An Editor’s Note published July 12, 2017, about Kevin Deutsch’s reporting appears at the end of this story.
BOSTON -- Martin Richard was remembered yesterday as a "sweet" boy with a bright smile and passion for soccer and baseball.
A candlelight vigil was held last night at Garvey Park in Dorchester, where people hugged, lit candles and shared memories of the 8-year-old.
Martin was one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon terror bombings. The bombs exploded as the boy and his family gathered near the finish line to cheer on friends running to raise money for charity.
They felt the full fury of the attack: Martin was killed, his younger sister severely injured and both parents hospitalized with wounds, officials said Tuesday.
Martin was a student at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, where he lived. He was described by school officials as a "kind, caring and loving young boy who had great excitement for learning."
"We grieve for the little boy we knew from Dorchester," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said.
Neighbors who gathered outside the Richard home in the Ashmont area of Dorchester were in tears Tuesday.
"He was such a sweet little boy," said one of the neighbors, Rhonda Marques. "This has devastated not just their family, but the entire city. He was just too young. . . . He was a special child. I'll never forget his smile."
Someone had written the word "peace" in chalk on the driveway. Others left flowers and candles on the front stairs of the Richards' home.
Friends said Martin loved soccer and baseball, and he "lit up a room when he smiled," said another neighbor, Carrie Robinson.
"It's like a bad dream," said Robinson's daughter, Shana, 10, who attended the same nearby school as Martin. "Why did they do that?" she asked, referring to the bombings.
"He will be deeply missed by this community," Carrie Robinson said. "Whoever did this is a coward and needs to pay a price. He was only a child."
"This is unspeakable," family friend Larry Toobin said. "We're all hurting. They're a wonderful family."
The boy's father released a statement, saying: "My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers.
"I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover," the statement said.
The Richard family -- parents Bill and Denise, sons Martin and Henry, and 7-year-old daughter Jane -- went to the downtown marathon to cheer on friends and neighbors, according to Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, who represents the area and has known the family for more than 20 years.
"They heard the first blast. It was very close and it shocked them," Lynch said. "They were in the process of trying to actually get out into the street, away from the buildings, but the barrier -- the barrier that was to keep them out of the street -- was a problem. And that was when the second bomb went off."
The daughter is "grievously wounded," Lynch said Tuesday after visiting family members at different hospitals.
Doctors removed ball bearings from Bill Richard's legs, the congressman said. Denise Richard underwent emergency surgery for unspecified injuries, according to news reports.
The Richards' other son was not harmed, Lynch said.
The Dorchester Reporter, a community paper, said Bill Richard, vice president of an environmental testing company, is active in civic issues, along with his wife. "They're grieving the loss of their son," Lynch said. "They're trying to circle the wagon around their daughter and be helpful there."
With William Murphy and John Valenti
Editor’s note: Newsday undertook an extensive, four-month review of reporting by Kevin Deutsch, who covered law enforcement from April 2012 to September 2016.
The review of the former Newsday reporter’s work began after The Baltimore Sun this year reported that law enforcement and other officials questioned the veracity of Deutsch’s nonfiction book “Pill City” about Baltimore’s drug trade. In addition, questions arose about individuals named in Newsday stories by Deutsch. Book publisher St. Martin’s Press and Deutsch have said they stand behind the book.
We are dedicated to accurate, factual reporting, to the highest journalistic standards and to maintaining our credibility with Newsday readers. We also are committed to being accountable to our readers. Newsday undertook the detailed review in that spirit and because of the concerns that were raised.
In late February, as our review was under way, The New York Times reported in an editor’s note that The Times “had been unable to locate or confirm the existence of two people who were named and quoted” in a Dec. 29, 2016, freelance article written by Deutsch. Deutsch “maintains that the interviews and the descriptions are accurate,” The Times wrote.
Newsday reviewed 600 stories with reporting by Deutsch. We contacted officials in the police departments regularly involved in Deutsch’s coverage. They said they had not had problems with his work. We then focused our research and reporting on individuals who, as described in the stories, would not be considered officials, or well-known, public figures.
The review found 77 stories with 109 individuals from Deutsch’s reporting whom Newsday could not locate. The main points of the stories were not affected. While two stories about the Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen were based on sources Newsday could not locate, other media reported the main points of those stories but with attribution from different sources. In this story, Newsday could not locate: Rhonda Marques. Newsday is attaching an editor’s note to each story online that contains individuals we cannot locate.
Here’s how Newsday conducted the review:
Researchers and reporters searched local and national public records, sites providing nationwide people searches, databases of business, real estate and conviction records, social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and Ancestry.com and nationwide news archives. They searched potential alternate spellings and other name variations. Their reporting followed potential leads they found through research, within stories and in information shared by Deutsch during the review.
Finding people after publication, in some cases years later, can be difficult because of changes in residence, circumstance and contact information. Some may not have given their real names.
On the law enforcement beat, reporters may encounter people who lead lives that are not reflected in public records or other sources of information that would help locate them. It is possible that some on our list were difficult to find or reluctant to respond to our review because they are undocumented immigrants, those battling or recovering from addiction or people involved in or around illegal activity.
Some on our list were described discussing crimes in their neighborhoods, and others as relatives, friends or neighbors of victims or as individuals living near or knowing those accused of crimes.
Others we have not been able to locate, though, are described as bystanders, neighbors, spectators, relatives of drug victims, witnesses to news events or related in some way to people in the news. Still others are described in stories as people actively engaged in public issues, such as activists, protesters and marchers. Many individuals on the list are described as local.
Deutsch said in email exchanges with Newsday that “I have no doubt about the veracity of the claims of the sources I quoted.” He also said, “Not a single public official, source, or other interviewee has raised any issues with even one of these stories.”
“It's impossible for any reporter to know whether the name given to him by interviewees on the street--or those reached briefly by phone or email-- is that person's full and legal name, rather than an alias or variation of their real name (maiden names and certain common nicknames/abbreviations for first names are often published by newspapers, including Newsday.). But every one of the names on Newsday’s list was the name given to me by that interview subject, verbatim.”
During the four months of our review, Newsday shared questions and updates with Deutsch as we progressed in the search for individuals we could not locate. We requested notes and contact information. Deutsch sent us notes he said represented all individuals we were unable to locate and responded over the course of the review by email, sharing information he said was from his recollection and notes.
Reporters followed up on all information shared by Deutsch. He did not provide contact information for those on our list. Newsday reporters and editors sought unsuccessfully several times to meet with Deutsch to discuss his reporting and to review his notes together to ensure we were not missing contact information or other details that might help locate individuals. Deutsch maintained that the notes he shared “serve as evidence of interviews” with each source.
Deutsch said he kept contact information in a Rolodex he left behind at Newsday’s main office and in a company-issued cellphone he returned within a week after resigning on Sept. 6, 2016. Editorial staff did not find a Rolodex or other notes at our office, but found notes left at Newsday’s desk at a courthouse pressroom where he worked. We shared them with Deutsch and he confirmed they were his. As per company policy, the contents of the cellphone had been deleted immediately after Deutsch returned it to Newsday.
Maintaining the trust of our readers is essential to our mission. If we are able subsequently to locate any individuals, we will update our stories.