Daily Archives: March 1, 2011

Boston’s 2011 Murder Count Is Down From Last Year

Published March 1, 2011

A fatal stabbing last week in Dorchester brings Boston’s 2011 homicide count to three — less than half of last year’s tally at this time, seven.

Why? We may never know. It’s easy to assume the abnormal snowfall has kept more people inside.

The news of last week’s homicide passed right by me. Prosecutors say Cherry Clinton, 29, stabbed her boyfriend to death in a domestic dispute on the morning of Feb. 25. It happened at 80 Ames Way.

At her arraignment Monday, Clinton said the death was accident — that she grabbed the knife in self-defense as her boyfriend, 23-year-old Lancelot Reid, lunged toward her. Prosecutors argue it would be difficult for a knife to penetrate layers of clothing and flesh without force.

The Herald reports at least five people have died from domestic violence this year, according to the Massachusetts advocacy group Jane Doe, Inc.

I updated  WBUR’s map of Boston homicide victims.


Update: Boston Police reported a fourth homicide after two men were shot early Wednesday in the Theater District. The Globe reports the 29-year-old victim is Jamie Lee, a local rapper aka Roc Dukati. The other man survived. Police arrested two men, Andrew Flonory, 26, of Brockton and Joshua Hollis, 22, of Cambridge, on weapons charges. Neither Flonory nor Hollis are charged in the death. Flonory is the brother of Eyanna Flonory, the woman killed in the mass Mattapan murders of September 2010.

If Heaven Exists, Peter Gomes Is There

Published March 1, 2011

Rev. Professor Peter Gomes delivered a sermon at Boston's Old South Meeting House ahead of the inauguration of Gov. Deval Patrick on Jan. 4, 2007.

Rev. Professor Peter Gomes delivered a sermon at Boston's Old South Meeting House ahead of the inauguration of Gov. Deval Patrick on Jan. 4, 2007. (Pool photo by Janet Knott via AP)

He was a black, Republican, openly gay man of God. He assumed a bow tie and that wonderfully pedantic Harvard accent. Rev. Peter Gomes, the Harvard Divinity School professor, died Monday night after suffering a heart attack and brain aneurysm. He was 68.

The Crimson first reported Gomes had planned to deliver the Easter sermon at Memorial Church, which he oversaw for three decades. His health deteriorated in December 2010 after suffering a stroke. WBUR’s CommonHealth proclaimed then: “Now is a good time to pray that stroke will not silence one of the best-known orators of our time.”

Gomes was a man who practiced what he preached, the New York Times reports, denouncing any interpretation of the Bible that forgives intolerance. His career was voluminous:

He was a thundering black Baptist preacher, and for much of his life was a conservative Republican celebrity who wrote books about the Pilgrims, published volumes of sermons and presided at weddings and funerals of the rich and famous. He gave the benediction at President Ronald Reagan’s second inaugural and delivered the National Cathedral sermon at the inaugural of President George H. W. Bush.

Gomes announced he was gay in 1991, during a speech protesting homophobic articles in a campus magazine. He said, to everyone’s surprise, he was “a Christian who happens as well to be gay.” He ignored calls to resign.

“What distressed me was that among people and in a culture which professes tremendous excitement and loyalty to Jesus, there seems to be so very little attention paid to what Jesus actually had to say,” Gomes said in a talk aired on NPR in 2007. He was discussing his new book, “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus.”

“Everybody has a view on the humanity, of the divinity of Jesus. Everybody wants to know about the historical Jesus, but it’s all about Jesus, and it would be as if he came to be the celebrity — or worse, the great Bible teacher.”

In 2009, WBUR’s Here & Now interviewed Gomes about his Plymouth roots and fascination with the pilgrims.  Gomes recited Arthur Guiterman’s 1935 poem “The D.A.R. lings” in a WBUR video.

You can stream Gomes’ many sermons at the Memorial Church website.

Radio Boston interviewed colleague Harvard colleague Diana Eck about Gomes.