52-year-old Boston detective John Mulligan was murdered execution-style on Sept. 26, 1993 whereas working one night time. Quickly after his loss of life, police arrested 19-year-old Sean Ellis for the murder, alleging that Ellis and his good friend Terry Patterson have been after Mulligan’s gun. In an eight-part Netflix docuseries, Trial Four explores how the proof tying Ellis has been doubtful and the way folks have lengthy been cautious about widespread police corruption and systemic racism skewing the case. What really occurred throughout Mulligan’s homicide stays unclear, however this is what we all know concerning the murder in addition to Mulligan’s private historical past.
What Have been the Particulars of Mulligan’s Loss of life?
The night time of Mulligan’s loss of life, he parked exterior of a Walgreens whereas engaged on a paid element in Roslindale. Somebody then took Mulligan’s service weapon, a 9mm Glock, and shot him 5 occasions within the face with a .25 caliber pistol. Ellis was out getting diapers at Walgreens for his cousin, hitching a journey from Patterson.
Afterward, detectives discovered the lacking weapons close to Ellis’s dwelling, the place they have been additionally investigating the murders of his two cousins, Celine Kirk and Tracy Brown. Rosa Sanchez, a witness, additionally stated she noticed Ellis crouching subsequent to Mulligan’s SUV the night time of the murder – nonetheless, folks forged doubt over her account as a result of she had a private relationship with one of many investigators and had beforehand recognized somebody aside from Ellis because the suspect.
Ellis went by way of three trials. The primary two have been mistrials, however he was convicted within the final one. Ellis’ conviction was overturned in 2015 when a choose discovered that corrupt detectives have been closely concerned within the Mulligan investigation, which might make it tough for Ellis to have a good trial. At that time, Ellis had served 22 years in jail already. In 2018, he was cleared of all critical prices whereas making ready for a fourth pending trial.
What Was Mulligan’s Historical past?
So, who was Mulligan? Based on interviewees within the documentary, Mulligan had a popularity for being a hypervigilant cop and was chargeable for many arrests and convictions. Based on Toni Locy, a former reporter with The Boston Globe, the late officer had a previous: he was amongst a handful of Boston cops who had essentially the most civilian complaints lodged in opposition to them. The police firmly set out on investigating Ellis and Patterson, however there was a way that Mulligan had many potential felony enemies.
Based on WGBH Radio’s Phillip Martin, Mulligan was “concerned in robbing drug sellers and helping the opposite cops who later have been tried in a separate trial of corruption.” Suffolk County district lawyer John Pappas acknowledged the police’s corruption, notably pegged to Detectives Walter Robinson, Kenneth Acerra, and John Brazil, the officers who engaged on the murder investigation. Nonetheless, prosecutors have been cautious to not hyperlink the corruption to Ellis’ case. That stated, a witness testimony positioned Mulligan at a theft at a drug seller’s dwelling with Acerra and Robinson 17 days earlier than his loss of life.
It is unsure who killed Mulligan, nevertheless it appears extra seemingly than not that there is extra to his story than how the police have introduced it.
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