Family of Brockton mother found burned alive still seeking answers 20 years later

BROCKTON, Mass — It’s been 20 years to the day since Melissa Shaw’s mother, Linda Dotolo Connors, was found dead.

“To not know 20 years ago, every nook and cranny of what happened to my mom just kills,” said Shaw.

Police found her body burned on Yarmouth Ave in Brockton that night with a lighter on the sidewalk.

“What I do remember was watching the news and seeing a body under a sheet,” said Shaw.

Two decades later and this family still wants to know how this happened.

Investigators say the manner of Linda’s death was “undetermined” since there was no evidence of any accelerant on her body.

But Shaw believes her mother was murdered.

“I mean I have a hunch and I think I know, but thinking and actually knowing are two different things,” said Shaw.

No one has been arrested in connection to Linda’s death.

Her body was found right across the street from the house she was living in with her husband at the time.

“How painful it must have felt if she was conscious,” said Shaw.

According to the autopsy the cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, indicating Linda was alive when she was burned.

Her husband, George Connors, was also home at the time. He told Boston 25 News in 2019 he spoke with police several times about the case, but he was never charged.

“I still have hope, I have a lot of anger, but I still have hope,” said Shaw.

Shaw says even decades later, she’s holding out hope that her mother’s cold case will be solved.

“My grandmother is 88 years old, and she says I’m not going until I know what happened to Linda,” said Shaw.

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