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Execution Squad Fraud: Bum Beefed

Execution Squad Fraud: Bum Beefed

2.6 9
by Stephen Doherty

In the mid-1970s, Walpole State Prison had the highest murder rate of any prison in the country, and the lowest conviction rate: zero. The District Attorney's office had been pilloried by the press for its inability to get results.

So when a particularly atrocious murder occurred on Thanksgiving Day, 1976, and an inmate offered to testify that he'd seen who


In the mid-1970s, Walpole State Prison had the highest murder rate of any prison in the country, and the lowest conviction rate: zero. The District Attorney's office had been pilloried by the press for its inability to get results.

So when a particularly atrocious murder occurred on Thanksgiving Day, 1976, and an inmate offered to testify that he'd seen who did it, DA William Delahunt jumped at the offer.

The DA's office and state police framed Stephen Doherty for the crime. It took him twenty years to prove that he was innocent.

This is his story.

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On Thanksgiving Day, 1976, an inmate named Robert Perrotta was found brutally murdered in his cell. His penis had been torn from his body, while he was still alive, and stuck in his mouth.

My first indication that I was even considered a suspect in Bobby Perrotta's murder came on the night after it happened. I was in my home cellblock, block A-2, when I heard another inmate being paged over the loudspeaker. "Arthur Keigney, please report to inner control. Keigney, report to inner control."

That was generally not a good sign. After the evening meal, everything was pretty much recreation and relaxation. To hear your name over the loudspeaker at that time of night usually meant bad news, possibly notification of a death in the family at home.

A while later I heard, "John Campbell, please report to inner control. Campbell, report to control."

This definitely caught my attention and changed my perception of the calls. Two guys from my block -- both from my hometown of Charlestown -- being called out on the night after a murder had occurred in our block was not a good sign. I came out of my cell and looked around. I noticed that other guys were doing the same thing.

A little while later, Jackie Campbell came down the back stairway. I lived in cell 12, the last cell on the right-hand side of the bottom floor (the flats). The stairs were right next to my cell.

Jackie stopped at my door. He asked, "Did ya hear them call me?"

I nodded, "Yeah. I heard them call Arthur earlier. Is he back yet?"

Jackie shook his head. "No. I checked his cell before I came down."

Jackie and Arthur both lived on the third tier. So hadn't Bobby Perrotta.

"That's not a good sign," I said.

"I know," he said.

I asked, "If you're not back by lock-in, you want me to call someone for ya in the morning?"

He nodded his head, "Yeah."

As he walked away, I said, "Good luck."

A little while later, I heard, "Stephen Doherty, please report to inner control. Doherty, report to control."

My hair stood on end. I had never even considered that I would be called. A few weeks earlier, I had been okayed for a transfer to MCI Framingham to be let out on work release. Framingham was a coed (but mostly women's) prison. It was just a question of waiting for the paperwork to come back from the main office of the Department of Correction (DOC) in Boston. In the meantime, I had been doing my best to keep as low a profile as possible. There was no way that I was going to get involved in anything. Once you're that close to getting out, you don't even like to come out of your cell. In a place like Walpole, in the seventies, you never knew from one moment to the next what was going to happen. Fights, murders, riots, and lots more were commonplace. They were just part of the environment.

I came out of my cell, went up the back stairs to the third tier, and walked over to Campbell's cell. He wasn't there.

There were guys standing on the tier, leaning on the railing. I asked, "Did Jackie come back?" Even though I already knew the answer, I had to ask. They just shook their heads.

I said, "Arthur?" Same response.

One of the guys standing there was from Charlestown. I called him off to the side and said, "If I'm not back by count time [10 pm, when they locked us in our cells for the night and took the count], I want you to call my lawyer for me in the morning."

"Sure," he said.

I gave him my lawyer's number. "His name is Alan Caplan. Thanks."

I then went to the cell of another guy from Charlestown and repeated the process.

I went back down to my cell and got dressed. Even though inner control was just down the corridor and did not require me to go outside, I dressed warmly, taking a winter coat and gloves. I even put on my sunglasses. It was almost December, and Keigney and Campbell had yet to return. Who knew where I was going to wind up?

As I came out of my cell, I had another thought. So far, they had called three people -- all from Charlestown. The two guys that I had arranged to call my lawyer were both townies. How did I know that they weren't being called next? I went back upstairs. I gave Al Caplan's number to two other guys, neither of whom were from Charlestown.

When I got to inner control, one of the correctional officers (COs) behind the bulletproof glass said, "They wanna see you out in counseling."

