A man with a criminal history of robbing banks is accused of slitting the throats of two well-liked doctors who were found in their blood-spattered $1.9 million South Boston condo.
Bampumim Teixeira, an immigrant from West Africa who had worked as a security guard, was shot by police who arrived at the scene and discovered him inside the 11th floor luxury penthouse, Boston police say. Authorities then discovered the bodies of Lina Bolanos, 38, and Richard Field, 49, who were engaged anesthesiologists who had traveled the world together and were known for their warmth and compassion with patients.
Prosecutors indicated robbery may be the motive, according to WBZ. However, prosecutors did not specifically use that word during a bizarre court hearing May 8, in which the suspect was arraigned in a hospital bed and kept his eyes closed. They did say, though, that he was dressed in black clothes and gloves, and they found a bag of jewelry in the condo that contained what they believe was Bolanos’ jewelry. Police found a knife at the scene, CBS Boston reported.
In a news conference on May 9, the District Attorney disputed earlier accounts that the suspect knew the victims, and also said that Texeira had not shot at police.
Heavy asked Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney, about Teixeira’s immigration status, and he said, “From what I gather, Teixeira is a lawful permanent resident. Questions about immigration law and sanctions are best posed to federal authorities such as ICE, since state prosecutors have no jurisdiction or standing in those matters.” Shawn Neudauer, Public Affairs Officer for ICE, told Heavy in response to a series of questions about Teixeira’s immigration status: “ICE has no legal interest in this individual, though we will continue to monitor the matter in case his criminal charges change his legal disposition.”
Teixeira had a criminal history before the murders in the United States.
A legal permanent resident, according to Cornell University, “is a non-citizen who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a ‘green card.'”
The doctors’ throats were slashed, according to local several media reports, and, reports The Boston Globe, a “message of retribution” was left behind, the doctors’ hands were bound, and photos of the doctors were cut up.
The suspect was shot by police, but he is expected to survive. The scene was grisly with bizarre aspects to it.
“These are two well-respected people killed in their penthouse apartment,” the Boston police commissioner said.
Teixeira was arraigned in Boston on May 8 from his hospital bed at Tufts Medical Center at about 1:30 p.m. EST and is being charged “with two counts of murder for the homicides of Lina Bolaños and Richard Field,” Wark said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Was a Former Security Guard Recently Out of Jail & Made an Odd Comment to His Former Girlfriend Before the Slayings
Teixeira had a recent criminal history – robbing banks, although he did so without a weapon. He was most recently living in Chelsea, Massachusetts, WBUR-TV reports. That fits prosecutors’ contention that robbery may have fueled the homicides too. They say they found a backpack full of jewelry in the apartment that was presumably Bolanos’.
According to The Boston Globe, the suspect was “a former security guard,” and his ex-girlfriend said he “had just gotten out of prison for robbing a bank.” Universal Hub reports that, according to the District Attorney, Teixeira “pleaded guilty on Sept. 15 of last year to two counts of unarmed robbery of a bank” and was sentenced to nine months in jail.
UK Daily Mail reports that he had worked for a company that serviced the apartment complex previously: “Legal documents from a previous arrest reveal that he worked for Palladion Services LLC, a security company which stopped servicing the couple’s apartment building in February.”
He had recently reached out to the ex, told her he wouldn’t live long, and commented, “I’m not a good person,” according to the newspaper. The Globe quoted the ex-girlfriend as describing Teixeira as charming and always well-dressed, and added that Teixeira also told her he wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Charming or not, his criminal history was recent. He hit the same bank twice. Known as “JJ,” the suspect – who was living in a rooming house, warned a bank teller “I’ll start shooting people” if she didn’t hand over $1,000 in a 2014 heist, according to The Boston Herald.
MassLive reports that the suspect “was arrested in mid-July for robbing a bank in Boston… He allegedly admitted to robbing the same bank in 2014.” He made a most wanted website at the time, reports The Herald.
At the time of the bank robberies, Teixeira “worked for a security company whose clients included the Court Square Press Condominiums on West Broadway in South Boston,” reports The Boston Herald.
CBS Boston reported that the suspect’s criminal record was for “thefts.”
“According to a statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Teixeira …had previously been convicted of two larcenies, both involving passing notes demanding money at the same bank. No weapons were used in these previous incidents,” NBC Boston reported.
