March 24, 2014
I am Jacob Shapiro, the only son of Anne Dhu McLucas. I live in Boston and I haven’t been able to be here for the trial, but have followed it closely.
It is still shocking and hard to fathom that a year and a half ago my mother was murdered in act of violence that should never, ever, have even touched her life.
On September 7th 2012 my mom was just hours away from getting on a flight to come visit us – my wife and our kids - her twin grandchildren: Zoe and Max, who are now 5 years old, and Eva who is 3. We were just getting used to calling her Grandma Ann and she loved it.
No one ever called me to let me know what happened that day, or the next. When she didn’t arrive on the flight the next morning as expected I assumed she’d changed her itinerary or missed a connection, and it wasn’t until many hours later after increasingly frantically calling and getting no response that I decided to search the Internet for any news out of Eugene, and saw the first news reports of what happened.
March 25, 2014
Anne was my younger sister by four years.
She and I were the last of the McLucas family. Although she was the younger one she was wiser in many ways. We helped each other through painful times over decades.
Now it is wrenchingly painful when I think of her, mortally wounded, on that bedroom floor and then alone and unidentified in the hospital. I do not know if she could have been saved, but she could have been comforted in her dying process.
March 25, 2014
I was fortunate enough to have known Anne Dhu McLucas, and to have worked with her, for twenty years.
One of the painful things about the trial that has just concluded is that some of the witnesses gave a distorted view of my delightful friend. So I am grateful today to have the opportunity to speak about Anne.
There are three main things I’d like to say about her.
Tuesday March 25, 2014
My name is Reverend David Maynard. I am a first cousin to Anne Dhu McLucas. My mother Jane Corr Maynard and Anne’s mother Mary Corr McLucas were sisters. Both are deceased. Anne grew up in Colorado and we grew up in Delaware – our families met whenever possible, often at reunions.
Some history with Anne: my first reliable memory comes at age 9 and she was 13 – even then she was a talented pianist and mountain climber and excellent student. She and I were attending Harvard University at the same time – I to get my undergraduate degree and Anne to received her Ph.D. We spent time together in college when possible.
During the time my family and I lived in the Boston area in the early seventies we often gathered for meals and time for our children to play together. After we moved to the West coast we saw Anne from time to time while she was in the Los Angeles area. While we lived in Illinois and then Tennessee through the 1980’s we continued to meet often either in Boston or Tennessee or at other times when our paths crossed. She stayed with us a number of times in Tennessee when she came through on business.
The son of one victim called Johan Gillette a monster, the son of the other called him a loving brother.
Either way, Gillette was sentenced Tuesday to two consecutive life sentences for killing his father, 73-year-old James Frederick Gillette, and his father’s domestic partner, 71-year-old Anne Dhu McLucas. He will never be eligible for parole.
Gillette, 38, agreed to accept the true life sentences Friday at the urging of family members, his brother later said. Convicted on two counts of aggravated murder, Gillette faced the possibility of a death sentence had he gone forward with what could have been a lengthy sentencing hearing in front of a jury.
And after a trial that was all about two sharply different views of what led to the murders, it was perhaps not surprising that the sentencing offered two very different views of the man convicted of committing them.
To his friends and family, Gillette remains a peaceful and giving man incapable of intentionally hurting anyone. To McLucas’ friends and family, he is something much different.
I worked for Anne when she was Chair of the Music Department. She never wasted one second of any day. Dashing off to a meeting, she would take a roll of tape and posters for the next concert to hang across campus on her way.
When my daughter was in kindergarten, she was involved in her first play and I was working that morning. When Anne came in to the office we were talking about our children and I mentioned that I was missing my daughters star performance in The Little Red Hen. She immediately said “Go you can still make it.“ I never forgot her kindness on that busy day. She often talked about her Son and I knew how important he was to her.
She was a brilliant woman with boundless energy and a joy to work for.
Anne was our neighbor, in Newton and friend, in Newton. We lived right next to her. She was always so warm to us and welcoming. Her ability to carry so many roles and still remain connected was inspiring. in 1982 I was soon to have our baby son and she served as a role model for a working mom. There are many stories I could tell but I think the most personally moving was that she held a baby shower for me in the neighborhood. It was above and beyond any call of duty and it meant so much to me, as did Anne. The relationship grew and I also I began to teach Jacob art in my private afternoon art school, as well. I so enjoyed working with Jacob. Anne was our neighborhood leader. She made music and community happen. She was a rare soul. We honor her memory.
I feel it’s finally time for me to accept the fact that you are gone. You were in my doctoral committee, and edited my doctoral lecture-document countless times. You helped me for applying jobs by writing many references. You were the first person to read my tenure application and give me suggestions. You were so happy when I got a tenure - without your help, I couldn’t have done all the above. I felt you were with me in every step. I owe you everything. Thank you so much Anne, for everything you’ve done for me. I miss you very much. You will stay in my heart forever.
I first met Anne Dhu in 1990 when I arrived onto the Boston College campus at Chesnut Hill at the invitation of the Irish Studies Programe (Adele Dalsimer). Based at the Music Department I was immediately thrown into a close working relationship with Anne that resulted directly in an Irish Music Programe at BC that continues to this day. She attended every one of my lectures and when i finished by visiting semester and went back to Ireland she continued the work until a full-time replacement was found.
October 27 2012
Thank you everyone for gathering to commemorate, to mourn, and to celebrate my mother’s life.
I am Jacob Shapiro, the only child of Anne Dhu McLucas.
It is shocking and hard to fathom that 7 weeks ago my mother was killed in act of violence that should never, ever, have even touched her life.
This morning we buried her ashes at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Where does such sadness in wood come
from? How could longing live in these
wires? The box looks like the most fragile
coffin tuned for sound. And laid
across the knees of this woman
it looks less like a baby nursed
than some symbolic Pietà,
and the stretched body on her lap
yields modalities of lament
and blood, yields sacrifice and sliding
chants of grief that dance and dance toward
a new measure, a new threshold,
a new instant and new year which
we always celebrate by
remembering the old and by
recalling the lost and honoring
those no longer here to strike these
strings like secrets of the most
satisfying harmonies, as
voices join in sadness and joy
and tell again what we already
know, have always known but forget,
from way back in the farthest cove,
from highest on the peaks of love.