Inner control is a large, circular, and secure room at the center of Walpole from where certain gates and solid steel doors were controlled. These doors included two on the left of control, which led out to the visiting room, and two on the right that led to the counseling area.

I went through the doors and turned right, into the counseling section. It consisted of an open area, maybe thirty square feet, which was surrounded by about ten small offices. The offices were about seven or eight square feet. At this time of night, they were all empty, except one.

There were two large guards, probably about three hundred pounds each, standing outside one of the offices. They waved me over and into the office.

I walked into the office and realized that there was barely room for me. Sitting behind the desk was the warden, Fred Butterworth. He introduced me to the two suits sitting next to him. One was an assistant district attorney (ADA) named John Prescott. He introduced the other as a chemist. There were two or three others standing off to the side. One of them was a state police detective named William Bergin.

Fred Butterworth was one of the last wardens to actually start as a guard and work his way up through the ranks. He was a small guy. Picture James Cagney with a totally pockmark-scarred face and a high-pitched voice. He was a pretty harmless-looking guy, but looks can be deceiving.

After the introductions, Fred said, "Steve, we're going to do a test on you. The chemist is going to scrape under your fingernails."

That was fine with me. I had been nowhere near Bobby Perrotta on the day he was murdered.

I said, "Sure, but I wanna call my lawyer first."

Fred said, "No lawyers."

I asked, "Why not?"

He just shook his head and repeated himself. "No lawyers."

That got my hackles up. I looked at the prosecutor and said, "You're a lawyer. Is this legal?"

He didn't respond, at least not verbally. He obviously hadn't expected the question, immediately glanced at Fred, and then looked down at the desk.

"I said, 'No lawyers,'" Fred reiterated.

I thought for a minute. Then, removing my sunglasses and handing them across the desk, I said to the prosecutor, "Here, would you mind holding these for a minute?"

He looked startled but automatically took my glasses.

Stepping back from the desk, I folded my arms and placed my hands under my armpits. I said, "I have nothing to hide. But, if you're not going to allow me to speak to my attorney, I can't cooperate."

We all stood there for a long, silent minute.

Finally, Fred said, "Get him."

The two over-nourished guards grabbed me from behind. I didn't fight back. I simply resisted. After a few minutes of squirming contention, they had me lying on my stomach, across the desk. Both of them were lying on top of me. One of my arms was twisted up behind my back. The other was stretched out in front of me while the chemist scraped under my fingernails. They reversed arms, and then it was over. They released me, and I stood up.

I held out my hand to John Prescott for my glasses and said, "Thank you."

He looked befuddled.

Fred came out from behind the desk, walked out of the room, and said to me, "Come with me."

I followed him out with one of the guards lumbering along behind me. He walked into one of the empty counselor's offices. I followed him. The guard followed me.

Fred turned around and, seeing the guard, waved him out of the office. "Wait outside," he said.

The guard hesitated for a minute. He said, "Are you sure? You wanna be in the room alone with . . ."

Fred cut him off; waving his arm again, his voice rising, "Get out, I said. Get out."

The guard quickly stepped out and closed the door.

Fred held up his hand and said to me, "Don't say nothin'. You know you've got a lawsuit, an' I know you've got a lawsuit. We'll deal with it when the time comes. My question is can I put you back in population?"

Surprised, I quipped, "Have I got a vote?"

Impatiently, he asked, "Are you gonna start your shit?"

Confused, I asked, "What shit?"

"You know," he said. "That riotin' and protest shit."

When I had first walked into Walpole, back in February 1973, it was right in the middle of the Porelle lock down. The whole joint was locked down for seventy-nine days -- no showers, nothing. It was also the peak of the burgeoning national prison reform movement that was a direct result of the massacre at Attica state prison in New York about a year and a half earlier. I wound up in the middle of it as the National Prisoners Reform Association (NPRA) representative of the New Man's Block. The notoriety stuck, and Fred had a long memory.

I said, "Hey Fred, that stuff's fun, but you're talkin' about a murder here. This is for real."

"You give me your word that you won't start any of that shit," he said.

I asked, "Can I call my lawyer?"

He nodded his head. "Give me your word," he said.

"You've got my word," I said.

He opened the door and said to the guard, "Take him to my office, and let him use the telephone."

Fred had been a hard, old-time guard, but his word was good. It was one thing we had in common. In all the years I knew him, I never saw him break his word. He'd kick your ass and throw you in the hole if he felt like it, but he wouldn't break his word.

The guard took me to Fred's office, and I called Al Caplan at home and told him what happened. After we spoke, I was returned to my block. Arthur and Jackie were both back in the block. They had had their fingernails scraped too.