The Boston Herald reported that “the crimes earned Teixeira a year in the house of correction, prosecutors said, with nine months to be served. Teixeira, who didn’t post bail during the robbery cases, would have finished serving his sentence April 14.”
That’s just a few weeks before Bolanos and Field were slain.
On May 8, at his arraignment, “not-guilty pleas to two counts of murder were entered for Teixeira, of Chelsea, who kept his eyes closed throughout his arraignment,” which took place in the hospital room, according to The Washington Post and Associated Press. The judge ordered Teixeira held without bail.
Police reports in the case are impounded, according to the DA’s office, meaning more details of the offense might not come out for some time.
2. The Suspect Engaged in a Gun Battle With Police & the Victims’ Apartment Floor Had Key Access
Part of the mystery in the case is how the killer got inside the victims’ apartment, which was protected by layers of security. This may be explained by the new reports that he had worked at the complex as a security guard in the past.
Police encountered the suspect after responding to a call of a man with a gun. Then, they discovered the bodies of the two doctors in the condo. WCVB reports it was a luxury apartment.
When police were dispatched and went upstairs to the condo on the 11th floor, and “observed a set of keys on the floor in front of the apartment door,” the prosecutor, Suffolk Chief Trial Counsel John Pappas, said in court.
They knocked and announced their presence multiple times, receiving no response, and used the set of keys to open the door. As they entered the apartment, they found the lights off and encountered a male dressed in dark clothing and “in the ensuing moment, there was an exchange of gunfire,” according to the prosecutor. That male was identified as Teixeira, who was shot in the abdomen, hand and leg, the prosecutor said, adding that the suspect was wearing dark colored gloves.
The police commissioner said the suspect was inside the condo when officers arrived. “They (police) opened up the door and shots were fired at them,” he said. “I mean, you have a guy here who just killed two people and he had nothing to lose.” However, the DA later clarified that Teixeira did not fire a weapon at police.
DA Daniel Conley said police “in the darkened apartment” believed Teixeira “either pointed or fired a gun at them. Authorities now believe that one officer responded by firing his weapon, then other officers also fired their guns,” according to CBS Boston, which added that police found a BB gun or “replica gun” inside a backpack.
The police commissioner said, according to WCVB, “(For) someone to come here, go up to the 11th floor, to the penthouse, we got to believe that somehow there was some type of knowledge of each other.” That’s because, the television station reports, the floor could only be accessed with a key, even to get the elevator to work. According to CNN, the building “has high security, including security cameras in the lobby and a 24/7 concierge” and “access to the elevator for its penthouse level is regulated by a key fob.”
However, the DA also walked that statement back, saying there’s no evidence that the victims knew Teixeira.
The urgent call came in about 8:38 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017, when “officers assigned to District C-6 (South Boston) responded to a call for a person with a gun in the area of 141 Dorchester Avenue in South Boston,” Boston police said in a news release.
“On arrival, the officers made entry to the building and observed a male suspect armed with a firearm,” the release says. Police had initially claimed: “Upon seeing the officers, the suspect immediately began firing at the officers, causing them to return fire.”
According to Boston Police, “the suspect was struck by the officers and after a violent struggle, placed in custody and transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries as a result of gunshot wounds.”
No police officers were struck by gunfire but “several were transported to area hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries,” police said. The Boston police SWAT team then conducted a “protective sweep” of the building and discovered the two victims dead at the scene from “traumatic injuries,” Boston police said.
3. Field Sent a Frantic Text Message Before He & Bolanos Were Found With Their Hands Tied & Teixeira Was an Immigrant to Boston
The suspect is an immigrant who was homeless for a time.
Teixeira told his ex-girlfriend that he was “born in Guinea-Bissau and raised in Cape Verde by an aunt, with whom he moved to the Boston area when he was in his 20s… After a falling out with the aunt, he lived in shelters,” The Boston Globe reported.
Guinea-Bissau is an impoverished country in West Africa with a cashew farming driven economy, reports BBC, and it’s considered one of the poorest countries in the world.
According to the UK Daily Mail, the suspect’s “arrest warrant issued in 2016 for armed robbery is stamped with ‘alien warning given.'”
