New England’s Unsolved: The disappearance of Dorothy Goroshko

How can a woman and her car just disappear into thin air?

New England?s Unsolved: The disappearance of Dorothy Goroshko

DEDHAM, Mass. — Last week, Dorothy Goroshko should have turned 85 years old.

Instead, the single mother of three is lost, possibly forever, and has been for 45 years.

Dorothy Goroshko was last seen on June 4, 1975. Both Dorothy and her car, a 1970 Ford Maverick, are missing.

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How does that happen?

For Dorothy’s three sons, left to raise themselves in Brighton, the unsettling questions haunt them every day.

“Where’s my mother?” Rick Goroshko asks. “That’s been in the back of my mind every day for the last 40 years.”

Recently, Dorothy Goroshko’s three sons, Rick, John, and Anthony, sat down with me in Dedham at our Boston 25 studios to talk about the case.

They tell me when their mother didn’t come home, they tried to immediately to file a missing person report with Boston police. They were told to come back in 48 hours. And when they did, on a Friday, they were told to come back after the weekend and file the paperwork.

Dorothy Goroshko's missing car in a police flier.
Dorothy Goroshko's missing car in a police flier. (Police image)

Attitudes about missing people were vastly different in the mid-1970s.

“None of us knew where she was,” Rick Goroshko explains. “We were hoping for the best. But fearing what was going on, and where she was and when is she coming back?”

The Boston Police Department did look into Dorothy Goroshko’s case back in the 1970s, but nothing turned up. Today, the BPD’s Cold Case Unit is taking a fresh look.

The Dorothy Goroshko case is a homicide investigation.

“I think she was killed,” Boston Police Sgt. Detective William Doogan tells me. “Whitey Bulger couldn’t stay hidden with all his money. She didn’t have two nickels to her name.”

Boston Police have been able to last place Dorothy Goroshko in the North Station area of Boston, near the old Boston Garden.

On the night of June 4, 1975, Dorothy was out drinking with girl friends at a bar once known as the Penalty Box on Causeway Street.

There are possible other sightings later in the night at a place called Sansone, which was located directly across the street from the Penalty Box, and finally at an after-hours bar called the Coliseum, near Haymarket.

Dorothy’s girlfriends told police at the end of the night they said their goodbyes and nothing seemed wrong.

If Dorothy Goroshko did go to Sansone’s and the Coliseum, and it’s not clear that she did, it appears she went alone. No one remembers her being with anyone.

That’s an important fact.

As Boston Police continue to look into this case, they are taking a hard look at Dorothy’s boyfriend, a convicted felon named John “Jack” Boulton.

John Boulton in an old mugshot.
John Boulton in an old mugshot. (Police image)

Recently Boulton told Boston Police in an interview that he and Dorothy were out drinking that night. The night ended in Brighton, where the two got into a big fight and broke up the relationship.

Boulton said he walked home from Brighton to his family home in Roslindale and Dorothy Goroshko followed him in her car (the car that’s missing) yelling at him and trying to hit him with the vehicle. Boulton claimed when he got to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, he cut through the park to get away from her, and never saw her again.

Sgt. Doogan tells me that story does not match up with the evidence of Dorothy’s last night.

“That’s part of the problem, we don’t have enough information,” Sgt. Doogan said.

And there’s more to John Boulton. His criminal record, that I’ve been able to verify, stretches back to 1960 for an Armed Robbery conviction in Jacksonville, Florida. It includes a Manslaughter conviction for a case in Marshfield in 1966, and another Armed Robbery in Massachusetts in 1970.

When Dorothy Goroshko vanished, Boulton was incarcerated at MCI Norfolk, where he had a work release at Medfield State Hospital, and he was granted prison furloughs. It was during these furloughs that Dorothy’s sons would see him at their Brighton home.

They did not like John Boulton. They tell me they witnessed him mistreating their mother.

“He was a brutal, mean, S.O.B,” Rick Goroshko tells me.

Going back to his conviction record there is one case that stands out: the manslaughter.

On New Year’s Eve 1965 into 1966, John Boulton lived in Marshfield with a woman he married after getting out of a Florida prison. She had a two-year-old daughter, Mary Jane Boulton, from a previous marriage, living with her.

On that night, the baby disappeared. Boulton told police the child was missing.

Once the investigation began, it didn’t take long for the child’s mother to tell police that her husband, John Boulton, beat the girl to death. She said she was with Boulton, a few miles away in Marshfield, when Boulton buried Mary Jane.

John Boulton with a headline from his manslaughter trial.
John Boulton with a headline from his manslaughter trial. (Police image)

John Boulton was arrested and was ultimately convicted of Manslaughter for Mary Jane’s death. He served a few years and was released.

Nine years after Mary Jane’s disappearance and death, Dorothy Goroshko disappeared and is missing to this day. Are the two cases connected?

John Boulton is 79 years old. After Dorothy disappeared, and after he was released from prison for the Armed Robberies, it appears he stayed out of trouble. Recently he lived in Franklin and Bellingham. That’s where Sgt. Detective Doogan recently interviewed John Boulton.

“He denies having any knowledge of what happened to Dorothy,” Doogan said.

In December, I tracked John Boulton down to his new home in Florida.

I tried, many times, to reach him, but my messages were not returned.

Until January, when he picked up the phone.

Boulton told me about the long walk from Brighton to Roslindale. He talked about Dorothy following him with the car, trying to hit him.

He told me that event was the last time he saw Dorothy, but it wasn’t the night she went missing.

He said he heard about Dorothy’s disappearance at MCI Norfolk when, suddenly, his work release job was suspended. He said he couldn’t understand why.

About a week later, the job was restored.

He also told me, he never checked on Dorothy’s boys to see how they were coping with life without their mother.

Here is what John Boulton said to me, when I reached him at his new home in Florida: “Bob, I had nothing to do with it. Whatever ‘it’ is. I don’t know what ‘it’ is. I had nothing to do with Dorothy’s disappearance, or what happened to her. I have no idea. I wish I did. I wish I could have put some enlightenment on it to ease the burden on her three boys.”

In June 1975, something happened to Dorothy Goroshko.

Neither Boston Police, nor her sons believe Dorothy willingly ran off.

And they don’t believe she is still alive.

Back in Boston, Dorothy Goroshko’s three sons are left with a lifetime of suspicions and pain. They are desperate to know the truth.

“Someone knows something and we're hoping to find out what that is.

We want to give our mom a proper burial,” Rick Goroshko said.

If you have any information about what happened to Dorothy Goroshko, call Boston Police Crime Stoppers at 1-800-494-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.

NEW ENGLAND'S UNSOLVED