11 Years After

Deanna Cremin

Unsolved slay haunts mother
By Laurel J. Sweet

Posted Aug 20, 2006 @ 08:00 PM

Somerville — Katherine Cremin is not a wealthy woman. Networks aren’t camped out on her lawn, elbowing for a pithy money quote from a hired mouthpiece.

And after 11 years and five months of pleading to anyone who would listen – and drinking herself mute when no one wanted to hear it anymore – Cremin thinks she now comprehendshow her daughter Deanna could be strangled in a public park in Somerville.

‘I can understand how my daughter could have cried for help and no one did anything, because we live in an apathetic world,’ she said.

Cremin, 48, is one of countless parents whose children’s murders never achieve the celebrity status of a JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty pageant princess slain in Colorado a decade ago.

‘What’s the reason? They have more money than I have,’ Cremin said. ‘Please don’t let the fact that (Deanna’s) case hasn’t been solved be a financial (expletive). Please just let it be that (police) really are trying to get something to stick.’

Emily LaGrassa, spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, said the Cremin murder case is ‘still an active and ongoing investigation.’

Deanna Cremin was a 17-year-old senior at Somerville High when her body was discovered in Foss Park on the morning of March 30, 1995, by two children she babysat for who were on their way to school. She had spent the previous evening studying at her boyfriend Tommy LeBlanc’s house. He claimed to have walked her halfway home.

A $20,000 reward for the head of the killer remains unclaimed, though Cremin has appealed for justice trying everything from billboards to Internet petitions.

On Oct. 1, a silent march in Deanna Cremin’s memory will step off from Jacques Street in Somerville at 5 p.m.

‘She was just great,’ Cremin, who today lives in Malden, said of her eternally teenage daughter. ‘She was a knockout chick. She just wanted to make people happy.’

One of those people was her mother – a woman who had a good-paying job with the American Red Cross and who volunteered for the Somerville PTA.

‘I was a woman who was all set in her life,’ Cremin said. ‘But it all went to bed and all I cared about was finding Deanna’s killer. When you start crying about your daughter, it’s a hard thing to stop.’

Still, Cremin said, this is the year she means to will herself to put down the bottle once and for all. She has three other grown children: a daughter and two sons.

‘I have to make this year about them,’ she said. ‘I might be a grandmother some day. I want to be responsible.’

And if the TV cameras aren’t there to celebrate her hard-won sobriety, Cremin knows she will find her validation in the eyes of those other somewhat anonymous mothers of murdered children.

‘Once you say three words, you definitely recognize each other,’ she said. ‘They are, ‘It ain’t easy.’ ‘
Copyright 2008 Somerville Journal. Some rights reserved