A Look Back: Man Murders 7 In Wakefield Christmas Office Massacre

Michael McDermott [CBS Boston (screenshot)]

WAKEFIELD, MA — It was just after 11 A.M. on the day after Christmas in 2000 when Michael McDermott strolled through the lobby of Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, Massachusetts where he was employed as an engineer — carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, shotgun, and semi-automatic pistol.

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McDermott opened fire, killing two employees at reception before  making his way to human resources and accounting. While his terrified coworkers scrambled to hide, he fatally shot five more people during the five-to-ten-minute rampage.

His victims were later identified as Jennifer Bragg-Capobianco, Janice Hagerty, Louis Javelle, Rose Manfredy, Paul Marceau, Cheryl Troy, and Craig Wood.

The weapons he used were an AK-47 variant, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .32 caliber pistol, and investigators later found a  Weatherby Mark V rifle at McDermott’s work station.

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Executive Assistant Peg Lynch told CBS Boston in 2012 that she only survived on that fateful day by hiding under a desk. “It is certainly something that is with us all of the time,” she said. “I mean, I think of our seven colleagues and friends all of the time, pretty much everyday.”

Police found shells and casings scattered everywhere, and later located McDermott sitting silently in the reception area. He was arrested without gunfire — but weirdly told police that he did not speak German.

At trial, he stated that he was born without a soul, and that God had allowed him to earn a soul by traveling back in time to Hitler “and the last six Nazis.”

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But Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley claimed that the killings were motivated by his employer’s garnishment of his wages for the IRS in order to pay child-support taxes that he owed. Investigators also later revealed that McDermott received a call on the morning of the massacre informing him that his 1994 Plymouth was due to be repossessed.

McDermott was found guilty of seven counts of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to seven life sentences without the possibility of parole. He is currently behind bars in a Massachusetts maximum security prison.

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In the months and years following the workplace massacre, Edgewater Technologies lost millions of dollars, and management reportedly considered the idea of changing its name. But the company bounced back and, according to CBS Boston, went on to become one of the fastest growing public companies in the country.

A cherry tree was planted on the premises in honor of the seven victims.

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Main photo: Michael McDermott [CBS Boston (screenshot)]

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