The Boston Globe - 31.08.2019

(Joyce) #1

AUGUST 31, 2019


Today is Saturday, Aug. 31, the
243rd day of 2019. There are
122 days left in the year.
ºBirthdays: Japanese monster
movie actor Katsumi Tezuka
(“Godzilla”) is 107. Singer Van
Morrison is 74. Actor Richard
Gere is 70. Rock musician Gina
Schock (The Go-Go’s) is 62.
Rock musician Jeff Russo (Ton-
ic) is 50. Actor Zack Ward is 49.
Actress Sara Ramirez is 44.
ºIn 1888, Mary Ann Nichols,
believed to be the first victim of
‘‘Jack the Ripper,’’ was found
slain in London’s East End.

ºIn 1935, President Franklin
D. Roosevelt signed an act pro-
hibiting the export of US arms
to belligerents.
ºIn 1939, the first issue of
Marvel Comics, featuring the
Human Torch, was published
by Timely Publications in New
ºIn 1969, boxer Rocky Marcia-
no died in a light airplane crash
in Iowa, a day before his 46th
ºIn 1972, at the Munich Sum-
mer Olympics, American swim-
mer Mark Spitz won his fourth
and fifth gold medals in the
100-meter butterfly and 800-
meter freestyle relay; Soviet
gymnast Olga Korbut won gold
medals in floor exercise and the
balance beam.
ºIn 1980, Poland’s Solidarity
labor movement was born with

an agreement signed in Gdansk
that ended a 17-day-old strike.
ºIn 1986, 82 people were
killed when an Aeromexico jet-
liner and a small private plane
collided over Cerritos, Califor-
nia. The Soviet passenger ship
Admiral Nakhimov collided
with a merchant vessel in the
Black Sea, causing both to sink;
up to 448 people reportedly
ºIn 1989, Britain’s Princess
Anne and her husband, Cap-
tain Mark Phillips, announced
they were separating after 15
years of marriage.
ºIn 1992, white separatist
Randy Weaver surrendered to
authorities in Naples, Idaho,
ending an 11-day siege by fed-
eral agents that had claimed
the lives of Weaver’s wife, son
and a deputy US marshal.
(Weaver was acquitted of mur-
der and all other charges in
connection with the confronta-
tion; he was convicted of failing
to appear for trial on firearms
charges and was sentenced to
18 months in prison but given
credit for 14 months he’d al-
ready served.)
ºIn 1994, the Irish Republican
Army declared a cease-fire.
Russia officially ended its mili-
tary presence in the former
East Germany and the Baltics
after half a century.
ºIn 1997, Prince Charles
brought Princess Diana home
for the last time, escorting the
body of his former wife to a
Britain that was shocked, grief-
stricken and angered by her
death in a Paris traffic accident
earlier that day.
ºIn 2009, extremely danger-
ous and strengthening Hurri-
cane Jimena roared toward
Mexico’s resort-studded Baja
California Peninsula. Walt Dis-

ney Co. announced it was ac-
quiring comic book giant Mar-
vel Entertainment for $4 bil-
ºIn 2014, on the Sunday talk
shows, leaders of the House
and Senate intelligence com-
mittees prodded President Ba-
rack Obama to take decisive ac-
tion against what they said
were growing threats from Is-
lamic State militants on US
ºIn 2017, rescuers began a
block-by-block search of tens of
thousands of Houston homes,
looking for anyone who might
have been left behind in the
floodwaters from Hurricane
Harvey. The scope of the fake
accounts scandal at Wells Far-
go expanded, with the bank
now saying 3.5 million ac-
counts may have been opened
without customers’ permis-
ºLast year, at a memorial in
the US Capitol Rotunda, con-
gressional leaders saluted the
late Arizona Republican Sena-
tor John McCain as a model of
service in war and peace and
‘‘one of the bravest souls our
nation has ever produced.’’ Are-
tha Franklin, the ‘‘Queen of
Soul,’’ was laid to rest after an
eight-hour funeral at a Detroit
church, where guests included
Bill and Hillary Clinton, the
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Stevie Won-
der, and Smokey Robinson.
Serena Williams scored her
most lopsided victory ever
against her sister Venus, win-
ning a third-round match at
the US Open, 6-1, 6-2. Educa-
tion Secretary Betsy DeVos said
she had ‘‘no intention of taking
any action’’ regarding any pos-
sible use of federal money to
arm teachers or provide them
with firearms training.

