Lawyers for Revere man charged with killing his wife are pointing fingers at a second possible suspect

Andrew MacCormack at his arraignment in 2017.
Andrew MacCormack at his arraignment in 2017.PAT GREENHOUSE/GLOBE STAFF

Lawyers for a Revere man who allegedly murdered his wife, a beloved elementary school teacher, are maintaining that investigators should have looked into a now-deceased former boyfriend of the victim’s sister as a possible suspect.

Attorneys for Andrew MacCormack, 31, who is slated to stand trial next week on a charge of first-degree murder in the 2017 slaying of Vanessa MacCormack, 30, on Tuesday filed a motion to introduce evidence of investigators’ “failure” to look at the sister’s former boyfriend, who died last year.

Suffolk County prosecutors hadn’t filed a response as of early Thursday morning.

“The victim’s parents say that they and the victim did not like” the boyfriend, the defense motion said. “At the age of 47, [he] was considerably older than the victim’s sister, and the victim’s family had a poor opinion of his character and reputation.”


The filing said that at the time of the murder, Vanessa MacCormack’s family was “actively attempting” to keep the boyfriend away from Vanessa’s sister. The boyfriend, the motion said, had been the subject of three prior restraining orders by three different women, and he had racked up seven different arraignments for “assaultive offenses,” plus a stalking arraignment.

The boyfriend also lived near the MacCormack residence and had access to a key to the couple’s home, the filing said. He died of heart disease in March 2018.

Vanessa MacCormack was found dead in her home on Sept. 23, 2017. She suffered several stab and slash wounds to her face and neck, and one wound may have been delivered after she died, according to prosecutors.

There was also evidence the killer used “pretty extreme force” in strangling her, prosecutors have said.

Andrew MacCormack, who has a prior domestic violence arrest on his record stemming from a 2011 incident with another woman, has been held without bail since his arraignment days after his wife’s murder. He has pleaded not guilty.


Authorities have said areas in the MacCormacks’ home were scrubbed clean with bleach after the killing, and that Vanessa MacCormack’s body showed signs of a chemical burn consistent with bleach.

Police noted during an interview of Andrew MacCormack after the killing that he had a rash, which he blamed on a new laundry detergent, officials have said. Police who searched the house found no sign of any bleach containers, and a kitchen knife was missing, according to prosecutors.

In addition, prosecutors allege, blood traces were found in Andrew MacCormack’s SUV, and there was no sign of forced entry in the couple’s home.

Prosecutors have also alleged that Andrew MacCormack was blowing cash on drugs around the time of the murder and, shortly before the killing, contacted an escort to set up a date.

Three weeks before the slaying, prosecutors said, Vanessa MacCormack told her husband via text that he had ruined their daughter’s life “because she won’t have her parents together” and that she was planning to put their house up for sale and “look into divorce lawyers.”

Andrew MacCormack allegedly replied, “U r crazy I’m not signing anything.”

Days before the murder, prosecutors wrote, Vanessa MacCormack texted her husband, “We are in financial panic. You can’t even pay bills. You shovel off money to the druggies.”

Andrew MacCormack’s trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 16 in Suffolk Superior Court, according to legal filings.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.