Police Chief Comments After Conkey Sentenced for Dempsey Murder
LPD Chief Mark Corr speaks of delayed justice after a convicted killer is sentenced to life in prison for the previously unsolved 1992 murder of a Lexington resident.
After convicted killer Craig Conkey was sentenced to life in prison last week for the previously unsolved 1992 murder of Kathleen Dempsey, Patch reached out to Lexington Police Chief Mark Corr for comment. Here is his response:
A television program recently highlighted the story of 1st Lt. Billie Harris of the 355 Fighter Group who was shot down over Normandy, France in 1944. His wife waited until 2006 before she learned that her husband, reported as missing in action, was in fact killed and buried with honors in Normandy. When asked if she found closure in finally learning her husband’s fate, she said no, there was only acceptance. When asked about the red tape and mistakes that were made, the proud widow simply said, there is forgiveness. I was struck by her profound sense of loss and how she was able to cope for so many years.
On July 3, Craig Conkey pleaded guilty to the murder of Kathleen Dempsey in 1992. Her family and friends waited almost 20 years for answers to difficult questions. After the udge passed sentence, Kathleen’s family did not speak of closure.
I was accompanied to the court by Capt. Steve Corr (ret) who was the Lexington Detective Lieutenant in 1992. Countless hours were dedicated to the investigation by my brother and a team of detectives from Lexington and the Massachusetts State Police. It wasn’t until Conkey was indicted for the 1994 murder of Mary Lou Sale that important pieces of the puzzle started to come together. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was responsible for Kathleen’s death as well. Detectives took every opportunity to interview Conkey and pursue new leads. Finally, a confession in 2011, followed by an investigation to prove the truth of the confession, led to one final day in court.
I watched my brother hug and share a few words with Kathleen’s mother. In that embrace I saw acceptance that the detectives did the best they could and forgiveness for delayed justice.