• New England's Unsolved: The murder of Michelet Cadet

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    Twenty-one years have passed since Michelet Cadet, a young man whose life once held so much promise, was found shot on the floor of his mother's kitchen in Lawrence.

    There is still no arrest in the case. 

    Recently, Boston 25 News reporter Bob Ward walked through the kitchen where Michelet was killed, and sat at dining room table with Michelet's family, to talk about the events of January 22, 1998, for our New England's Unsolved series. 

    Michelet's mother, Nora Williams, moved to the Lawrence from Haiti to give her family a better life. She still lives in the same house where her son was killed. Indeed, Nora still fixes meals in the same room where Michelet left this world. 

    I'm not sure I could live with that constant reminder, thinking about his last moments.

    But Nora has found strength in a different way. 

    When I asked her about it, Nora said to me, "I'm not scared to stay in my house. I'm not afraid. I believe in God. When you believe in God, you don't have to be scared." 

    But Nora and her family are searching for answers. They want to know who killed Michelet. They want answers.

    "I want to get that person," Nora told me. "I  want to see before I die, and he has to pay for it."

    Michelet Cadet was 23 years old when he was killed. 

    But when he was younger, when he was a high school student, Michelet was known in Lawrence for his basketball skills.

    Samuel Pierre was Michelet's cousin and he grew up with Michelet in the same house. 

    I asked Sam what made Michelet such a gifted basketball player? 

    "Ball handling," he quickly answered. "The way he handled the ball was next level."

    As recently as 2014, the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, in its feature story covering 40 years of the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic, still remembered  Michelet playing against his brother Patrick, calling the game a "great on-court family feud," and it described Michelet and Patrick as "undersized blurs. Michelet scored 25 points in that game. 

    Michelet Cadet's killer struck in the middle of the morning on January 22, 1998. 

    Nora called Michelet from work at about 8 a.m. She wanted to know if his younger brothers and sisters got to school without any trouble. He told them they did. 

    By 10 a.m., the family was being told there was trouble at home. 

    Michelet's family firmly believes this was no random act of violence, that Michelet must have known his killer. 

    They tell me, the kitchen door, which is entered from the end of a driveway that runs the length of the house, was found open. 

    Michelet was found crumpled on the floor, bleeding, just inside the open door. 

    The family believes Michelet's killer must have been familiar with the layout of the house to use the back door to get inside. 

    The question is, who? 

    Andres Gonzalez was a childhood friend with Michelet. He too is searching for answers, and so far, nothing makes any sense. 

    "We were all good kids who did dumb stuff, just like any young kids did, " Andres told me. "But nothing major. He wasn't into anything super heavy."

    Sam Pierre agrees.

    "We were more like guys who would go to parties and basketball games. We weren't the troublemakers, the typical guys who run around and do crazy things, " Sam said.

    Nora Williams’ faith has sustained her since Michelet was murdered. But she still longs for justice, she wants the truth.

    Twenty years after Michelet was killed in her home, Nora's heart is still broken.

    "I didn't know if I had enemies. I think everybody loves me. I didn't know I have enemies. Now I do know I have enemies because they kill my son right in the kitchen floor, " Nora said.

    If you have information that could help solve the Michelet Cadet Murder case, please call the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Essex County District Attorney's Office at (978)745-8908. 


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