Men Arrested For 1976 Gloucester Murder
Former Gloucester resident Norman Pike, 52, now of San Francisco, who was the grandson of the funeral home owner, was arrested at his home on Monday, March 8, by San Francisco, Gloucester and Massachusetts State Police. Pike had fled the Gloucester area a few days after the murder.
Pike, who was using the alias Dan Franklin, is being held without bail as a fugitive from justice in California. He has refused to waive rendition, so the Essex District Attorney's Office will employ a Governor's Warrant to bring him back to Massachusetts, a process that can take up to 90 days.
A second defendant, Kevin Ireland, 54, of Oak Street, Gloucester, was arrested this afternoon following a brief interview at the Gloucester Police Station. He will be arraigned on Monday, March 15, in Gloucester District Court.
Pike and Ireland and another man were allegedly robbing the safe in the third floor office of the funeral home when the victim walked in and was murdered. The third suspect in this case has since died.
In March of last year, Gloucester Police Chief Michael Lane, who was a Detective Lt. at the time, re-opened the case. Upon his promotion to chief, he assigned the investigation to Gloucester Police Detective Steve Mizzoni.
Detective Mizzoni, along with State Police Trooper Joshua Ulrich from the District Attorney's Office, re-interviewed several witnesses who had been questioned more than 30 years ago. As a result of those interviews, investigators were able to obtain arrest warrants for Pike and Ireland.
"This case is a perfect reminder of the fact that although cases may be considered 'cold,' they are never closed until an arrest is made and conviction is secured," said District Attorney Blodgett, who praised the tenacity of the investigators, and credited Chief Lane for pursuing the case.
"The Gloucester Police Department under the leadership of Chief Lane does an outstanding job for our city, and I'm very gratified that after all these years justice is in sight for the victim's family," said Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk.
Chief Lane said, "Detective Mizzoni and Trooper Ulrich did an excellent job investigating this case. Their relentless pursuit of justice, and 'never say quit' attitudes made justice possible for the victim's family. Both men are credits to their respective agencies."