"Framingham man with history of abuse blamed in shootings; Two die in apparent murder-suicide" by Jan Ransom and Peter Schworm, Globe Staff March 19, 2015
FRAMINGHAM — The angry, crashing sound of fighting rang out nearly every night from the second-floor apartment where Michelle Batista lived with her boyfriend, Allen Murphy, neighbors said.
Batista’s mother said Murphy often beat her daughter and she had begged her to get help, or leave him. On Monday, Batista tried to break up with him, her mother said.
But two days later, Batista, 31, was found dead in their apartment, another victim of fatal domestic violence. Authorities say Murphy, 27, shot Batista, then turned the gun on himself.
“This is a tragic situation,” said Kenneth Ferguson, the police chief in Framingham.
Batista’s mother, Marie Bonilla, said she notified police after her daughter failed to show up for work Wednesday and no one answered the door at her apartment.
Bonilla, 55, in an interview at her Waltham home Thursday, said, “She loved him. And in a strange way he loved her, too. They couldn’t get away from each other.”
It was a love story?
They both had led troubled lives.
According to Jane Doe, the anti-domestic violence organization, prior to these two deaths, five people had died in Massachusetts this year in domestic violence episodes.
Mary Gianakis, director of Voices Against Violence, a Framingham-based group that supports victims of domestic violence, said increased frequency and severity of abuse is a warning sign for fatal violence.
“It’s a slow burn into hell,” she said. Many victims cannot bring themselves to end a relationship, even if it has become abusive, she said.
“You remember the person you fell in love with,” she said. “You hang on to the hope that he’s going to change.”
Authorities would not say whether police had been called to the couple’s home before. But a downstairs neighbor said their fighting was constant.
Grace Azevedo, 52, who lives in the building, said it was strange for something so terrible to happen so close to home.
“It’s so weird. I always see that happening on TV,” she said. “I never thought I would live in a place where this could be happening.”
One woman, who said she worked for an anti-domestic violence group, said the killing was a “sad story.” “I feel bad for a lot of women who are just so controlled,” she said. “A lot of these ladies are just so afraid.”
But relatives said she was a different person in recent years. She was working hard and had been attending the Connect Community Church in Ashland every weekend.
“She wasn’t perfect, but she turned her life around,” her mother said. “I don’t care what she did, no one deserves that.”
Also see: Teen found fatally shot in Springfield, 8th homicide in 2015