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Jared Remy’s life: Few high points, years of trouble

He is a bodybuilder of menacing, steroid-enhanced proportions with a lengthy rap sheet for domestic violence. And yet when Jared W. Remy welcomed two Boston Globe reporters into his Waltham living room in July 2009, he proved a friendly, gregarious host in the midst of an apparently happy domestic moment with his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, and their 10-month-old daughter.

Remy held his daughter in his lap and played with their Chihuahua, Buddy. The computer screensaver flashed a series of family photos while the flat-screen TV — which he bought after selling a World Series ring on eBay for $18,500 — was tuned to Nickelodeon.

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The couple talked about plans to get married, to get a new puppy. Martel, a petite brunette, was planning to take college classes, and Remy wanted to become a personal trainer. Martel spoke with pride about the budding baseball skills of Remy’s son from a previous relationship, how much she enjoyed the boy’s games.

The seemingly content household would prove to be tragically ephemeral. Remy, 34, was charged Friday with stabbing Martel, 27, to death on their patio, while their daughter was at home.

The Globe Spotlight Team interviewed Remy and several of his friends while reporting on a Major League Baseball investigation into allegations of steroid use involving Remy and a co-worker on the Red Sox security staff. Both were fired in 2008.

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In a conversation later that summer, there was evidence that Remy and Martel’s relationship was already rocky. Remy had grown angry about the Globe’s inquiries among former associates, and said the reporters had sparked a fight that led Martel to move out.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Attorney Peter Bella (left) conferred with Jared Remy during Friday’s arraignment in Waltham District Court.

That summer, Remy candidly acknowledged having been violent toward a former girlfriend. He said severe dyslexia left him virtually illiterate and unable to go to college, so he had fallen in with the wrong crowd in younger years. He talked about generous financial support, including help with his rent, from his father, Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

And he acknowledged using steroids but denied allegations he sold them.

“I’ve never sold steroids,” he said. “I go to my dad for money. It’s not worth my time, to do a year in jail for a couple of bottles of steroids.”

Perhaps the clearest glimpse into Remy’s tragic, complicated life comes in a report from a psychologist that was submitted in Waltham District Court, apparently documenting his progress while on probation.

In the past, Remy exhibited impulsivity, overly aggressive responses, and “a profound difficulty distinguishing his feelings (e.g. he’d frequently confuse ‘sad’ feelings with ‘mad’ feelings)” wrote the psychologist who had seen Remy for five years.

While the psychologist lamented Remy’s refusal to take anti-anxiety medication, he said Remy had made real and substantial progress, becoming more “self-observant and more appropriately self-regulating.” And he called Remy “a devoted father.”

“Like the rest of us, Mr. Remy must be held responsible for his actions,” the psychologist concluded. “I mention the anxiety disorder here only to acknowledge that in difficult moments, Mr. Remy’s neurological/biochemical state works against him. This condition is something the vast majority of us don’t have to deal with.”

Remy is the oldest of three children of Phoebe and Jerry Remy, who spent 10 years in the Major Leagues before building a career as the beloved voice of Red Sox Nation.

His therapist indicated Jared Remy attended the Gifford School in Weston, a therapeutic school for students with learning or behavioral challenges.

His criminal history in Waltham District Court goes back to 1998, when he was charged with destruction of property belonging to the mother of his son. He would soon become a frequent presence in the courthouse for charges that included possessing a hypodermic needle and hitting a woman in the head with a beer bottle at a Waltham bar in 2003. But most of the charges between 2002 and 2005 involved his then-girlfriend — assault, threats, and violating a restraining order.

He allegedly threatened to kill her at least twice. In 2004, she said she found him cutting up her clothing and pictures with scissors after a fight. The following year, he accepted responsibility for punching and kicking her until she ran to a neighbor’s house.

Remy said his steroid use did not contribute to the violence.

“I made mistakes,” he told the Globe. “That was just me getting mad and making wrong decisions.”

He apparently stayed out of trouble with the law for a number of years.

In the early 2000s, Remy began working for the Red Sox, setting up security gates, checking visitors’ bags, and walking around the ballpark making sure people had their credentials. He said his father helped him get the $11-an-hour job.

It came to an unhappy end in 2008, when a fellow Red Sox security employee, Nicholas Alex Cyr, was found asleep at the wheel driving home from a fund-raiser hosted by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett. Police found a vial of steroids in the car, and Cyr said he bought the drugs from Remy.

The two workers told the Red Sox and Major League Baseball that they knew of no steroid use by players, but Remy told the Spotlight Team a former aide to David Ortiz had talked openly about his own steroid use while the former aide and Remy were at Gold’s Gym on Lansdowne Street.

Remy was proud of his encyclopedic knowledge of weightlifting and said he could bench 475 pounds — 100 pounds more than he estimated he would be able to lift if he had not used performance-enhancing drugs. He also said he had an injury related to his steroid use that required surgery.

A friend of his who spoke to the Globe in 2009 on condition of anonymity said Remy got into bodybuilding because he was a scrawny kid. Despite Remy’s dyslexia, the friend called him very smart.

The police report for Remy’s arrest Tuesday listed his employer as LTS Sports, a merchandising company that Jerry Remy cofounded, with initials that stand for “Life’s too short.”

Globe correspondent Stephen Kurkjian and Scott Allen of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Marcella Bombardieri can be reached at bombardieri@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeMarcella.
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