Thursday, June 15, 2017

Seavers in the News- Richard T. Seaver Kills His Mother

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, fun, or macabre.

This week's entry is from the Times Record newspaper from Troy, New York dated 5 January 1960.

The transcription of this article is:

"Youth Held In Death Of His Mother

"Melrose, Mass. (AP)  An 18-years old youth was held on suspicion of murder today after police quoted him as saying he killed his mother because she wouldn't allow him to marry his 16-year old sweetheart.

"Police said Richard T. Seaver admitted he killed his mother yesterday.  An autopsy disclosed Mrs. Eleanor Lee Seaver, 42, had been stabbed 30 times with scissors and a breadknife and that she was struck on the head with a hammer and garroted with an electric cord.

"The bushy-haired youth's statement came while he was being questioned as a suspect in a handbag snatching in Boston.  Police went to his home in Melrose and found the body of Mrs. Seaver, a divorcee, in a closet of an unused bedroom.

"Seaver said the slaying followed a violent argument with his mother after he asked her permission to marry a girl, identified by Boston police as a Negro.

"When police went to Seaver's home they found his sister, Joanne, 11, with a babysitter, Ann Buckley, 15, who customarily sat with her while Mrs. Seaver worked at a Lyns restaurant. 

"The two girls were unaware of the slaying.  Police kicked in the closet door and found Mrs. Seaver's body.

"Police quoted Joanna as saying her brother and mother had quarreled recently over the family car.  The car was found in Boston yesterday with bloodstained clothes in it.

"On Nov. 21 Seaver was arrested in Nashua, N.H. with a gun in his possession.  At the time police released him in the custody of his mother."

The source citation for this article is:

"Youth Held in Killing Of His Mother," Times Record [Troy, N.Y.], 5 January 1960, page 1, column 7, Richard T. Seaver artcle; indexed database and digital images,   ( : accessed 15 June 2017).

What a terrible story - it made the front page of the Troy N.Y. newspaper, and probably made a number of newspapers in the East.  I found several similar articles in my search on

What happened to Richard T. Seaver?  I found another article, this time from the Long Beach [Calif.] Press-Telegram dated 30 November 1960:

The transcription of this article is:

"Youth Gets Life; Killed His Mother

"CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- A 19-year-old was sent to prison forl ife today for murdering his mother 11 months ago when she refused to approve his marriage to a Negro girl.

"Richard Seaver, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and sentence was passed by Judge Charles S. Bolster.

" 'I went crazy when she refused to grant permission for me to marry.' was the statement attributed to the youth by police who questioned him after the slaying."

The source citation for this article is:

"Youth Gets Life; Killed His Mother," Press-Telegram [Long Beach, Calif.] 30 November 1960, page D-8, column 1, Richard Seaver artcle; indexed database and digital images,   ( : accessed 15 June 2017).

CORRECTED 10 p.m.:

I had this family already in my database from my searching over 29 years for Seaver folks.  Richard T. Seaver was born in 1941 in Massachusetts, the son of John Gilman Seaver (1917-1962) and Eleaner F. (--?--) Seaver (1917-1960).  Richard T. Seaver was  a Seaver 10th cousin of mine.

This article hits a little bit too close to home.  Something like this can happen in a family on occasion, and it affects the surviving family members for the rest of their lives.  Richard's father and sister are deceased, according to my records.


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1 comment:

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Wow. I live just a few miles from Troy, NY. We often see MA news in the paper because our borders touch close by. This is a sad story that, I'm sure, had ripple effects throughout the family.