Signs Missed In Murder Of Young Woman In Wayland?

WAYLAND (CBS) – “Why?” It’s the question friends, family members and neighbors in Wayland have as they mourn the death of 18-year-old Lauren Astley.

Her ex-boyfriend, 18-year-old Nathaniel Fujita is accused of killing Lauren.

On Monday, District Attorney Gerry Leone called it a case of teen dating violence.

“This case, like so many other paradigms is about control and about power,” Leone said on Monday.

Northeastern Professor Dr. James Allen Fox says on the surface, Lauren’s murder appears to fit into a far-too-common scenario.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

“Unfortunately, far too many males have a view that this is their right to maintain a relationship that’s broken down. It’s the old ‘if I can’t have you, no one can.’ It’s the obsession with the relationship; that ‘I can’t go on without you,’” Fox told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “There’s a sense in far too many men that they want to re-establish control.”

Dr. Fox Talks To WBZ NewsRadio 1030

Malcom Astley, Lauren’s dad, hopes a memorial service planned for July 16 will continue to help people reflect on ways to be better at preventing tragedies like this, and recognize what is going on.

“Try to look at the pain that lead to the anger, look under the anger, and there is always something else there. It’s very rare people are wired to be angry. You’ve got to look at and work on where that pain came from and what could have been done about it, and what you can do about it now,” said Astley.

He believes more wellness courses in schools can help.

“Helping kids to know much more about relationships and how they are involved in relationships and what makes a healthy and giving relationship. The signs that it’s not working for either person, and what they can do about it, in terms of resources and finding ways for needs to be met mutually,” said Astley.

Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy says there’s a good chance that red flags were missed.

“This kind of violence, the fact that there’s a homicide now is typically foreshadowed by other forms of behavior that lead reasonable people to understand this is going in a very dangerous direction,” Murphy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “The question for me is who knew about these folks… Who knew that things were moving in a dangerous direction? Did they not understand what the red flags looked like?”

Murphy says violent people are not going to change. Instead, more emphasis needs to be put on education.

“Do we need to be doing a better job, especially in our schools, teaching folks how to recognize red flags, teaching girls how to avoid getting into controlling and abusive relationships, and frankly doing a much better job educating guys about what a healthy relationship looks like.”

  • CI64

    Social media sites and cell phones – r one of the biggest problems with kids these days… PARENTS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEIR KIDS ARE TALKING ABOUT AND TO WHO…..THESE KIDS ARE CONNECTED 24/7 – CONSTANT CONNECTION TO EVERYONE..

  • Doug

    This is indeed a tragedy. Please let us not forget that domestic violence is real and is committed by both men against women and women against men in equal frequency. Unfortunately, it seems only one side is constantly referenced in the media and all the instances of violence occurring by women against men (and against their children) is not as highlighed.

  • brad

    does everyone here miss the point of this…….. education of domestic violence and dating violence is paramount. Cell phones and social media are now a way of life weather you like it or not, your kids will still be kids. Things of this nature have been happening long before any of this. End the silence on domestic violence and make it a more well known problem!!! my thoughts and prayers go out to both family’s for they are the ones who have lost here

  • JCarl

    C164 :Who are “these kids” and “parents”? These are only two adult teens out of millions. Social media, cell phone, texting have nothing to do with any of this. The biggest problem with society “these days” is people like you who over dramatize, generalize, marginalize. And it sounds like you are suggesting that these parents were not involved in their kids lives. How do you konw that? Do you know the people involved? You know, on July 6th at 12:50 pm you wasted your time posting nothing of any value.

    • tawmgirl

      Ditto JCarl. It only takes one time for a domestic violence situation like this to happen. And parent monitoring should not be at stake here. She was a beautiful girl, and he had to be an obsessive boy–Can’t wait till his trial!

    • John

      Yes, JCarl, lets all psychoanalyze this issue till we’re blue in the face. Maybe the school psychologist can help us all understand this and heal.

      I find it interesting that you consider these two children to be “adults”. Under Obamacare children will basically remain children under their parents healthcare coverage until they are 26 years old.

      These children have been coddled by their parents and teachers to the point that they think nothing they do is wrong. They are generally rude and inconsiderate and are not even close to having the characteristics of an adult other then the fact that they are physically as large as an adult.

