Serial child rapist Wayne Chapman is dead, his lawyer says.
According to attorney Eric Tennen, Chapman died of natural causes on Wednesday night at a Connecticut nursing facility. He was 73 years old.
In 1977, Mr Chapman was convicted of raping two boys in Lawrence, Massachussetts – but those were not his only victims. A court found that Chapman had raped at least 50 children, and Chapman himself told police the number was closer to 100.
Chapman was also the only suspect in the 1976 disappearance of a 10-year-old Lawrence boy named Andy Puglisi, although he was never charged.
For his convicted crimes, Chapman was sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 2004 his sentence ended, but he was deemed a sexually dangerous person and was civilly committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center.
In 2018, two psychiatrists who evaluated Chapman – at this point in his 70s and suffering from Parkinson’s Disease – concluded that he was no longer dangerous. In 2019, over the objections of his victims, he was finally released.
In his last two years of life, Chapman lived at a series of Boston-area homeless shelters and medical facilities before finally settling at a nursing home outside Hartford, Connecticut.
Melanie McLaughlin, a childhood friend of Andy Puglisi, told the Boston Herald she was “sad and angry” as Chapman died a free man.
“Hopefully there’s more justice on the other side than there was here,” she said.
Ms McLaughlin still remembers the day she spent playing with her friend at a neighborhood pool in 1976, shortly before he vanished.
“Chapman was the last one seen leaving the pool with Andy, multiple witnesses said,” she told the Herald. “There’s hundreds of crimes he got away with. He got away with my 10-year-old friend.”