As relatives of Amy Lord looked on tensely, a prosecutor said today that Edwin J. Alemany went drinking with friends after he allegedly kidnapped, attempted to rape and then murdered the 24-year-old South Boston woman during a spree of violence against women in Boston.
The new information about Alemany’s behavior was disclosed in Suffolk Superior Court today where Alemany pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree murder for killing Lord on July 23 and a host of other charges stemming from attacks on three other women, including a 2012 assault Boston police have acknowledged was not investigated thoroughly.
Alemany, whose attorney has said he has a long history of mental illness, spoke in a voice barely above a whisper as he answered “not guilty’’ to the 20 charges he now faces. He remains held without bail and was returned to Bridgewater State Hospital where he was sent this summer after he allegedly tried to kill himself by scratching his neck with a fingernail.
The proceeding was held in Magistrate Gary D. Wilson’s courtroom, a small space on the seventh floor of the downtown Boston courthouse, that was filled with Lord’s parents and their friends, the parents of Alemany’s alleged fourth victim, as well as Alemany’s relatives, all of whom sat within just a few feet of each other.
Lord’s parents, Dennis and Cynthia, comforted each other as Suffolk Assistant District Attorney John Pappas summarized the final hours of their daughter’s life and as the prosecutor described Alemany’s alleged attacks on the other women.
Cynthia Lord cast an angry glance in Alemany’s direction as Pappas described how Alemany kidnapped Lord, which was followed by a sigh.
The Lords did not speak with reporters following the arraignment, but two brothers, both long-time friends of the couple, talked briefly about the impact the loss of their daughter has had on them.
Martin Dusel said the couple themselves and the Lord family overall are very close and “amazingly strong. There is a lot of love in that family.’’ He added, “and they are very strong. I just know the family needs thoughts and prayers.’’
Tom Dusel noted that Amy Lord was first thought to be a missing person, not a murder victim, when she failed to show up for work July 23.
“We knew she was missing. We feared the worst, and unfortunately that came to fruition,’’ Tom Dusel said. “I don’t know that it’s anything that the Lord family can ever get over. And certainly I can’t.’’
Pappas said that investigators have learned that after he kidnapped and then murdered Lord on July 23, he drove her car back to South Boston and set it on fire. Then he connected with some friends where he drank with them for a while, the prosecutor said.
Pappas said Alemany then went to his girlfriend’s home in South Boston where he had been living, and got into an argument with her. At that point, he left his girlfriend’s home – and went to Gates Street in South Boston where he attacked a woman as she was walking into her home early on the morning of July 24.
During the Gates Street attack, Alemany cut himself and was getting emergency medical care at the same Boston hospital where the woman had been brought when he was arrested later that morning.
All four of the victims were between 20 and 24 years old and were attacked while walking alone late at night or in the early morning. About one hour before allegedly kidnapping Lord, Alemany attacked a 22-year-old woman walking down Old Colony Avenue in South Boston, police said. He threatened to kill her, but then abruptly walked away, authorities said.
Lord was attacked as she left her Dorchester Street apartment before 6 a.m. on July 23, was dragged back into the vestibule and viciously beaten, and was then driven to five ATMs to withdraw cash. She was found stabbed to death at the Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park.
After police identified Alemany as a suspect in the abduction and killing of Lord and the attacks on two other women on July 23, investigators discovered that they may have missed a chance to arrest him in September 2012, when he allegedly attacked a 20-year-old as she walked into her Mission Hill apartment.
A Boston police detective has been disciplined; his attorney has said he is wrongly being blamed for failures by other people in the Boston police department.