This day in history

By Sarah Wu
Fred Muhammad thought
he made the right choice by up-
rooting himself and his three
sons from Philadelphia for a life
in Boston, where he hoped they
would have a more peaceful fu-
“Dorchester is rough, but it’s
not like North Philly,” Muham-
mad said. “I felt like they were a
little safer here.”
He did what he could as a
single father to keep them out
of trouble. He sent the oldest off
second to study architecture.
And when his youngest, Aquil
H. Muhammad, graduated
from Dorchester’s TechBoston
Academy in 2018, the father
praised him on Facebook.
“When u look back over the
yrs and realize all the hard
work was definitely worth it,’’
he wrote.
Now the pride has turned to
pain as Aquil’s family, peers,
and mentors are reeling over
his death. The 18-year-old was
shot on Aug. 6 and died two
days later, becoming the city’s
youngest homicide victim in
2019 to date.
“I never expected this for my
child,” said Muhammad, his
eyes welling up with tears, dur-
ing an interview at the Louis D.
Brown Peace Institute in Dor-
chester, where he sought grief
The shooting occurred
around 1:30 a.m. near 46 Wild-
wood St. in Mattapan, about an
11-minute walk from where
Aquil’s family lived. The tan tri-
ple-decker’s clapboard shows at
least three bullet holes — from
a shooting prior to Aquil’s, a
neighbor said.
The circumstances around
his murder remain unclear.
Boston police and Suffolk Dis-
trict Attorney Rachael Rollins’s
office declined to disclose fur-
ther information on the active
Rollins linked Aquil to other
victims of gun violence in Bos-
“Kendrick Price. Eleanor
Maloney. Luckinson Oruma.
Aquil Muhammad. Each mur-
der is a tragedy, bringing un-
thinkable pain and hurt to the
loved ones and communities
left to pick up the pieces,” Roll-

ins said in a statement. “And
when a young person is taken
before they have the chance to
make their way in our world,
the pain experienced can feel
even more extreme.”
According to court records,
Aquil and a juvenile allegedly
tried to rob a 55-year-old man
at knifepoint in the MBTA’s An-
drew Station on Feb. 27. His fa-
ther claimed it was an act of
self-defense. The charge of as-
sault with a dangerous weapon
was pending in South Boston
Municipal Court at the time of
his death, court records show.
But that allegation appeared
out of character for Aquil, who
arrived in Boston at the cusp of
adolescence, and over the next
six years built an admiring
crowd of supporters nearly ev-
erywhere he went. Aquil was
known as “KD” because of his
likeness to Kevin Durant, the
NBA star. He had a brilliant
smile and a tendency to laugh.
His supporters include
Ruthie Lydon, his guidance
counselor at TechBoston Acade-
my for three years. She recalled
Aquil’s compassion after she
lost twin boys late in pregnancy.
“At 15 years old, he would ask
me, ‘Are you OK? I know you’re
sad. I’m sorry,’” Lydon said.
“Very rarely does a teenager ask
how you’re doing.”
Aquil’s desire to help others
drew the attention of adults
whose lives intersected with
Andrea Baez, former execu-
tive director of the Dorchester
YMCA, described Aquil’s death
as inexplicable and a great loss.
“When you think about the
hundreds and hundreds of
young people we served at the
Dorchester Y, he never would

have come to mind as someone
who would lose his life to gun
violence,” said Baez. “He was
extraordinary, but he was a reg-
ular good kid.”
Alex Bezek, the branch’s
teen director, said his first
memory of Aquil was of him
playing basketball.
“Over the last couple of
years, if somebody newer
would come to the Y, especially
the younger ones, he would
look out for them. He would
play one-on-one with them and
shoot hoops,” he said.
Bezek said that he and Aquil
had “long conversations about
things we could change in the
community — things that he
felt subject to: violence in the
community, police brutality,
lack of opportunities for boys
and girls of color.”
Khailiah Williams, Aquil’s
scribed him as everyone’s “hype
“I would put myself down,
but he would be the one to
boost me up,” Williams said.
Williams said Aquil strug-
gled to figure out his next steps,
but had dreams for the future.
He declined an offer to attend
Bunker Hill Community Col-
lege, and wavered on whether
to enroll in the Year Up training
and internship program, which
had accepted him, she said.
“At first, we talked about
opening a school together for
all black kids. He also wanted to
open up another business for
customizing shoes. He wanted
to open up a lot of businesses,”
she said.
The day his son was cremat-
ed, Fred Muhammad returned
to work. The next day, he deliv-
ered a royal blue urn to the fu-
neral home where Aquil’s me-
morial would be held.
Blue was Aquil’s favorite col-

