• New England's Unsolved: The murder of Richard King

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    BOSTON - 22-year old Richard King died a violent death on July 31, 2011. 

    At about 4:40AM, King was found at 25 Trotter Court near Lenox Street, stabbed multiple times. 

    Richard King bled to death before anyone could help him. 

    In 2014, three years after Richard's murder, Melinda Tharps, Richard's mother, asked me if I could profile her son's case on New England's Unsolved. 

    We did. 

    And now five years later we are taking another look at the case.

    There are many victims in an unsolved murder like Richard's; loved ones and friends are left to deal with raw emotions that never heal. 

    And it is no different for Melinda Tharps. 

    Melinda has a special room in her house where she feels close to her son. Melinda often retreats there and feels his presence.

    Richard himself smiles at Melinda from framed pictures, and from a nearby photo album. 

    On a bookshelf Melinda keeps her Bible and her prayer study books.

    The room bring Melinda much needed peace in the face of unimaginable grief. 

    "My faith is getting me through this, absolutely," Melinda recently told me. 

    Richard King was murdered in an area notorious for violence in 2011. 

    As far as Melinda knew, her son was not in a gang.

    But gang violence and drug activity was all around Trotter Court at the time. And today, eight years later, it's still not known why Richard King was there.

    Earlier in the night, Richard and his cousin were drinking at a club in the Theatre District. 

    After starting to walk home for a few blocks, Richard's cousin caught a cab and Richard kept walking towards his house in Dorchester. 

    He never made it. 

    In 2014, Boston Police Homicide Detective Michael Walsh described for me the bloody scene that investigators found. Richard was stabbed multiple times, and by the time first responders arrived, Richard was already gone. 

    "It was personal, " Detective Walsh told me in 2014.  "He was stabbed multiple times. There's a reason for them to do that. It's wasn't just a robbery."

    But who wanted to kill Richard King? What problem ignited this carnage? 

    It's something that still troubles investigators. 

    And its weighing heavily on Melinda Tharps' mind. 

    She is hungry for justice.

    But she told me her faith is leading her to a better place. 

    "The person or people responsible for my son's death? I already forgave them," Melinda told me.

    If you know anything about the Murder of Richard King, call Boston Police Crime Stoppers at 1.800.494.TIPS


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