A talk show host with WRKO AM 680 in Massachusetts questioned why Teixeira was still in the country after the bank robberies, criticizing the fact that Teixeira was not deported after those crimes.
The last moments of the doctors were horrific. Field made a last-ditch, frantic effort to get help by texting a friend.
According to the Boston Globe, Field “managed to send a last text message from his luxury apartment in South Boston on Friday night: a plea to a friend for help.”
At 8:38 p.m., police received a call from the front desk of the penthouse describing a call they received from a friend of Field’s, the prosecutor said in court. According to the prosecutor, the friend said Field had sent a text message that was a “plea for help” shortly after 8 p.m. on May 5, requesting that police be notified because there was a gunman in the apartment, and it was a “serious situation.” There was a second 911 call to operations of the Boston Police Department that came from the same friend of both victims, imparting the same information.
However, when police arrived at the condo, they discovered the couple dead with their throats slit, the Globe reported. WCVB also reported: “Sources tell WCVB the victims had their throats slashed.”
In court, the prosecutor did not specifically confirm that. “Both were bound, both were deceased, having sustained obvious trauma,” the prosecutor said. “Just inside the apartment door, a black backpack was located…inside of that backpack was filled with jewelry, presumably belonging to Ms. Bolanos.”
According to Universal Hub, Field owned the condo where the couple was found, and they were engaged to be married.
The scene was a particularly bloody and horrific one.
The murderer tied up the doctors’ hands, and then cut up the doctors’ photos throughout the condo, the Globe reported.
MassLive also reported, “The victims had their hands tied and throats cut.” The newspaper added, “Investigators believe Teixeira knew the victims and may have been in the apartment with their knowledge the night of the killings.”
The killer also left “a message of retribution” on the wall, although it wasn’t clear what it said, and there was blood on the condo’s walls, according to the Globe.
4. Bolanos Was an Anesthesiologist Described as Being ‘in the Prime of Both Her Career & Life’
Bolanos worked for Massachusetts Eye and Ear, which released a statement saying she was in the prime of her career and life.
Her Facebook page indicates as much, and it provides a glimpse into the doctor’s personal side. She posted photos of herself with family members, with Field, and on exotic vacations. The photos indicate a woman with a zest for adventure.
The organization where she worked released a statement, describing Bolanos as “an outstanding pediatric anesthesiologist and a wonderful colleague in the prime of both her career and life. We will do all we can to support their families and our staff members who are processing this senseless tragedy and grieving an enormous loss.”
According to US News, she was “an anesthesiologist in Boston, Massachusetts and is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. She received her medical degree from Universite libre de Cali Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice between 11-20 years. She is one of 309 doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital who specialize in Anesthesiology.”
Dr. Sunil Eappen, chief medical officer and chief of anesthesia at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, said in a statement, “We have worked together since 2011, except for a short break when she moved to Texas for a few months. I watched her mature and blossom from a young medical school graduate to a fabulous experienced pediatric anesthesiologist.” He described Bolanos as compassionate and warm.
According to the Boston Herald, Eappen has experienced high-profile tragedy before. “Eappen is the father of toddler Matthew Eappen, who died in a high-profile shaken baby case in 1997 in which his nanny, Louise Woodward, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter,” reports the newspaper.
5. Field Was Known for His ‘Tireless Devotion’ to His Patients & Traveled the World With His Fiancee
Field’s Facebook page says he was a former anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who was from London. He had posted many photos of himself with Bolanos. They traveled throughout the country and world, from New Orleans for Mardi Gras to Amsterdam to the rain forest.
He graduated from the University of Sheffield Medical School, according to his physician profile with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Field’s employer, North Shore Pain Management, also released a statement praising his work.
“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the tragic loss of Richard Field, MD. Dr. field was a guiding vision at North Shore Pain Management and was instrumental in the creation of this practice in 2010,” the statement read.
“Prior to his time at NSPM, he was an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at Beverly Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Field was noted for his tireless devotion to his patients, staff, and colleagues. He was a valued member of the medical community and a tremendous advocate for his patients. His tragic and sudden passing leaves an inescapable void in all of us. Our deepest thoughts are with his friends and family.”
According to Universal Hub, “Field helped start the Beverly practice in 2010. Before then, he was an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beverly Hospital. He had also served as an instructor in pain management and anesthesia at Harvard Medical School.”