Brockton killer Keith Luke dies in hospital

Had attempted suicide before

Avowed white supremacist Keith Luke during his trial in Brockton Superior Court.
Avowed white supremacist Keith Luke during his trial in Brockton Superior Court.George Rizer for The Boston Globe/Boston Globe

Keith Luke, a self-described neo-Nazi who was convicted of murdering a man and a woman and raping and critically wounding another woman in Brockton in 2009, died Monday after a possible suicide attempt, officials said.

Luke, 28, of Brockton, was found guilty last May and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for his attacks on the three people of Cape Verdean descent. He confessed to police that he targeted nonwhites and planned to end his spree by committing suicide.

He had been on life support at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Center in Shirley Saturday.


Luke was pronounced dead Monday afternoon, said Department of Correction spokesman Darren Duarte.

“We suspect it’s another suicide attempt by Luke,” said Duarte in an e-mail about his death. An investigation is ongoing, he said.

While in prison, Luke had attempted suicide on other occasions, said Duarte. Before his trial, Luke had a swastika carved into his forehead.

“If someone has a propensity toward violence, it can be directed at others and directed at themselves,” said Leslie Walker, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services.

The 22-year-old surviving victim of the Brockton spree, who has not been identified because she is a victim of sexual assault, answered Luke’s knock at her Clinton Street apartment door on Jan. 21, 2009. Armed with a gun, he barged in and handcuffed and raped her.

Luke shot and killed Selma Goncalves, 20, at the apartment. He shot the surviving victim seven times, including once in the head. As he fled, Luke shot and killed Arlindo DePina Goncalves, 72, who was not related to Selma.

After a brief police chase during which he shot at two officers, Luke was arrested.


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Supremacist confessed to investigators a plan to kill

Jennifer Smith can be reached at jennifer.smith@globe.com