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Execution Squad Fraud: Bum Beefed 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
steve6741 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book and I didn't understand this story. A Grand jury found him guilty and another jury found him guilty, he got off on a mistake by a the D.A. - Bad guy wins one. I'm sure this person will end up in prison again. I wrote this author on his webpage - but never heard anything back, I was hoping he would inlighten me of how this was a set up, between the corrections department and the D.A. - Sorry, just don't get it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fred78 More than 1 year ago
All someone has to do is talk about the other murders that happened in walpole prison and you will be right back in that hellhole - Remember that!! - You did know about other murders in this prison which you did help commit..You should enjoy your freedom and your family and stop all this crap before you make an error of getting someone mad at you. You did make your case and Delahunt did infact set you up for that murder, we all know that...But if you piss off the wrong people or persons, the past might come back to haunt you, and that's not saying much for the ones you love..My advice to you is to forget your past and live your life with your family and enjoy the life you have left - Have a nice day Mr.Doherty
stevied More than 1 year ago
I wrote this book and it's not only true, it's all documented. The two reviews below aren't even worth responding to. Anonymous' name tells you what he really is-a lying coward. He doesn't address one fact from the book. And, as to him being a Townie, I doubt it. If he was a real Townie, he would have already put it in the guy's face that he said was working with the Staties. As for Steve6741, his remark that I got off on a mistake by the D.A. makes me doubt that he even read the book. And, if he really wrote to me on my webpage, he definitely would've gotten a response. I look forward to any questions about the claims that I clearly laid out in the book. Not one person has challenged the validity of anything that I've said, especially the people that I identified as the ones who framed me, like Congressman Bill Delahunt. Seeing as I would clearly be partisan in my review, I will instead submit a couple of reviews from people who obviously truly read the book and placed their reviews on my website, www.bumbeefed.com. Also, if anyone has any legitimate questions, including Steve6741, please go on the site and ask me. You'll find out that you will get a response. You can also check out some other reviews on there. And, if you're interested, I also listed a bunch of other people on there that got framed for murders by Massachusetts alleged Justice system. Here are those reviews: Barbara Crooker "The book is awesome reading material. Although I find it hard to believe that any district attorney, prosecutor, judge, correctional officer or any human being could get away with the distortion and lying that the ones involved in this matter got away with and not be prosecuted themselves. Sort of makes you aware there is NO justice for some of us. It may on the other hand help families who are fighting for their loved ones who have been imprisoned with false charges or falsely accused of something they didn't do. Families who believe in the "justice for all" slogan may now realize that their loved ones may be telling the truth and justice failed them. The daily newspapers can do more damage than good for some. They often are only looking for a front page draw to sell the paper Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's true. We all know the majority of politicians are corrupt. If they aren't in time they all seem to fall into the category. Not all prisoners are criminal's. I've heard of a lot of people proving their innocence with DNA, but this is the first time I've read a book written by a man who never gave up proving he is not guilty. Good for Stephen Doherty. It must be the Irish in him that kept him going all those years." Thomas J. Kelly 2-26-09 amazon This book is an excellent indictment of the how politicians and the media can and will sacrifice the lives of others for their own selfish motives. It's sickening that the main man behind this "fraud" now holds a U.S. Congressional seat in Massachusetts. Mr. Doherty's first hand view of the insanity of Massachusetts' correctional facilities in the 1970's and 80's gives the reader a first hand look of an administration and district attorney who would stop at nothing to dupe the general public into believing these men were doing their jobs. The media was the weapon they used and Mr. Doherty, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Keigney were their victims.
rknowlesfromnewbedford More than 1 year ago
This guy walked out of prison based on it got overturned by the Courts. He use to run all the murders within Walpole State Prison, He called all the shots of who died inside this prison, and at the same time worked behind the other inmates backs with his old friend Fred Butterworth. He was a rat and nobody knew it. I watched this guy and how he worked inside of this prison for years, he hung with every murderer whoever got indited.The book is way off base and is only his side of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Execution Squad Fraud: Bum Beefed, Yea Right! This guy use to have people killed within Walpole State prison. I think its funny because one of his own partners Jackie worked with the State Police and he still to day never new about it. So little dose Stephen know, his mind is still in prison even though he is free...He will be tellling this story till he dies, but he should tell the real story about the other murders he was involved in, Then maybe people will listen. I'm a Townie and this guy is full of crap and so much for his partner Jackie. He only got free from errors from the D.A., He was part of this crime, he knew about it and when it was going down that day. Your so lucky to be a free man Stephen Doherty, remeber one thing, "NEVER TRUST ANYBODY" WHO IS CLOSE TO YOU!!!! And your away's being watched...