Sources provide details alleging murder-suicide

Globe opinion: Unseen peril in Arlington

Information from unnamed, unofficial sources say that the Arlington woman and her twins found dead Monday, Nov. 18, appeared to be victims of her husband, who cut his sons' throats and strangled his wife before killing himself, The Boston Globe reports.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office has not provided details about the deaths at 45 Newland Road, near the Peirce School, except to say that the public is not in danger and no suspects are sought. Awaited are autopsy reports in the cases of Mei Kum Jones, Scott D. Jones, an award-winning former paramedic; and their children.

The Globe reported it got its story from two law enforcement officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. Those officials said the knife used in the killings has been found.

The four were found dead in their apartment at 12:07 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.

Officials have yet to report a motive, but divorce-fueled anger could have spurred the mayhem. Mei Kum Jones's brother, Ben Li of Malden, said in an interview with Boston’s WBZ-TV that his sister and Scott Jones had recent marital problems.

Chief Fred Ryan and the Middlesex district attorney have said no suspects are sought.

A neighbor told The Globe that police responded to the house two years ago when Scott Jones threatened to kill himself -- confirmed by a police report.

How neighbors saw family

Some neighbors said they saw signs of trouble. Others saw an apparently happy family last week.

Neighbors said Mei Kum Jones was shy and was attentive to the children. They described her husband as compulsive.

The wife described herself on her Facebook page as a fitness buff who liked yoga, books, movies and taking long walks, The Globe reported.

Mei was a successful database marketer at Road Scholar, an educational travel company based in Boston; she held a master’s in business administration from Bentley University and had been invited to speak at national conferences in her field.

Mei Kum Jones was previously married, from 2000 to 2004, according to court records. The couple had no children. Her former husband, who asked The Globe not to name him, described her as a kind person with a background in computer software.

Scott Jones had previously lived in Revere, where investigators met with his former wife, The Globe reported. He also received a letter of recognition from then-Congressman Edward Markey in 2001 for his work after the office shooting at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield in which seven people were killed.

He had recently filed a lawsuit against his previous employer, LifeLine Ambulance of Woburn, where he had been a paramedic, his attorney said in a story reported Nov. 19 by the AP.

The lawyer, Timothy Burke, said Jones gave no appearance of marital problems.

But court records cited by The Globe show that Scott Jones had a turbulent history at work and at home, including two alleged suicide attempts and alleged infidelity with a neighbor’s au pair. His previous wife, Rosette Cataldo, said in court records that she at one point feared for her safety.

Cataldo married Jones in 2001, the same year he earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Suffolk University. The couple had a son and daughter, now 10 and 8, and settled in Revere. In court records, Jones said he earned a second associate’s degree in X-ray technology in 2007.

In December 2007, he was cited for drunken driving, according to a state driving record reported by The Globe.

Cataldo filed for divorce in early 2008 and they battled over custody of their children. The pair divorced in March 2009, and she won custody, but she agreed to gradually increase his visits over time, from two hours of supervised visits a week to weekends in 2010, soon after he had moved in with his girlfriend, Mei. As a condition of the visits, he was required to undergo drug and alcohol testing.

Residents of the quiet, hilly neighborhood expressed confusion and sadness for the twins.

A funeral for Mei Li Jones and her two sons will be private with family members only. It is scheduled for from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at the Waterman Funeral Home on Commercial Street, Boston. Burial will be immediately after.

Counseling offered at Peirce

Superintendent Kathleen Bodie wrote Nov. 19 that Peirce opened as usual that day and counseling was available for students who may need someone to talk with about their feelings.

District social workers, who had been trained this past summer on Crisis Caring, professional development funded through the Elementary Counseling Grant, met at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 19 at Peirce to review age-appropriate scripts about the tragedy that they later read in each class so that all students would have the basic information and be reassured that this was a very unusual event and that they were very safe in school and their home.

Students were encouraged that when they feel sad that it can help to talk to a teacher, draw a picture or make a card. Students were also invited to ask questions if they had any, Bodie wrote.

Previous cases?

YourArlington asked Capt. Richard Flynn, police public-information officer, whether Arlington has ever had four homicides at once, in the event that turns out to be the case here.

He wrote Nov. 19: "I have no knowledge of any previous incidents as described."

Asked about the last homicide in town, he referred to an incident on Epping Street, near Stratton School, on Feb. 26, 2007. In that case, a son murdered his father and injyred his mother.

The last time a family was slain in Massachusetts was June 2010, when Thomas Mortimer IV, killed his mother-in-law, his wife, and their two children, 2 and 4, in Winchester.

Monday afternoon background

Police Chief Frederick Ryan told Boston media that the bodies of two adults and two infants were found by an au pair.

The victims had signs of trauma and the deaths were being investigated as homicides, Ryan said.

"Obviously, it’s a very troubling event for the community," Ryan said at a late-afternoon news conference Nov. 18. "It’s important for you to all understand ... there is no risk to public safety at this time. We’re quite certain the community safe and people can go about their business this evening."

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, who emphasized that the investigation was in a very early stage, said: "As the chief has pointed out, we’re not looking for anybody at this point."

Nov. 19 Boston Globe story >>

Nov. 18 YourArlington story >>

Ryan said the manner and means of death would be determined by the medical examiner.

Newland Road resident John Belli told he was raking leaves when his daughter came rushing into his home, concerned that something happened to him.

Belli discovered that the street had been blocked off due to the incident four or five houses up from his. He said police are outside, with a marked car at one end of the street and unmarked cars at the other end.

Belli described the neighborhood as nice and quiet, a good place to raise kids.

"I used to leave the doors open, but not anymore," said Belli, who has lived on the street for 47 years.

Suicide threat in 2010

Because of media requests, Arlington police released the following report from 2010:

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, at about 5:20, a town officer went to 45 Newland Road for a well-being check.

Upon arrival, police made contact with the reporting party, who said that about 6 p.m. her boyfriend, Scott Jones, had called her and was very upset.

During their conversation, Jones convinced the woman that he intended to commit suicide. He informed her that he had left a note and that he wanted to be at peace. The note that Jones left instructed Fulton to give his personal belongings to his former wife.  

At this time Sgt. Richard Pedrini arrived on scene to speak with the woman who had reported the matter. While speaking with her, Jones called her cell phone and instructed her to go into his computer, access his insurance policy in order to make her the beneficiary.

He was very demanding and sounded extremely upset. He became frustrated over the phone and hung up.

Police attempted to call Jones back; however, he would not answer. Police contacted dispatch to request that Verizon attempt to ping his cell-phone location.  Verizon was able to locate his cell phone in the Saugus area. A broadcast was sent out to all surrounding communities with a description of Jones's vehicle and his last known location.

Police called Jones's ex-wife to find out if he had contacted her. She stated that she had not spoken to him since noon time and he did nothing to lead her to believe he wanted to harm himself.

After taking all pertinent information, police advised the reporting party to contact them if Jones made any attempts to contact her.

About 6:45 p.m., state police contacted Arlington PD informing them they had located Jones's vehicle, a 2005 green Honda Accord in the parking lot at Break Heart Reservation in Saugus. They informed us that they were going to set up a command post and conduct an area search with K-9 units.

State police later located Jones and transported him to Mass. General Hospital for treatment.

This story was published Tuesday,  Nov. 19, 2013, and updated lfor the next three days, the last to correct who was murdered in a 2007 case.