Sarah Wu can be reached at Follow
her on Twitter at @sarah_wu_.
Anyone with information about
the killing of Aquil Muhammad
is asked to call Boston police
homicide detectives at 617-343-

  1. Anyone wishing to leave
    an anonymous tip can call
    CrimeStoppers at 1-800-494-
    TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to

Dorchester teen youngest

homicide victim this year

Aquil Muhammad with his
father at his graduation
from TechBoston Academy.

By Emily Sweeney
Fifty years ago Saturday,
Rocky Marciano died in a
plane crash in Iowa.
It was the day before his
46th birthday, and the news of
his death came as a shock to
everyone, especially those who
knew him in his hometown of
Marciano’s career as a pro-
fessional boxer was picture-
perfect, with a record of 49
and 0. After winning the
heavyweight world champion-
ship in 1952, he successfully
defended the title for four
years and became the only
world heavyweight champ to
retire undefeated.
“It seems like yesterday,”
his younger brother, Peter
Marciano, 78, said in a tele-
phone interview Friday. “As a
family, we’re very proud of
what he was able to accom-
plish. It’s nice to know he’s still
If he were still alive today,
Marciano — otherwise known
as the “Brockton Blockbuster”
— would be turning 96 Sun-
Marciano was born Rocco
Francis Marchegiano on Sept.
1, 1923. He grew up in Brock-
ton and was the oldest of six
children (three boys and three
girls). Their father, Pierino,
worked at a shoe factory. As a
boy he played baseball and
football, and he didn’t start
boxing until the 1940s, when
he got drafted into the Army.
After serving in the Army,
Marciano tried out for the Chi-
cago Cubs as a catcher in

  1. When he didn’t make

the team, he began to focus on
boxing, according to the biog-
raphy on his website. “It was
the end of his baseball dreams,
and the following year he
turned professional in the
ring,” the website states. “By
thespringof 194 9,hisboxing
skills had garnered some at-
tention, as he knocked out his
first 16 opponents.”
On Sept. 23, 1952, Marcia-
no beat Jersey Joe Walcott to
win the heavyweight title.
“Marciano pulled out a vic-
tory which would be remem-
bered as typical of his tough-
guy, never-say-die style: Way
behind in points and strug-
gling offensively all night, he
caught Walcott with a short,
overhand right on the jaw in

the 13th round which knocked
him unconscious, giving Mar-
ciano the championship belt,”
the website states.
Marciano successfully de-
fended the title for the next
four years. His last fight was
against Archie Moore on Sept.
21, 1955, at Yankee Stadium
in New York. He knocked out
Moore in the ninth round.
Marciano retired from box-
ing on April 27, 1956, at the
age of 31.
“In the ring, I never really
knew fear,” Marciano once

Emily Sweeney can be reached
Follow her on Twitter

Remembering Marciano,

50 years after his death

Rocky Marciano retired from boxing in1956, at the age of

  1. Above, Marciano with his mother, Lena Marchegiano.

By Emily Sweeney
Three people were shot in
Jamaica Plain late Thursday
and early Friday, but none of
their injuries were considered
to be life-threatening, accord-
ing to Boston police.
Officer James Moccia, a
spokesman for the Boston Po-
lice Department, said police re-
sponded to the first shooting at
11:52 p.m. Thursday and found

a man and a woman suffering
from gunshot wounds at 297
Centre St. in Jamaica Plain. The
woman’s injury was minor and
appeared to be a graze wound,
he said.
Police responded to the sec-
ond shooting at 1:10 a.m. Fri-
day. Moccia said ballistics evi-
dence was found at 14 South
Huntington Ave. and the male
victim was taken to the hospital
for treatment.

Boston police also were in-
vestigating a shooting in Matta-
pan Thursday evening that left
a man with non-life-threaten-
ing injuries. The man was shot
at 10 Caddy Road at 6:08 p.m.
and he was taken to a local hos-
pital, according to department
spokesman David Estrada.

Emily Sweeney can be reached
at Follow
her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

3 shot in Jamaica Plain; 1 in Mattapan

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