scorecardresearch Skip to main content
From the archives | photos

The Blackfriars Massacre

June 28, 1978: Boston police secured the scene outside 105 Summer Street, where five men were found shot to death huddled together on the basement floor of the Blackfriars Pub. A law enforcement official said all five victims apparently had been shot in the head with a shotgun. “There was blood all over the place. All I could think of was the Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago,” he said.George Rizer/Globe Staff

On June 28, 1978, five bodies were found in the blood splattered basement of the Blackfriars Pub on Summer Street in Boston. The gangland-style killing would be known as the “Blackfriars Massacre.”

The Suffolk County District Attorney said he “had never witnessed a more shocking crime.” Among the dead were club manager John (Jack) Kelly, a former radio and investigative TV reporter who was known to associate with members of organized crime. Also killed were Charles Magarian, Peter Meroth, Freddie Delavega, and Vincent Solmonte, the club’s owner.

The victims were found shot in the head with either a .12 gauge shotgun, or a .25 caliber automatic or both — it was believed that there were two shooters. In 1979, Robert J. Italiano and William N. Ierardi were acquitted of the murder. They were the only suspects tried for this unsolved crime.