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The murder of Andre Marshall is an unsolved case in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA in 2005.

Contents

Events

In the early morning hours of September 18, 2005, a motorist passing the intersection of Bridgeport's East Avenue and Poplar Street spotted a strange object suspended from the intersection's power and traffic pole. Police arrived on scene to find the battered body of a teenager hung from the neck with barbed wire. The body was identified as 17 year old Andre Marshall. The medical examiner determined Marshall had been beaten badly before being suspended from the power pole sometime around 3 a.m..

Investigation

Connecticut State Police and the FBI's Organized Crime Unit from the Hartford Field Office opened the investigation. A request for the public to give information was met by a resident of East Avenue who on the night of the 18th had witnessed "two white kids in hoodies running through the backyard". Police turned the investigation towards Marshall's alleged gang connections, linking him with the city's "Trey Eight Spliffs", a gang known to be involved in drug distribution. From interviews with Marshall's associates, the FBI gathered that at the time of his murder Marshall had been dealing with an East End gang known in the area as the East 84s, a group believed by the state police to control much of the flow of drugs from Bridgeport into the surrounding towns of north Fairfield County. Suspecting that Marshall had been beaten and killed over an exchange gone wrong, the police began rounding up suspected members of the East 84s for interrogation.

The Weston connection

On October 4, 2006, the police investigation led them to two youths in the small North Fairfield town of Weston, Connecticut, a semi-rural community of 10,000 several miles south of Bridgeport. The two Weston High School students, both 17, were rigorously questioned by State Police and FBI, but not charged and released the same day. The two were believed to be members of the East 84s, which was being subjected to increased scrutiny as the case continued. The FBI's VICAP folder included dossiers on at least six members of the gang, whose claim to fame was being one of the largest all-white Irish street gangs in the Fairfield County area, excluding the ever-present Italian mob presence in Bridgeport and nearby Danbury. The next day a grand jury was convened to consider the evidence against the two teenagers, whose named were withheld "for reasons of public interest". Attorney John Shannon, hired to represent one of the teens, responded with a motion to dismiss the charges before the boys were even formally arraigned. A Federal Judge dismissed the charges in lieu of lack of evidence, with the FBI producing only the words and rumors of convicted gangsters to back up the investigation. Judge Peter Andreyevitch was quoted in the Connecticut Post as saying "The burden of proof only increases in proportion with the magnitude of the crime, not the other way around".

The investigation stalls

With the dismissal of charges against the two East 84 gang members from Weston, the investigation became bogged down in conflicting testimony from members of the local criminal underworld. Marshall's associates in the Trey Eight Spliffs were increasingly looked at as having had involvement in the killing of Marshall. The police officer in charge was replaced with another agent from the Hartford Field Office, and the state police turned the investigation over to local law enforcement. On several occasions, the Marshall family attempted to have the case re-examined, and while it remains open to this day the murder is one of New England's most puzzling crimes.

Sources

  • Gale, Francis. "Horrific Murder Shocks Bridgeport" The Connecticut Register, September 19, 2005, Volume IX, Issue XLII
  • News12 CT Re-Broadcast, November 18, 2006.
  • Regis, Allan, ed. Encyclopedia of 21st Century Crime New York; HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.
  • Swift, Archie and Volstok, Ivan. The New Dockets: 50 Cases The People Never Tried, Amherst, MA, UMASS Press, 2006.







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