Essex County

New England’s Unsolved: New information in the murder of John and Geraldine Magee

ANDOVER, Mass. — It was a double murder that shocked the Merrimack Valley town of Andover.

On the morning of December 14th, 2011, John and Geraldine Magee were found shot to death in the living room of their sprawling home on Orchard Crossing.

The couple’s brand-new Lexus SUV was found more than 20 miles away, in Boston’s North End, where the vehicle was torched on the inside.

The 12 years since the murders have produced much speculation about the case, but no one has ever been charged. Now the Essex County District Attorney is taking a fresh look at the case.

“Why is this case so hard so difficult to solve?” Boston 25 News reporter Bob Ward asked D.A. Paul Tucker.

“I think just the very nature of it, that it was behind closed doors, that we’ve run down so many different leads, a number of things that have that have just been dead ends,” Tucker said.

Most people knew the coupe simply as Jack and Jeri. Jeri was a retired Billerica school teacher. John Magee spent his working life building houses in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The couple was devoted to their children and grandchildren.

At the time of their murders, the Magees were preparing for a big Christmas celebration. The Magee’s two children, John, Jr. and Holly Senykoff, until now, have refused to speak to the media.

But they did talk to Bob Ward about their parents and their case. For family and privacy reasons, they did not go on camera.

John Magee, Jr. was in the business with his father. He said that on December 13, 2011, he was in the house with both of his parents until about 4 p.m. He said everything seemed normal with his parents.

Holly said she talked to her mom on the phone at around 4:40 p.m. on December 13. She said they made plans to drop off her two young children in the morning so she could go Christmas shopping. But Holly said her mother did not greet her the next morning. When she stepped inside the house, she noticed her parents’ TV was blaring, and their dog was irritated.

Holly’s young daughter ran into the living room and found Jack and Jeri. Holly said there was a lot of blood on the floor. She instinctively grabbed her children, called 911, and ran outside.

In our interview, Holly said there were some strange things out of place that she noticed that morning. She noticed the front door was locked, and it was never locked when the Magees knew family was coming over. She said the garage door was open and the light in the garage was still on. And she said the leash the couple used for their little dog, Treasure, was out on a kitchen island. Holly said her mother kept a tidy house and she always put things away.

D.A. Paul Tucker told me there were no signs of forced entry into the house and nothing was stolen. The DA also revealed new information about the weapon used to kill the Magees.

“We know that it was a .45 caliber. We think it probably might be an older weapon, in terms of the firearm. But it’s a .45 caliber firearm,” Tucker said.

Investigators are also taking another look at the couple’s Lexus SUV found at 126 Prince St in Boston. D.A. Tucker tells me police are trying to identify a man seen with the car in the North End.

“What we had was a very basic description,” D.A. Tucker said. “We know that it was a male of average height, average size. We don’t really know anything else beyond that, but that person definitely walked away from the vehicle.”

The area where the SUV was located, 126 Prince Street, is only a block away from 98 Prince Street, the one time headquarters of the Angiulo Crime Family. John and Holly said their family had no connection to the North End and would only occasionally visit the area for an Italian meal.

Why was the SUV driven to Boston and why was it parked in a notorious neighborhood? Was it staged to look like the murder of the Magees was somehow connected to the mob?

No one knows.

John Jr. said the family construction business was in great shape, and there were no complaints or disagreements with customers, suppliers, or former employees.

“What we know is that, Jack McGee was a successful businessman,” D.A. Tucker said. “We know that his son had a nice, strong role in the construction business as well. They had built a number of homes around the area, and the investigators looked very deeply into the business practices and were unable to find anything that looked like it might have had an impact on the case at hand.”

Investigators are also working on a timeline of the Magee Murders. It appears they were killed not long after John and Holly last talked to their parents.

John Jr. said he left the house sometime after 4 p.m. and headed home to Somerville.

Holly said their parents were wearing regular street clothes when they were killed, they had not yet changed into their pajamas.

The burning SUV was found in the North End at about 10:30 p.m.

The drive from their home to Prince Street takes about an hour, which means the Magees were likely killed no later than 9:30 p.m. on December 13, 2011.

D.A. Tucker is hoping that after all this time, someone will come forward with new information to help move this stubborn investigation forward.

“If somebody saw the vehicle driving away (Orchard Crossing), it’s a close, tight knit neighborhood,” DA Tucker said. “If somebody has a thought on the weapon itself, a potentially older .45 caliber firearm. If somebody has a thought about that, or if they saw something in the neighborhood. If somebody in the North End got a better look at the vehicle. It’s a tight neighborhood that’s densely packed. If somebody saw the individual that stepped out of the Lexus prior to the fire beginning. If somebody saw any of that, it would be extremely helpful.”

Both John and Holly are desperate for answers. They cannot think of anyone who had a serious issue with their parents.

“It would not bring them back,” Holly Senykoff said. “But it would close a difficult chapter of our lives and bring justice to what happened. I hate that whoever did this has gotten away with this all these years. You can’t get away with something like this.”

“Whoever did this had time to be with their families and loved ones, something that was taken away from us. Justice should be done,” John Magee, Jr. said.

If you have any information that could help bring the killer or killers of the Magees to justice, contact the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Essex County DA’s Office at: (978)-745-8908.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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