By John Lynds
A Suffolk Superior Court jury found former East Boston resident Andrew MacCormack, 31, guilty in the vicious killing of his wife and Lynn school teacher, Vanessa Masucci, inside the couples Revere home they shared since 2015.
Masucci, who was a second-grade teacher at the Connery School in Lynn, was found brutally stabbed and beaten to death inside the couple’s home on Sept. 23 2017.
During the course of 11 days of testimony, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum, Chief of District Attorney Rollins’ Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit and Assistant District Attorney Brian LeBlanc presented evidence and testimony to prove that Masucci had become fed up with the defendant’s erratic and evasive behavior and was preparing to leave the marriage.
Text messages between former MacCormack and Masucci established a motive for her brutal slaying.
According to court documents, the couple’s finances became more and more strained as MacCormack’s cocaine habit increased and Masucci threatened to divorce him.
On Aug. 31 2017 Masucci allegedly texted MacCormack, “I hate you so much you’ve ruined [daughter’s] life because she won’t have her parents together…I’ll talk to [agent] tomorrow about listing the house and I’ll look into divorce lawyers.” Andrew allegedly responded, “Ur crazy I’m not signing anything to sell the house or get divorced”
Then on Sept. 3 Masucci allegedly texted, “What about when you took my discover card and I had to cancel it?”. MacCormack allegedly responded, “what about it?”. Masucci answered, “did it have to do with this?” while Andrew replied “no”.
Masucci then allegedly went on to ask, “what about the time you said you ‘accidentally’ took out 200…I want answers …. It’s the least I deserve”
Prosecutors showed MacCormack’s $400 to $500 a week drug habit had put the couple on the cusp of financial ruin.
On Sept. 15, Masucci wrote, “Don’t you dare get frustrated with me you deserve to be questioned…It seems like you think being nice to me for four days would fix everything but it’s not that simple…You never did the things I said would need to happen if you want me to stay with you like going to marriage counseling, stepping it up financially, communicating [with] my family”
MacCormack claimed to his wife that that thousands of dollars had been hacked from their bank account by someone in Thailand.
Prosecutors said the financial strain on the couple’s marriage and MacCormack’s drug habit came to a head on Sept. 23 that resulted in Masucci’s murder.
Earlier in the year, the defendant forged checks to himself from Masucci’s personal bank account and took one of her credit cards, which she had reported stolen. In addition, the victim’s wedding ring disappeared – as did the ring purchased with insurance money to replace it. MacCormack also pawned his own wedding band for $120.
On September 23, 2017, the defendant left home but returned after his mother, who lived with the family, had left the house. The evidence proved that he strangled, stabbed, and viciously beat his Masucci in their bedroom, all while the couple’s then-1-year-old daughter was inside the home.
In addition to the injuries that took her life, Masucci’s body sustained chemical burns after her death. The evidence showed that these burns, and a rash that MacCormack had on his own upper body, were caused by bleach that the defendant used in an attempt to clean up the scene.
After allegedly murdering his wife, prosecutors said MacCormack traveled to a location in Saugus to complete a carpentry job – bringing his baby daughter along with him to the worksite. During the course of the day, MacCormack received phone calls from his wife’s family who had grown concerned after they were unable to reach her by phone. MacCormack also sent text messages to his wife’s phone, which prosecutors say he had with him at the time.
He then left the worksite after the baby soiled her diaper. Rather than picking up a change of diapers, however, MacCormack traveled to Eastie where he withdrew cash from an ATM in order to purchase cocaine from a known drug dealer.
MacCormack received another phone call from a member of his wife’s family as he arrived at the couple’s Revere home. Upon finding Masucci’s body – which showed obvious signs of trauma – MacCormack told the relative to call 911. The relative did so. MacCormack did not call 911 until a few minutes after the relative.
When police arrived, the house smelled strongly of bleach, and areas of the home appeared to have been freshly cleaned. MacCormack had a rash covering his upper body that he blamed on a change in laundry detergent brands, which police said was contradicted by evidence at the scene. Masucci’s body also had chemical burns that suggested bleach was poured on her. A medical examiner found that Masucci’s had blunt head trauma, stab and slash wounds to the neck, and signs of both strangulation and suffocation, the latter possibly from a trash bag that may have been used to cover her head.
“Vanessa Masucci’s future was violently ripped away from her by the person who took an oath, promising to love and care for her. I will not refer to Vanessa by her married name because the man who took her life will not also take her identity,” District Attorney Rollins said. “Vanessa’s loved ones – her parents, her siblings, and her daughter – have been left with a void in their hearts and questions that can never be answered. I’m grateful to my prosecutors and victim witness advocates, the Revere Police Department, and the State Police detectives assigned to my office who worked to hold Vanessa’s murderer accountable and to bring a small amount of comfort to her loved ones. We will continue to serve as a resource to their family as they enter the next chapter of their grief.”
Before her death Masucci had been in the Lynn School district for seven years and a teacher for five.
At the time of her murder Masucci’s colleague and Principal of the Connery, Dr. Mary Dill, said she was loved by students, parents and colleagues and that Masucci was involved in every aspect of the school.