The former leader of a Satanic cult, who admitted to murder for the death of Karen Marsden on Feb. 8, 1980, was ordered returned to prison after a parole officer determined Murphy violated the parole she won on May 3, 2004.
Murphy was charged with associating with a known criminal on July 19. State Police, working a stake-out as part of an unrelated investigation, stopped the car Murphy was in and found Murphy in the presence of a convicted felon.
As a condition of her parole, Murphy is prohibited from associating with known criminals. She is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole, so that prohibition will last for the rest of her life.
“She got a provisional revocation of parole by a hearing examiner,” said Caitlin Casey with the Massachusetts Parole Board. “The next step is a hearing with a board member.”
The parole board member will make a recommendation to the full board on Sept. 29. The board will then decide if it will revoke Murphy’s parole.
Murphy was 17 in 1980 when Fall River Police began investigating the murder of Karen Marsden, who died on Feb. 8, 1980.
Paul Carey, now retired, was a detective sergeant then. He tied that murder to two earlier killings, the murders of Doreen Levesque and Barbara Ann Raposa in 1979 and 1980. Both women had a history of working as prostitutes, police said.
The investigation led Carey’s team to Murphy. When they began to question her, Murphy made a deal with the district attorney and got moved to protective custody as a cooperating witness.
Murphy turned state’s evidence and testified for the prosecution, eventually helping convict her former friends, Carl Drew and Andre Maltais, of Marsden’s murder. The murder of Levesque was never officially resolved. Ronald Pina was district attorney at the time.
Murphy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for Marsden’s death and was given immunity for other crimes in return for her testimony. She recanted her testimony in 1984 in an unsuccessful bid for a new trial.
Carey said he never believed Murphy’s testimony that she had nothing to do with the murder of Levesque and Raposa and was merely a bystander when Marsden was killed.
“She was involved in all three murders,” Carey stated Friday. “Robin is smarter than most, and she can manipulate people, including the DA (district attorney).
“She testified for them and got a free walk on this. I felt badly that she was out on parole. I feel she is a danger to society, still. She shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets.”
Murphy was granted parole and subsequently was hired by Suzanne Bump, the state auditor.
She was working for the state in Quincy until her arrest, sources report.
Fall River Police began investigating a serial killing in early 1980 after Marsden’s body, which had been decapitated, was found in the woods.
The investigation lead detectives to Murphy, who told them of a Satanic cult, with the murders part of ritualistic sacrifice by the group.
Murphy testified against Drew, who still maintains his innocence in all of the murders. He is serving a life sentence. Maltais was convicted of two of the murders. He died in prison.
Wendy Alves, the sister of Karen Marsden, said she was notified by District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office when Murphy was arrested and ordered back into prison.
“I’m just glad, this time, no one else was hurt,” Alves said. “This time, she only hurt herself.”
Alves said she will be following the parole board’s actions. Carey, the detective, said the same.
He also suggested the case still had life.
There is no statute of limitations on murder, Carey noted.
“The Doreen Levesque case was never solved, and Robin recanted her testimony, so she no longer has immunity for that crime,” Carey said.
He said advances in forensic science, especially in the use of DNA, give him hope that the Levesque murder could be solved some day.
“If Doreen was exhumed, and they got DNA from that body, maybe we could go ahead with a new prosecution,” Carey said. “It is definitely something to think about.”