By Aaron Keebaugh
Marlene Taraskiewicz, slightly overcome with emotion and holding a bouquet of flowers, told a small crowd of reporters standing in a small lot off Lee Burbank Highway Wednesday morning, “Susan did not deserve to be murdered… I will never give up. I will never go away” until justice has been served.
It was in that very lot 20 years ago this week that Revere police officers discovered the body of 27-year-old Susan Taraskiewicz of Saugus. While on break from her post with Northwestern Airlines at Logan Airport, Susan went out to get lunch for her coworkers. She did not return.
Susan, a victim in a case that has yet to be solved, was beaten and stabbed to death.
But Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley and representatives from the Revere and state police affirmed their determination in the 20-year investigation at a press conference Wednesday on the lot at 281 Lee Burbank Highway.
Susan’s mother Marlene has lived with the pain and loss for 20 years, Conley told the small crowd. “She has never given up hope that her daughter’s killer or killers will be held accountable.”
“Each of us believes the investigation can be solved,” Conley said. He added that the police have explored and continues to explore many leads on the case, though he did not give detail about the investigation.
Conley did say that the federal investigation into the credit card scam going on at Logan Airport at the time did not yield sufficient evidence in connection with Susan’s death. He went on to say that investigators have not stopped pursuing leads. “We think everything is significant in this case,” he said.
When one reporter asked how the investigators can be so confident after so many years, Conley responded, “It’s just a gut intuition… Someone out there has a conscience.”
The district attorney did implore people with knowledge of the case to come forward with information. “Someone knows who killed Susan Taraskiewicz… Someone can help us find justice in the murder of this innocent person,” Conley said.
Conley added that, through the efforts of Clear Channel, three billboards will be erected in the area in order to encourage public involvement in the ongoing investigation.
Major Frank Hughes of the Massachusetts state police concurred, saying, “We believe there are persons out there who have information…The case remains viable… Marlene (Susan’s mother) has been waiting twenty years to solve the case.”
Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli, who was only a rookie on the force at the time of the murder, said the department will continue to work with state police on the investigation.
Following the conference, Cafarelli noted that all the detectives who worked on the original case have retired or passed away, though the department still has the file. He added that police remain diligent in the investigation, because new scientific breakthroughs to assist in murder cases could bring new leads. As a parent, I can’t imagine the pain (Susan’s) family is going through. They deserve the best at the very least,” the chief said.
Individuals who have information on the case are asked to contact the Massachusetts State Police at 617-727-8817.