A man already locked up because of a 1987 rape in Revere now faces charges he raped and murdered a woman 11 months later in a building in what was then the industrial South Boston waterfront, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
According to the DA's office, Richard Vega, now 59, raped and strangled Judy Chamberlain in the former Fargo Building, 451 D St. in what is now called the Seaport. On July 21, 1988, a construction worker found her body in a water pipe in the basement after hearing water in the pipe making a strange sound. At the time, the Globe reported authorities estimated the murder had occurred a few hours earlier.
DNA evidence first linked Vega to Chamberlain's death in 2011, but prosecutors did not feel they had enough additional evidence to bring him to trial for her murder. The DA's office says a cold-case unit in its office began re-examining her case, one of roughly 1,300 unsolved Suffolk County murders, and found enough evidence to bring Vega to trial. The office did not specify what sort of evidence it found.
In 1990, Vega was sentenced to 19 1/2 to 20 years in prison for raping an elderly woman in 1987, when she came up from Texas to visit her son in Revere. In 2008, a jury found him to still be "sexually dangerous," and he has remained "civilly committed" since then, the DA's office reports.