RIP Jessica Cormier

by Bill Brenner on January 6, 2012

I didn’t really know Jessica Cormier. I met her a couple times in passing. But to my father and stepmom, she was important.

Mood music:

I was very sad to learn that Jessica was murdered earlier this week — stabbed in the heart by some deranged punk. A life cut short far too young. She was only 20 years old.

I met her a couple times in my father’s wharehouse, where she worked. She helped out a couple times at my parents’ condo, where my father has been recovering from a stroke. My stepmom, Diane, always spoke glowingly of Jessica, and she’s taking this loss pretty hard.

I hope the cops find the guy who did this soon, before he gets the chance to extinguish another young life.

I hope her parents find peace and solace in knowing that their daughter is now an angel in Heaven, impervious to anyone who would try to hurt her again.

This is one of those events where you stop and wonder why God lets these things happen. I used to ask myself about that a lot.

When my brother died, when my parents divorced, when my friend Sean Marley committed suicide. In the aftermath of those events, I wasn’t on speaking terms with God. At other points in my life, like my struggle to contain OCD and addictive behavior, I was talking to God, but nothing coming from my mouth was making much sense. I was rattling off prayers designed to make my life safer and more comfortable.

My relationship with God has gone through changes in recent years. I no longer pray for the safety of everyone I know. I just pray we’ll all have the wisdom to live our lives the way we’re supposed to for whatever length of time we’re going to be around. I’ve come to see life’s body blows not as a punishment but as situations we’re supposed to work through to come out stronger.

There’s something else I believe: The bad things we go through — and we all go through the bad — is a test. I don’t think certain things are deliberately planned out, like a natural disaster, the death of a loved one or the break-up of a relationship. But I do think we’re tasked with coming out of these things as better people who can come through when others need our help later on. That’s what Mister Rogers was talking about right after 9-11 when he suggested children always watch for the helpers in the face of disaster.

I think the helpers will come out of the woodwork to guide Jessica’s family through this. It won’t be easy. But they’ll be there.

Mentioning this stuff may not help. But just in case it does, I took to the keyboard.

My thoughts and prayers will remain with the Cormier family. If you could keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well, that’d be great.

I leave you with the Boston Globe report on Jessica’s death:

Victim recalled as quiet, ‘so sweet’

 By Peter Schworm

 GLOBE STAFF  JANUARY 04, 2012
2009 Everett HS yearbook copy photo by Peter Schworm -- Jessica Cormier (cq from story) 20-year-old was fatally stabbed outside her parents’ home on Jan 3, 2012

 Jessica Cormier, 20, graduated from Everett High in 2009.

EVERETT – Growing up in a big extended family, Jessica Cormier was “the quiet one,’’ a soft-spoken girl who liked to keep to herself or blend into the crowd.

After graduating from high school in 2009, she worked several jobs while living at home with her parents, saving money for a place of her own.

But on Tuesday evening, the 20-year-old was fatally stabbed outside her parents’ home, in an apparently targeted attack that left those who knew her grief-stricken and grasping for answers.

“She was so sweet, so good,’’ her aunt, Susan Melesciuc, said through tears. “She had her whole life in front of her.’’

Melesciuc said she could not imagine who would want to hurt her niece, and described her as a “good kid’’ who spent much of her time at home. Cormier’s parents were at home at the time of the attack, she said.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office said investigators do not believe the attack was random, but otherwise provided no details about a possible motive. No arrests have been made.

Authorities declined to say whether police had previously visited the home or whether Cormier had taken out a restraining order.

Neighbors said Cormier was stabbed in the doorway to the three-family home around 6:45 p.m., and that her screams sent several people rushing to her aid. They wrapped her in a sheet and applied pressure to her wounds, but could not stop the bleeding.

“She lost a lot of blood,’’ said next-door neighbor Nicholas Riggin, whose son ran to Cormier’s side. “The poor girl was just minding her own business. She was a nice girl. She didn’t bother nobody. It’s very sad.’’

Riggin and other residents on Pearl Street said they did not see the perpetrators or hear any disturbance before Cormier’s screams.

Cormier was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Cormier graduated from Everett High School in 2009. In her senior yearbook, which included a baby picture of her wearing a Red Soxhat, she wrote that she had “made it on her own’’ and loved her parents, sister, and family forever.

She listed her nicknames as Kiwi and Little One.

Louis Baldi, the principal of Everett High School, expressed his “deepest sympathies and prayers’’ to Cormier’s family.

Melesciuc said her niece had worked a variety of jobs in recent years, and to her knowledge was not dating anyone.

She said that the family had just spent the holidays together and that Cormier seemed happy. She said she did not believe that Cormier was mixed up with a bad crowd and speculated that she was robbed.

She had learned about the slaying from Cormier’s sister, who she said is devastated by her death.

“I can’t imagine what she is going through,’’ she said.

Neither Cormier’s parents nor her sister could be reached for comment.

Yesterday morning, a young man lay flowers on the front steps of the home.

After getting no answer at the door, he sat on the front step, covering his head with the hood of his jacket and his face with his hands.

For more than 10 minutes, he sat there, tears running down his face.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Audrey Clark January 6, 2012 at 3:22 am

very sad story…i hope they find the creep who killed her…another inniocent life taken…

Fran Guinard January 6, 2012 at 6:15 am

i hope they find who did this was

Brittany Plaisted January 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Arrest made in connection with Tuesdays homicide in Everett

EVERETT – A 59 year old man has been arrested in connection with the homicide that occurred Tuesday night in Everett, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone and Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie informed the public today.

Clarence Earl Berry, 59, of Chelsea, was arrested on a charge of murder in the first degree for the fatal stabbing of Jessica Cormier, 20, of Everett. Berry will be arraigned Monday in Malden District Court.

“This is a horrific and senseless case in which we allege that the defendant fatally stabbed the young victim numerous times, causing her death,” District Attorney Leone said. “Our thoughts are with Jessica’s family, who have lost a young woman dearly beloved by her family and friends.”

“I commend the Detectives of the Everett Police, Massachusetts State Police and members of Middlesex District Attorney Leone’s office for their thorough investigation that led to a timely arrest of this vicious individual. The people of Everett can rest peacefully knowing that the suspect in this case has been apprehended,” Chief Mazzie said.

According to authorities, at approximately 6:44 pm on January 3, Everett Police responded to 83 Pearl Street for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers located a female victim, identified as Jessica Cormier, 20, of Everett, evidencing obvious stab wounds. She was transported to Mass General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was stab wounds to the victim’s heart and chest. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

An immediate investigation was commenced by Everett Police and the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. It is alleged that Berry and the victim were known to one another and that the violent attack occurred outside on Pearl Street, not far from the victim’s home, shortly after 6:30 pm on January 3. A family member had heard screaming, went downstairs to the apartment’s foyer and found the victim on the floor.

Police executed a search warrant at Berry’s residence in Chelsea and evidence was recovered. Preliminary testing on some of the evidence tested positive for human blood.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty.

The Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case is Elizabeth Keeley. The Victim Witness Advocate is Karen Fahy. The investigation remains ongoing.

Lori January 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm
gunshy January 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

they caught the dirtbag.too bad a bullet didn’t find him first.

Ty January 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

It is very sad and terribly crazy how little value people holds to life these days.

marky-mark January 13, 2012 at 5:06 am

I live only a couple of blocks away from where she lived. I never knew her but what a senseless tragedy. So young and such a good person. I hope Clarence Earl Berry, the murder suspect, gets life in prison.

Joshua Brown February 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

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