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Remembering Andrea Foye and Christine Ricketts, the first two victims in a war on black women 40 years ago

Memorial for Andrea Foye and Christine Ricketts in Roxbury

See it larger. Photographs by Sean Connor.

The Estuary Projects today began a three-month project to remember the 12 young black women murdered in Roxbury in 1979, with an installation at East Lenox and Reed streets. The site is where the first two victims, Andrea Foye, 17, and Christine Ricketts, 15, were found murdered, their bodies wrapped in a trash bag and a blanket, 40 years ago today.

Roxbury memorial

Over the following weeks, more black women in Roxbury would be murdered. At first, their deaths merited little public attention. Police did not suspect a serial killer - eventually four different men would be charged with some of the murders, while others went unsolved. But as awareness dawned, the Roxbury murders sparked public protests and marches.

Over the next 12 weeks, the Estuary Projects will create similar memorials at the scenes where the other victims were murdered.



That's a bit sensationalist and over the top, isn't it? This sounds like a horrible event, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a "war."

Voting closed 17

If two white women were killed in a slate of attacks, it would have been national news about the massacre of women.

Multiple perpetrators, and dozens of victims? All victims fitting the same ethnicity? If that's not a war, it's fucking hell all the same.

That you've decided to turn the commemoration of an extremely tragic moment in our city's history into an argument about semantics is pretty horrible, to be honest. You couldn't have just left your nervous tic regarding Adam's choice of words out of it?

Voting closed 47

Carol Stuart.

Her husband murdered her but the city was turned upside down because said white husband said a black guy did it.

And yet Newtered Flanagblab stayed employed somehow.

Voting closed 9

near Jackson Square. It was totally random, didn't even rob him. Just shot him with a .22 at close range in his lower back. My father was a blue collar white man coming home from work. He was a very decent man and would repeatly tell me growing to not be racist or bigoted, and judge people as individuals.He would go deliver food to elderly in the projects as part of our church. Didn't matter what 'race' they were. He would sometimes take me with him. It was as incredibly dangerous place at that time, especially if you were white. The group of guys who randomly shot him were black.Very minor mention in the media at that time. Nobody gave a fuk about him. No politicians, local or state, offered any assisstance to my mom, brothers, and sisters. Nobody cared. I'm sure if he wore a suit to work in a skyscraper downtown more attention would have been paid.

Voting closed 16

Calling the murders of 12 African-American women in Roxbury and Dorchester a tragedy seems eminently appropriate, and the lack of media or civic attention at the time certainly is a travesty. But given the lack of apparent coordinated effort and the fact that several of the murderers and victims knew each other, calling the Roxbury murders a "war on black women" seems far beyond over the top.

By the logic of the headline, one could call those killed by MS-13 "victims of a war on Latinos."

Voting closed 8


you should be.

Voting closed 12

Please let us know.

Voting closed 13

I wonder if the media was silent on these horrible murders because they were afraid of creating a more racial divide in the city because of the busing crisis? Good work by the Estuary project.

Voting closed 7

They got media attention. Even the Wikipedia article to which you refer noted that there was local coverage and whispers of the idea that a serial killer was on the loose. I quick search of ye olde Boston Globe articles finds about 23 articles mentioning Andrea Foye while the killings were going on. There was even coverage of the march, attended by about 1000 people, in the beginning of April.

This is not to say that the dead, and the whole ordeal, should not be commemorated, but time may have skewed what was happening 40 years ago.

Voting closed 9