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Deaths In South Boston Apartment Fire Ruled Homicides

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police now confirm the two people found dead inside a smoldering South Boston apartment were murdered. Investigators say the victims were stabbed and beaten before the fire was set in their third floor Linsky Barry Court apartment.

“Who did it. Do I know who did it? The thing that hurts is I don’t know,” said Mark Bourglas, the brother of victim Dianne Bourglas. The mystery behind the brutal killing continues to haunt him, as investigators say the fire was an apparent attempt to cover up the crime.

“She loved everybody. Everybody loved her,” said Bourglas.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

When the smoke cleared investigators say the 54-year-old Bourglas was found dead of “blunt force trauma” on the couch, while her roommate, 70-year-old Richard Hallahan was found in bed stabbed to death.

“If he had gone in his sleep or if this was a heart attack. But it was so preventable, so unnecessary. He’s a 70-year-old man,” said Hallahan’s stepdaughter Susan Killion who was planning a birthday barbecue for him. He’s a Vietnam veteran and retired nurse with the look of Santa Claus, and his stepdaughter says he lived that role.He moved in with Bourglas, a former nurse’s aide, a year ago.

Family members say they were two friends helping each other. Now they worry Diane may have tried to help the wrong person. “If somebody knocked on her door, needed a place to stay or needed help, she would let them in,” said friend Joyce Dooley. “Obviously that night she let the wrong people in.”

Police have said little about the investigation, how the fire was set, or how someone could have gained access to the apartment. But two families are desperate for answers. “We don’t want somebody to get away with it, because he didn’t deserve it,” said Killion.

Dooley called the killer a coward. “I don’t know how somebody could kill someone and set them on fire,” she said.

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