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This Day in Norwood History-March 15, 1955-“I Didn’t Kill Her,” Says Peter

Norwood Youth Denies Confession

DEDHAM, March 15—Peter Makarewicz took the stand today in his own defense on the eighth day of his first-degree murder trial.

The slim, pale 16-year-old boy, under questioning by his attorney, Louis Goldstein, gave the court an hour-by-hour account of his activities on Nov. 4, the day on which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts says he murdered Geraldine Annese, his 15-year-old next-door neighbor.

At the end of his questioning attorney Goldstein asked Peter directly, “Did you kill Geraldine Annese?”

Peter answered, “I did not.”

Once during the recital the courtroom sat in shocked silence at the boy’s answer to one of Goldstein’s questions.

That was when the attorney asked, “It has been testified here that you said you were in the garage waiting for Geraldine. Is that true?”

“Yes,” answered Peter.

There was a gasp from the spectators in Norfolk Superior Court courtroom.

“Maybe you didn’t under-, stand,” said Goldstein hastily. He repeated the question.

“No. No. No,” said Peter quickly the second time.

Peter told the court that he rose that morning about 10 or 10:30 a. m. and spent some time shooting a BB gun from his back porch. He killed a blackbird. he said; went down and picked It up with his left hand and tossed it into some bushes.

His mother left for work in the early afternoon and Peter went to Norwood, he said, to pick up a new pair of dungarees. Back home his father told him to mind his baby sister until his younger brother, Richard, returned from school

When Richard arrived about 3:30 p. m. Peter went off to play football with a group of boys in front of the Batch School on Washington st.

Played Football

He said that he was wearing the new dungarees, a white T- shirt a blue sports shirt and a rod and white striped sweater. The shorts that he was wearing that day he wore on Nov. S and 6 and at no time was there any blood on them, he testified. During the game, he added, his right cheek and the back of his neck was scratched and his right knee was bruised.

At 6:05, when the game ended, he went to visit a friend, chatted for a while and arrived home at 0.30 p. m When his brother. Richard. left the house (for the movies) he took charge ei his sister and left her with a neighbor. He went to Wiseman’s store, he continued, purchased potato chips, two milk shakes and several magazines in a flve-minute period.

Peter declared that he did not see Geraldine Annese inside the store, but talked to her friend, Cynthia Savage, who admitted that she had played hookey from school that day. “I told her she was a naughty girl.” said Peter.

As he left the store, he said that he saw Geraldine beckoning to Cynthia from the sidewalk outside the store, but did not speak to her.

Didn’t Leave House

Back home. Peter continued under the questioning of his attorney, he poured milk into his sister’s bottle (he said that he ordinarily uses a funnel for this job, but couldn’t find it, and poured the milk directly into the bottle, spilling much as he did so).

By 9:30 or shortly afterward, the baby was asleep, Peter said. Shortly afterward, he continued, he spoke to his brother from inside the bathroom. He went into the kitchen, washed his hands, saw that his brother was watching television in the living room and retired to his bedroom.

Under questioning, he said that he did not go down into the cellar.

“Did you leave the house and go over a barbed wire fence to any garage?” asked Goldstein.

“I did not,” answered Peter.

Quizzed by Police

He told of talking with his mother in the kitchen and of watching a late television program until he was told to go to bed.

“Did you know anything about what time Geraldine Anneee was going to come home if they were out?” asked Goldstein.

“No,” said Peter.

He explained that he often played in the area where the automobiles owned by Joseph Freund and Nader Kalliel were parked. Those cars bore fingerprints said to be his.

He described the hours he spent in the Norwood Police Station under questioning by local and state police.

“They Made Me Say It”

“Somebody brought my father in and one of them (police officers) told him I had just confessed.” he said. “He said, ‘Junior, you didn’t say this, did you?”

“And then I said. They made me say It, Dad; but what could I do? I wanted some sleep and I wanted some food and that was the only way I could get it.”

Five detectives, the boy continued, questioned him continuously.

“How many times did you tell your «story that morning?” asked Goldstein.

“Over and over again—I didn’t keep count, but I believe it was at least six times.”

Peter said that he was heckled while speaking and that he was warned not to tell “fairy stories” and was accused of having rehearsed his story.

Sgt Walter Bogdanchik said. “If I wasn’t going to tell the truth we’d stay there a week or 10 days or 10 months,” Peter said. ”1 was afraid.” he added. “They kept calling me a liar. ! felt upset and sick. Everything was swimming in my head. My sound went off. (He explained that he meant he could hear nothing.) Before I knew it I was falling across a chair.

‘‘The next thing I remember they were still asking me questions and I was saying Yes.’ ”

Upset Over Charge

He told of police officers asking him to describe a portion of Geraldine’s underwear and said that he did not know how to describe it.

“I heard somebody say. ‘We have to get an answer some way.’” Someone told him a descriptive word, he said, and he wrote it on a piece of paper. Someone took the paper away.

Goldstein asked the boy if he felt well in the courtroom today and the youth replied, “I’m a little bit upset I don’t like the way they’re accusing me of this crime I didn’t commit”

Goldstein also asked if he—Goldstein—had “ever shown Peter a book on how to get over epilepsy.”

“Yes.” answered Peter.

“Did Mr. Goldstein ever tell you to take a seizure?” asked the attorney.

“He did not. That’s impossible.” cried the boy.

Under cross-examination by Dist. Atty. Myron N. Lane, the youth said that several of his statements had been left out of the official transcripts made at the police station during his questioning.

His appearance followed the testimony of five witnesses today. They were Peter’s 14-year-old brother Richard, who continued the testimony he started yesterday; Peter’s physician, Dr. Robert W. Wallace; Norwood Junior High School teacher Robert J. O’Donnell; Catharine M. McDonough, nurse at the school, and Deputy Sheriff Edwin H. Downs.

Dr. Wallace told the court that he had treated the youth for epilepsy; the teacher and the nurse said that they had witnessed Peter having an epileptic seizure at the school in November, 1953, during which he was unconscious for 20 minutes, and Downs, who is deputy master of Dedham Jail, told of seeing Peter having another seizure there.

Downs testified that he had discussed the seizure with Peter when he recovered. The slim, 16-year-old boy told him that just before the seizure he had eaten five pounds of bananas. Downs said.

He told Downs that he had purchased the bananas on his “store order”—through the jail store.

Under cross-examination by Dist Atty. Myron N. Lane. Downs added that Peter told him that he had been discussing epilepsy with his attorney, Louis Goldstein, on the day of the seizure.

Peter further told Downs, the sheriff continued, that Goldstein had shown him a book which contained information about epilepsy, including a warning that epileptic seizures sometimes followed eating of a quantity of bananas.

Downs added that Peter said Goldstein had told him not to eat many bananas.

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