CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The heartbroken family of a 60-year-old Cambridge man beaten to death in a park nearly two years ago is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment.
Investigators believe Paul Wilson stopped in at his Cambridge condominium after returning from work on Jan. 2, 2019, before he headed out to grab dinner shortly before 7 p.m.
“The worst part of a crime like this is we don’t know why someone would pick Paul,” Wilson’s sister Elizabeth Dobbins told Boston 25 News Thursday. “Why they would pick Paul, what they were looking for.”
“Why would someone be assaulted and not robbed?” added Elizabeth’s husband Ephraim Dobbins, who was Wilson’s best friend and had exchanged text messages with him just two hours before. “Why would they pick someone at random who’s a six-foot-six male who’s in good shape?”
At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, Wilson was an unlikely victim of what appears to have been a random attack.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan urged anyone with any piece of information about the homicide, no matter how trivial it seems, to come forward and provide their confidential tip to investigators.
“We have, since that time [of the crime], done an enormous amount of work on this case, gathering forensic evidence, interviewing witnesses, and we have not been able to develop enough evidence to make an arrest,” Ryan said. “We urge people to come forward with anything you might have noticed… What people don’t understand is, given the information we already have, that one little piece they have may be the last piece that we need to get to some resolution.”
Wilson’s tall stature matched his larger-than-life personality, his sister said. He was a successful software engineer who had worked for IBM for about 30 years, as well as an amateur astronomer and a friend to everyone – from childhood classmates to people he had only met once – his family said.
Each day without him and without answers is agonizing for the family. Finally knowing what happened to him would not only provide justice for Wilson but also much-needed closure for his sister and brother-in-law.
“He was a people person, he really was. And he was the nicest guy,” Elizabeth Dobbins said. “My brother could be anyone’s brother. He was just a good guy. He had a good heart. We’re very hopeful that someone finds it in themselves to come forward.”
Ryan hopes the reward not only incentivizes people to come forward but also jogs people’s memory.
On the night of his death, Wilson was wearing shorts, a red winter coat, a winter hat and gloves. It was a cold January night, but based on the time frame and the location of his body near the Danehy Park parking lot, it is likely several people had traveled in that area.
Anyone with information is urged to call 781-897-6600, or Cambridge police at 617-349-3121.
© 2020 Cox Media Group