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Dorchester murder victim identified; was career criminal with record dating to 1970s


Boston Police today identified the man fatally shot on Devon Street in Dorchester around 3:30 a.m. on Friday as Arnold Woodrum, 59.

Woodrum was officially a Level 3 armed career criminal, with convictions for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 1981 and 2004, child rape and living off earnings of a minor prostitute in 1998, living off earnings of a minor prostitute in 1978, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in 1990, 1998, 2007 and 2010 and cocaine distribution in 2004.

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So it doesn’t matter, cause he’s a criminal. And it will likely never be solved, cause he’s a criminal.

Y’all are part of the problem.

Voting closed 25

I thought long and hard about whether to mention his past in this headline and post. Over the last few years, I've tended to not mention any criminal record of murder victims because a mistake or two by somebody who had their entire life in front of them, with people who now must grieve for them, made it seem exploitative at best, and, yes, made it sound like they somehow deserved it.

But this guy was a different story. He was 59 and had spent his entire adult life as a criminal - getting arrested and convicted repeatedly over four decades for violent crimes, prostituting teenagers (and raping one) and selling drugs. He was officially a Level 3 armed career criminal and a Level 3 sex offender. The story of his life WAS crime.

I apologize if I came across sounding like I thought he somehow deserved what happened to him, because I don't think that. But at the same time, yes, I do think his past warranted mention, if, perhaps, worded a different way.

Voting closed 39

I think what Adam is simply saying is it’s “Karma”! If you live by the sword, you die by the sword! Yes agreeable that no one human being has the right to determine another human beings fate but with fate already set up, no one human being has the power to redirect that. Fate is fate regardless and the direction of ones life and choices definitely plays an important role on how karma is going to treat you when you reach the end of that road. Choice, Karma, & Fate are 3 key ingredients to life itself! You reap what you sow!

Voting closed 5

We don't know why he was murdered. According to state records, he was homeless at the time of his death - his murder could have been random or a robbery, i.e., totally unrelated to his criminal career. We won't really know until at least after somebody is arrested and arraigned for his murder (and even then, whoever's arrested could have a totally different story).

Voting closed 2

It's always sad when a like is taken, but this loser was a lifelong scumbag. Look at his rap sheet.

We're "part of the problem"? Um nope - this guy is the problem. Plain and simple.

Voting closed 27

It’s still murder!!! Was he actively in a shootout? When you add his rap sheet to his obituary it’s tacky. You’re saying someone was murdered but it doesn’t matter that much because he did bad things and he deserved to be murdered.

They’ll likely never catch his murderer, cause people like you don’t think his life mattered. Let’s pray this murderer on the loose never crosses paths with either one of us.

And I won’t even get started on the fact that black people in America whether they are innocent or not always have their rap sheets and every Ill deed ever committed from birth mentioned in the media whenever they’re killed.

Voting closed 14

I was wondering how long you would take to make this about race.

First, this is not his "obituary" although they should let you write it because you clearly see to have no problem with that fact that this guy was a career dirtbag, rapist, drug dealer, illegal gun-toting criminal. Good Lord you are a great apologist.

Second, I already stated that it's sad when any life is lost, but you are completely wrong in thinking "people like me don't think his life mattered" - it's the person who SHOT him that thinks that way - hello? is this thing on?

and your comment about rap sheets is just silly - evidently you don't understand the point of a rap sheet. A list of past felonies following a criminal around is pretty much the whole point. See, you rack up multiple felonies during your sad life, annnnd those things follow you around - pretty simple for most to understand. It's not a race thing - it's a stop committing felonies thing.

"Let’s pray this murderer on the loose never crosses paths with either one of us." Hey, I wouldn't want to cross paths with either one of them - I'm all set. You can keep busy finding ways to shine a positive light on career criminals (who spend their entire lives terrorizing the people of Boston) - good luck.


Voting closed 14

Look, I wrote the original post and I still think his past was worth mentioning, but the fact is that blacks who get into the news for various depressing reasons are often demonized in a way that whites simply are not, so I can understand why black readers would look at my two-paragraph post in a way that you or I might not - and it's one of the reasons I am, as I mentioned, careful about simply throwing in all the stuff I might find on Google into a post about murder victims.

It's not a new phenomenon, it goes back to Reconstruction, but people seem more willing to call it out these days. From “brute” to “thug:” the demonization and criminalization of unarmed Black male victims in America is an article (a long article) from the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment a couple years ago that talks about the phenomenon as it relates to well publicized cases of blacks who died in interactions with police.

Again, I think somebody nearing retirement age who spent his entire adult life as a predatory criminal is different from a young guy who has done a thing or things he shouldn't have, and I'm not changing the original post, but I can see why somebody might want to question me on it.

Voting closed 10

I'm pro BLACK! The WHITE (cough), I mean Right would consider me extreme. However, who the hell do you think he raped? BLACK WOMEN *sshole! He's a piece of SH*T who deserved to die for raping black women.

Shut up!

Voting closed 8

Why did Adam write anything at all?

You know who is a part of the problem? Whoever killed him, that's who. Adam is as far from the problem as one might be.

Voting closed 12

It usually doesnt end well for people like him.

Voting closed 18

I'm sure his family is mourning their loss and I will be thinking of them.

Voting closed 10