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Victims identified

No answers yet following arrest of young Rockport man in slaying of four

By Stephen Betts | Sep 10, 2017
Orion Krause

Rockport — Shock and disbelief are the common reactions to the arrest Friday night of 22-year-old Orion Krause of Rockport for the murder of his mother, her parents and their caretaker at a home in Groton, Mass.

Krause has been charged with four counts of murder and is expected to be arraigned Monday morning in Ayer District Court in Massachusetts, according to Middlesex District Attorney spokeswoman Meghan Kelly on Sunday morning.

Kelly said the names of the victims continue to be withheld pending positive identification by the Office of the Medical Examiner and notification of family members. No further updates are expected Sunday, Kelly said.

But while the district attorney's office is not releasing the names, a friend of the family -- Sherman Stanley of Monhegan Island -- said that the victims included Krause's mother Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause, her parents and a caretaker of the elderly couple. This information was consistent with what law enforcement has privately said about the victims.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Groton, Mass. Chief of Police Donald Palma Jr. issued a news release Saturday, Sept. 9 stating that all parties were known to each other and that this was "a tragic incident of family violence."

The preliminary investigation suggests that the cause of death of all of the victims was blunt force trauma, according to investigators.

Krause grew up in Rockport, the son of Buffy Krause and his father Alexander "Lexi" Krause. The family had lived on Monhegan, where his father was a lobsterman, before they moved to Rockport. The father now is a captain on for the Maine State Ferry Service while Stanley said the mother would volunteer in community activities.

Orion Krause was active in the Camden-Rockport schools from an early age.

Krause was part of a group of fourth grade students at the former Rockport Elementary School in 2005 who raised money to help victims of the catastrophic Southeast Asia tsunami.

He played basketball, cross country and track while attending Camden-Rockport Middle School.

In middle school and high school, he became known for his musical talent.

When Camden Hills Regional High in Rockport named him as the visual and performing arts student of the month in November 2012, the school reported that Krause began playing music in fifth grade when he studied the clarinet. In eighth grade he decided to switch to percussion. This was primarily due to the influence of some of his favorite musicians and the video game Rock Band, according to the school. That year, he received his first drum set for Christmas. He joined the Camden Hills' Jazz and Concert Band in his sophomore year.

He received the maestro award at Camden Hills in 2013 for a drum solo.

Some of his favorite artists that year included King Crimson, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, David Bromberg and the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Afrer graduating from Camden Hills in 2013, he continued his studies and participation in music, attending Oberlin Conservatory within Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio located near Cleveland. The college's web site describes Oberlin as "a place of intense energy and creativity, built on a foundation of academic, artistic, and musical excellence."

Outside of college,in 2014, he was the drummer for the band Mostly Brothers & Company.

He held a jazz drum senior recital at Oberlin in April, according to the Oberlin's website.He graduated from Oberlin in May, according to Scott Wargo, director of media relations for the college. The spokesman said the school could not provide any other information on Krause.

Duryea Decker Griffith of Lincolnville was a classmate of Krause and they were in the band together in high school. Decker Griffith said Sunday he saw Krause briefly Wednesday in Rockport. He said Krause was with his family.

"He was a really good guy. He was musically talented, smart, laid back, I would say cool," Decker Griffith said.

He said he was absolutely stunned by the news of Krause's arrest.

Camden Hills Band Director Nancy Rowe said Krause was a fabulous musician and a very nice, polite young man.

"He was top notch in every way," Rowe said. "I'm stunned. This is unimaginable to me."

She said her heart goes out to his entire family.

Groton is a town of about 10,000 people located about 40 miles northwest of Boston where Krause's grandparents lived.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Groton Police responded to a report of a person in need of assistance on Common Street. Upon arrival, investigators gathered information which led them to a second residence at 80 Common St.  There they located four deceased individuals; an elderly male and female as well as two middle-aged women. Three of the bodies were found inside of the house and one was found outside.

The home where police say the killings occurred has been owned since 1992 by Danby F. Lackey III and Elizabeth C. Lackey, according to the town's assessment records.

The Boston Globe published a story which reported that a young man -- who was naked and caked in mud with blood on his knees, torso and face -- appeared at the door of the neighbors to the home where the killings occurred and said he had just murdered four people. That man later was identified as Krause.

Krause has no criminal record in Maine and local police report no interaction with the young man for criminal activity.

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Comments (7)
Posted by: Sandra Schramm | Sep 11, 2017 10:56

Friends and Family are speaking to the press. Many on Monhegan Island and on the mainland are grieving for this family. All this news is a terrible shock and people should be allowed privacy and time to grieve. However, it is news and there are those that are concerned wanting answers; answers that may never come. And let us not forget that this is a time when nerves are on edge from the events of September 11, 2001.  Mr. Betts is reporting the news, it does not seem he is sensationalizing the news. If Friends and Family wish to speak to reporters then that is their right. Please, everyone, look at this as a tragedy, let us not speculate and let the police and the press do their jobs. We need to allow this family to grieve without stirring up so much frustration and anxiety in our community.  There are times when it might be appropriate that posting on news articles is not permitted.  Take a moment to pray for this young man and his family while remembering the love that this family shared and the love their communities shared with them.


Posted by: Mary Brett Rabaioli | Sep 11, 2017 09:32

I think the community is in a state of shock and disbelief. Especially those of us who know the family. I think that to speculate that the crimes may have been drug related is merely that. We actually may never know why this truly tragic event occurred. I think to quibble over cause and the publication of an address ( which by the way is acceptable journalism to publish the address of the victims as well as the susprct),  detracts from the fact that we need to come together as a community to express our feelings and perhaps find comfort as we all try to grapple with our emotions and feelings during a truly tragic time. Maybe we can out our energy into planning a vigil for the family, the victims and all of us.

Posted by: Nina Reed | Sep 11, 2017 08:25

mary, i did not see anything about drrugs patricia williams

Posted by: Lynne A Barnard | Sep 11, 2017 05:43

This is a family tragedy of epic proportions.  We don't know the details and shouldn't be speculating about the "cause."  The surviving members of the family deserve privacy and time to grieve.  It is truly shabby, unprofessional, inappropriate and outrageous that this newspaper chose to publish the family address in the article.  It was also totally unnecessary to single out the young man's father, his profession and his employer.  I'm giving serious thought to cancelling my subscription.

Posted by: Pat Putnam | Sep 10, 2017 17:53

Not necessarily drugs. Could be a mental health issue. It could be any number of things. We just don't know. Maybe we will find out maybe we won't. Feel very sad for all of them.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Sep 10, 2017 17:42

It seems very inappropriate to include the Krause's Rockort address in this article. To what purpose? Including the address smacks of National Inquirer "journalism".

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 10, 2017 16:04

It had to be drugs. I am shocked!

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