      • Mitzi

        JCarl, I see what John is talking about in my own niece and nephew. Their parents have coddled them; they have not required them to have any responsibilities that might have helped to shape their characters, and as a result, they are sullen, entitled teenagers (one in college, one in high school). They aren’t motivated to have jobs because they don’t want to (and their parents will pay for their cars and clothes anyway). They can’t hold adult conversations because they are immature and rude. I don’t think they’ll end up murderers, but do fear for their futures, and I don’t think their situation is unique.

      • JCarl

        How do you know all that?

  • Laur

    It is sad, because there were probably signs that were missed. Her parents and his parents probably didn’t even witness the signs, maybe Lauren was the only one who did, and maybe she didn’t?. She obviously met him on her on will so he had to be someone she still trusted. So sad, for all the families involved. I don’t think social media sites and internet are to blame, but they don’t help. Especially facebook, all it takes is a comment that everyone can read or a picture that might be misinterpreted, and jealousy can start. I heard a statistic on how facebook is mentioned in many divorces now. My thoughts and prayers go out to both families.


    We can focus on education all we want. We need to realize we are animals first and young men are driven by Hormones. Individuals with higher levels of Testosterone act impulsively. This is a perfect example. Lets start testing peoples levels of testosterone and we will have a good indication of their propensity for violence. A perfect example. Lets look at the African American community a group that has 15-20% higher levels of testosterone. With a very strong history of violence and impulsivity. Lets blaim it no society or the fact that we missed red flags. The reality is no matter what you do. No matter how eduated someone is this violence will occur.

    • John

      How about we just hold Nate responsible for what “HE” did and the choice that “HE” made and put him in prison for the rest of his worthless life or, better yet, reinstate the death penalty so that we can be rid of him.

    • K8Bird

      Racism has no place in this discussion.

      • tawmgirl

        lol, i see the post was shut down for REALIST… Good thing!t

      • tawmgirl

        Agree K8BIRD.. that was another waste of posting. Testosterone? Unbelieveable definition of someone murdered and violence among young adults, unless REALIST is a pathologist?? Where is the remorse?

  • WP

    Your comments sound very sexist and one sided. This used to be called jealousy and it can go both ways male/female. This is just very sad and it happens.\

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  • Lucy

    Has anyone looked at common factors between abusive people? This is rare, isn’t it? I think that just compounds the problem. This is definitely something that faces men too and is not publicized enough. There is still a stigma attached to victims of domestic violence.

    I think it’s a tough thing. Maybe young people should not get too serious too soon? Emotions run deep?

    There are so many people. How can anyone believe that there is only one person for them? It’s just not the case.

  • jaygee

    So “red flags were missed”, eh. So what would all of the mental health professionals, lawyers and counselors suggest? Perhaps lock up or enroll any kid they deem questionable into a “wellness course”? Give me a break. 99% of kids can handle a break up but there will always be those who go to pieces but that doesn’t mean they are going to murder somebody. It seems to me that it’s the adults who need the counceling since most kids can handle anything.

  • Sally

    As parents we tried to stay connected to our children but through the teen years that is very difficult. Asking your teenagers to many questions can be an issue and asking them not enough can be an issue. There are so many disfunctional families in this country that we can only teach our children to make good diecisions/educate them as much as possible but this “accident” I would like to call it was about a young man loosing his love and loosing control – boys do not have much to say in teenage years but I do believe they are as emotional and experiencing hormonal changes they cannot even begin to understand. How do we get into their heads and help them if they do not share is tough?? I pray for bot families.

  • Jayne Marquit

    As it stands now, girls are not educated about any of the dangers or realities of relationshiips. Schools should tell girls that if they get pregnant, even if they are married, they will be physically and financially raising the child alone because child support orders do not cover even one eighth of the cost of providing for a child. Girls should be aware of male irriesponsibility and lack of caring about how their behavior affects other.

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  • Jonas

    I agree, cellphones and social media sites are not being used in healthy ways for the most part. It is not good for society to have so many people addicted to cellphones and facebook. Lauren might still be alive if she didn’t own a cellphone.

    • Mitzi

      You’re joking, right?

  • BreakTheCycle

    I think its really moving that Lauren’s dad is being so compassionate about his daughter’s murder. Teen dating violence is a nationwide problem that doesn’t get enough attention. Everyone should be equipped with the knowledge it takes to recognize the signs of teen dating violence of the safety for their friends, family, or themselves. Break The Cycle is an organization that focuses specifically on this issue and empowers teens to end teen dating violence. Check them out at My condolescences are with Lauren and Nate’s family.

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