 20, of 15 Broadway, was arrested on Thursday afternoon at the Beverly Public Library after police say she threatened the lives of nine specific police officers, including Chief Mark Ray, as well as Deputy Fire Chief Peter O'Connor.
Access to Beverly Hospital was restricted and the building was under surveillance for about 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday after one of the woman's emails stated "be warned because beverly hospital is also on the list to be blown up," according to a statement from police spokesman Dave Costa.
Police received the first of multiple emails from an unknown gmail account at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Costa said.
"The emails expressed an intent to kill police officers and damage police vehicles, and targeted nine specific officers," Costa said in a statement.
As investigators worked to uncover the identity of the sender, they received an email at about 3 p.m. demanding that each of the nine officers that were threatened bring $100 in an envelope, with their names on them, so the suspect would know who complied, and leave them behind the book drop at the library between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., according to Costa.
Detectives kept an eye on the book drop behind the library, and at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, observed a woman later identified as Galvin in the area.
"They observed a female approach the book drop and deposit a book," Costa said. "She then slowly walked away but kept looking back at the book drop. This female walked slowly to Essex Street towards the front of the library but after a few minutes, returned to the parking lot. She sat on a bench but kept looking towards the book drop."
Galvin was questioned at the time, but Costa says detectives did not have enough evidence to take her into custody at the time.
Deputy Fire Chief O'Connor reported that he had also received a threatening email Wednesday night in which the sender demanded $500 with the same instructions to leave it at the library.
The email, with spelling and grammatical errors intact, stated, "your now on a list to be killed and your fire station is going to be bombed unless you do as a say and believe me the police station and hospital is also on this list with a list of people who work at those places."
The police continued to receive rambling, incoherent messages throughout the investigation, stating things such as "i guess you dont care about other people except your self cuz now that you didnt do as i asked a building will burn. hope you can save it in time. and remember ITS YOUR fault not mine."
Another one read in part, "u guys really undercover cops every where well im not stupid i see everything i have eyes everywhere."
Galvin's undoing was ultimately a photograph taken inside the library.
Police received an email just after noon on Thursday with the photo and a message stating that if police knew where the photo was taken, "then you'll know where and how close i am to you you have 5 mins till i do what i promised yesturday...a promise is a promise and i dont break them."
Costa says the woman lives in a group home, and he does not believe she had the means to carry out the bomb threats.
Police responded to the library and immediately began locking down the building, not letting anyone in our out. Galvin entered just as police were attempting to secure the area, and immediately tried to leave upon seeing the officers.
One of the detectives recognized her from an earlier encounter, and asked whether or not she had taken any photographs in the library.
"She replied, 'just one' and agreed to show Detective [Jeff] Tache, who immediately recognized the picture as the same one attached to the email officers received," Costa said.
Investigators later learned that the library photo was apparently not meant to go to police, or at least not with the email that it did. Galvin told police the email was supposed to contain a photo of City Hall, taken from the Dunkin' Donuts across the street.
Costa said Galvin's plan was to draw the police to the Dunkin' Donuts while she set a fire in the bathroom at the library.
After being taken into custody, Galvin told police that her motivation for threatening public safety officials is what she perceived to be "unjust treatment" from police, fire and EMS personnel over the last few months. Investigators also learned that she had attempted to contact President Barack Obama, the FBI and Governor Deval Patrick to express her concerns.
Galvin is charged with ten counts of threats to kill, ten counts of threats of extortion, and one count each of threat to bomb a police station, threat to bomb a fire station, and threat to bomb a hospital.
Ryan Mooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mooney_ryan.