Murderer in 1970s Peabody Case Denied Parole

A man convicted of a grisly murder in 1971 has been denied parole of his life sentence in prison. He had already been released twice before and violated his parole conditions both times.

A man convicted in an infamous 1971 murder in Peabody was denied a stay of his life sentence in prison yet again by the Mass. Parole Board earlier this month.

The board said Bruce Dabrieo has "performed poorly on parole" in two past instances, returning to drugs and criminal behavior, and board members were unwilling to try for a third time.

Dabrieo was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of John McCormack on March 27, 1971 outside an apartment complex in Peabody.

According to facts of the case published by the board, Dabrieo shot McCormack inside his car, drove the vehicle to a camp near Cedar Pond and then set the vehicle on fire with an accomplice.

McCormack's body was so badly burned and charred that it was no longer in one piece when authorities found it the next day, the medical examiner said at the time.

The murder, authorities said, was over drugs and money Dabrieo owed to McCormack.

Dabrieo was originally granted a parole in 1989 with tight supervision and imprisoned again just over a year later for violation of his parole. He was granted parole again in 2004, but violated those conditions in 2011.

"The overriding factor in his parole failures has been his decades-long struggle and uncontrollable addiction to drugs," the board said.

The first time he was released, he worked full-time in the Boxboro Public Schools and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but 11 months later had checked himself into a substance abuse treatment center for abuse of a prescription drug and using heroin.

Months into that program, he admitted to still drinking beer and smoking marijuana, which was laced with opiates. His parole was revoked.

He was denied parole again five times, largely because of continued drug violations while in prison, but then released in 2004. He gained work as a barber, and was on a prescription for Percocet following knee replacement surgery in 2007.

Between then and his arrest again in 2011, he tested positive for THC, smoked marijuana and obtained a prescription for morphine. He was arrested in Revere by state police for heroin possession.

He requested parole again in January 2012 and was denied in a decision released April 17, which will be eligible for review in five years.

"He would probably re-offend if released and his release is incompatible with the welfare of society," the board said.

You can read the full decision by the Mass. Parole Board here.


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