Power of healing stressed at vigil for Buffy Krause

By Stephen Betts | Sep 14, 2017
Photo by: Stephen Betts A photo of Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause sits on a table set up atop Beech Hill in Rockport for a candlelight vigil for the 60-year-old Rockport woman who died Sept. 8.

Rockport — The greater Rockport community gathered atop Beech Hill Thursday night, Sept. 14, to remember a woman known for generosity and kindness who died last week in what is being called an "unimaginable" crime.

With views of Penobscot Bay islands to the east and mountains to the west, more than 150 people turned out to honor Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause. She was one of four people police said died Sept. 8 at the hands of her son, 22-year-old Orion Krause.

Deacon Bob Cleveland of St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in Camden said Beech Hill was a place Buffy loved to spend time.

"I can imagine on a cool evening, Buffy walking up the path, perhaps alone, sitting in the silence of the stones and looking out over the vast beauty of the world and finding some solace," Cleveland said.

He said those who came together on this evening were drawn together by a shared experience. "We come together to share the experience of pain and suffering that we never saw coming and can never understand," he said.

The deacon said those in attendance were not powerless, but needed to claim the power that is within them through the gift of healing. He said this was needed for the community and for the family ripped apart and the life lost.

After Cleveland spoke, there were several minutes of silence as people lit candles while the sun set over Beech Hill. The silence was broken only by the sound of peepers, crickets and leaves rustling in a gentle breeze.

At the end of the silence, one man in the crowd spoke.

"God bless you, Buffy. God bless you, Lexi. God bless you, Cooper. And God bless you, Orion," he said.

Buffy Krause, 60, of Rockport; her parents, Frank Darby Lackey III, 89, and Elizabeth Lackey, 85, both of Common Street in Groton, Mass.; and the grandparents' caretaker, Bertha Mae Parker, 68, also of Groton, were killed at the Lackeys' home.

Orion Krause is being held at Bridgewater State Hospital in Bridgewater, Mass., without bail, where he will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He is next scheduled to appear in court Oct. 30, but could appear earlier if the competency evaluation is done before that date.

A motive for the killings has not been revealed, and the police report on the case was sealed by Judge Margaret Guzman at a hearing this week in Ayer District Court in Ayer, Mass.

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said the Rockport man left the family home the evening of Sept. 7 and made a telephone call to his mother that raised unspecified concerns to the point that she called police in Rockport.

He left initially in his vehicle, but later called his mother from the Boston area saying he needed a ride back to Rockport.

His mother picked him up Friday, Sept. 8, at an unspecified location in the Boston area, and while initially planning to return to Maine, instead decided to go to the grandparents' home in Groton, which is about 40 miles northwest of Boston, the district attorney said.

Ryan said Orion Krause made a telephone call Friday afternoon to someone he knew, which was of such concern that the person -- whom she did not identify -- contacted Krause's family members. Soon after, Groton police received a call from neighbors of the Lackeys reporting that the 22-year-old man was at their home.

Various media outlets in Massachusetts reported that the neighbors said Orion Krause arrived at their home covered in mud, with some blood on him, and admitted murdering four people.

While the district attorney did not identify who Orion Krause had called, one source said it was a professor he knew from Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, from which he had graduated in May.

The baseball bat believed to be the murder weapon was recovered, the district attorney said.

Orion Krause grew up in Rockport, and graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School in 2013 before attending Oberlin, where he majored in music, specifically in jazz and drums.

He has no criminal record in Maine. Chief Randy Gagne of the Camden and Rockport departments said Sept. 11 that the Rockport department has had two involvements with Orion Krause, neither of which was criminal in nature. One was the call last Thursday night from his mother, concerned about his well-being, and the other was a year ago. The chief said he could not offer any additional information on the prior call.

Friends gather atop Beech Hill in Rockport for the vigil for Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
More than 150 people turned out Thursday evening, Sept. 14, for the vigil for Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
Deacon Bob Cleveland offered words of solace for those who gathered atop Beech Hill in Rockport. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
Candles are passed out for the vigil. (Photo by: Stephen Betts)
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