By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY
11:54 AM EDT, June 27, 2012
The state victim advocate said Tuesday she is conducting her own investigation into the 2010 triple homicide that took the lives of an East Hartford woman and her two friends.
The advocate, Michelle Cruz, said she wants to determine whether East Hartford police acted properly both in their interactions with the victim before the crime, and afterward.
"A cursory review of judicial records, documents and other information establish that the East Hartford Police Department had numerous interactions with Beverly Therrien, one of the three victims, and that they were advised on several occasions of Ms. Therrien's concern for her safety," Cruz said in a statement Tuesday.
"The [Office of the Victim Advocate's] investigation will focus on the actions, or inactions, of the East Hartford Police Department when responding to domestic violence incidents and whether more could have and/or should have been done to protect not only Ms. Therrien, but also her live-in caretakers, Pamela Johns and Michael Ramsey, also victims in the horrific murder."
Therrien, 74, Johns, 60, and Ramsey, 53, were found beaten to death on Thanksgiving Day 2010 at Therrien's home at 154 Naomi Drive.
Therrien's son, Brett Bednarz, and his sister, Candace Bednarz, were named "persons of interest" by the police but have not been charged in the case.
Beau Thurnauer, deputy chief of the East Hartford Police Department, said Tuesday he couldn't comment on the allegation that police may not have done enough to prevent the crime.
"I don't have enough factual information in front of me to respond with accuracy," he said.
Therrien and her grown children had been involved in numerous disputes during the years before her death, accusing one another of harassment and stealing, police records show.
Police arrested Brett Bednarz in a 2010 case of domestic violence. Therrien said at her son's sentencing in that case that she didn't call police at least seven previous times when he had assaulted her.
Cruz also said she plans to review how arrest warrants are handled in the Hartford State's Attorney's office.
Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy said there is no arrest warrant -- signed or unsigned -- at her office in connection with the East Hartford triple homicide case. She said she met with Cruz, Thurnauer and Lt. Todd Hanlon recently to discuss the case.
It took police a week to gather evidence from the scene of the triple homicide. There are hundreds of pages of records about the case at the police department, Thurnauer said. But no arrest warrant application is ready for submission, he said.
"When we have enough information put together in the four corners of a warrant, then we will submit it for a signature by the state's attorney," he said.
In the 2010 domestic violence arrest, police said Brett Bednarz, on March 26, 2010, placed a broomstick across his mother's lower abdomen and pushed down. Bednarz was convicted of breach of peace in October 2010 and was sentenced to probation.
The original charge of third-degree assault on an elderly person didn't stick because Therrien didn't want her son to go to jail, a prosecutor said in December 2010.
A no-contact order was placed after that case, court records show. A month later, Therrien and her friends, who were helping care for her, were dead.
After the triple homicide, Brett Bednarz was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of possession of a controlled substance. Police had found less than 4 ounces of marijuana during a search of his Manchester home in December 2010. He also was charged with violation of probation.
He is no longer in custody, according to state Department of Correction records.
Cruz said whoever committed the crime should be brought to justice: "It is ... troubling that there is a triple murderer on the loose while the surviving family members of Pamela Johns and Michael Ramsey patiently await justice."
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