Peru grapples with ruin of convicted murderer Adam Lee Hall's home
But when Hall left, he made headlines.
State police swarmed his property in September 2011, seeking clues in three gruesome killings. Hall, a former official at a local Hell's Angels chapter, was charged, convicted and sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences in the deaths of David Glasser, Edward S. Frampton and Robert T. Chadwell.
The victims disappeared as Tropical Storm Irene swept through New England the month before. Their dismembered bodies were found buried in a trench in Becket two weeks later.
Back in Peru, Hall's former address fell into ruin — a problem that now belongs to the townspeople he left behind.
Residents agreed at the June 3 town meeting to allocate $7,000 to begin to deal with public safety hazards on the 40 East Main Road property Hall and Brittany Beggs purchased from a North Carolina couple in 2008.
At town meeting, residents debated whether it made sense to spend money on a property many see as a lost cause, its history darkened by the crimes Hall committed elsewhere.
But as officials noted, the problem now belongs, collectively, to the 845 residents of Peru.
Bruce Cullett, chairman of the Select Board, told residents the town needed to act.
"To try to get rid of the eyesore as much as possible," Cullett said. "Somebody would get hurt in there right now."
The town went to Land Court in 2013 to take the property for nonpayment of about $1,200 in taxes, when Hall was still awaiting trial. The town won a judgment against him in 2016 that said "all rights of redemption [for the property owner] are forever foreclosed and barred."
The town is moving now to secure title to an adjoining property that includes a barn just feet from the trailer that served as a dwelling on Hall's parcel. That separate tax-taking is expected to be completed within a month.
Some residents fretted about unidentified environmental hazards. A wrecked red truck stands on the west side of the trailer; a decrepit RV sits on the east side.
"Most of us know there's a mess there," one resident observed.
But town counsel Joel Bard assured residents that as long as the town doesn't go digging on the property, it does not incur liability for environmental degradation caused by an earlier owner.
No environmental inspections have been conducted by the town.
Though residents grumbled about the cleanup expense, officials argued they couldn't ignore the problem.
Fire Chief Eric Autenrieth said he conducted an inspection on the site and noted that the back of the dwelling was "half falling in," posing risks for people who stray onto the property.
The town considered the site as a new home for its trash transfer station, but it was found to be unsuitable.
One official noted, in jest, that proposals to build a theme park playing off Hall's criminal notoriety had gone nowhere.
Hall was convicted on Feb. 7, 2014, in a trial that was moved to Hampden County. He was sentenced Feb. 10, 2014, after being found guilty of three counts of murder; four counts of kidnapping; four counts of witness intimidation, armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon,possession of a firearm; and conspiracy. Some of the charges stemmed from offenses in 2009 and 2010.
At the sentencing, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder said he had never in his career encountered crimes as depraved as those committed by Hall. The victims, two of whom had developmental disabilities, were subjected to torture before they were slain.
Two other defendants, David Chalue and Caius Veiovis, were also found guilty of the three murders and received life sentences. Veiovis is appealing his conviction.
As the criminal history recedes, benign neglect of Hall's former property cannot continue, officials argued at town meeting, and residents agreed to shoulder the expense.
"We can't have a big tag sale," said George D. Greule, head of the Finance Committee. "It won't work."
Reach staff writer Larry Parnass at 413-496-6214 or @larryparnass.
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