"He died doing what was right," said David J. McRae, a Taunton resident, who is related to the fallen police officer. "He was taken far too soon. And he should be remembered for his bravery."
Nov. 29 marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Guyette, who was the first of at least four Brockton police officers killed in the line of duty throughout the history of the department. Guyette was 35 years old, and was a Brockton police officer for nearly four years at the time of his death.
For McRae, the 100th anniversary is a chance to set the story straight. In recent years, the story told prominently was that Guyette was involved in a raid on an illegal rum factory in Brockton, but that's not the case, said McRae, whose great-great-grandmother was siblings with the police officer.
"I think it's remarkable, and I also think it's tragic that no one has heard of it, and those who have heard of it have heard the wrong side of the story," McRae said. "It's a classic case of not everything you read on the internet is true."
Instead, McRae said, Guyette was shot to the death when responding to a report of domestic violence, the type of call that Brockton police officers respond to on a regular basis. Guyette was shot by the infuriated domestic abuser, Pasquale Catrambone, after the police officer heard the screams of Catrambone's wife Maria from inside of their Summer Street home, McRae said. Press accounts from the time state that Guyette attempted to make an arrest, but he was shot three times at point blank range by Cantrambone, with one bullet striking him in the heart, killing him instantly.
Cantrambone, 39 at the time, had just finished a prison sentence for a prior assault, when Guyette and another officer confronted him, after the police station received a telephone call about the domestic abuser causing a disturbance and beating his wife at their 162 Summer St. tenement. During an initial visit to Summer Street, the officers found Cantrambone outside across the street, giving him a warning that he'd end up in jail if there was any more trouble. Guyette and his fellow officer made it seem like they were returning to the police station, but they actually continued to stake out the situation from around the corner, until hearing Cantrambone beating his wife from a distance and going in to make an arrest.
"They heard ... a woman's scream," according to an account in The Enterpirse on Dec. 1, 1919. "The officers started for the tenement. On the way, they heard another blow and another outcry from the woman. ... The unfortunate officer did not have a chance for his life. As he crossed the threshold, determined to place Cantrambone under arrest, the latter, who had his revolver in his hand, is alleged to have fired point blank at the officer."
McRae said he learned of the story of Guyette after researching his family genealogy and doing research of newspaper clippings on the murder published by the former Brockton Daily Times and The Enterprise.
Guyette left behind a wife, a 7-year-old daughter and a baby boy. In the aftermath of his death, The Enterprise launched a relief fund for the young family.
McRae said the slaying was especially unfortunate, considering Guyette wasn't initially scheduled to work that day, until he switched shifts with a co-worker.
Another aspect to the story is the sympathy that the widow of Guyette, Eva May (Lozo) Guyette, selflessly expressed for the wife of Cantrambone and her baby daughter. Eva Guyette sent a gift package of soft, white baby shoes, pink ribbons and a pink rattle to the Cantrambones, intended for the baby girl.
"She didn't forgive Pasquale for what he did to her husband, but she couldn't resist sending the child something when she saw her picture in the paper," McRae said.
That was during the adjudication of the murder case against Cantrambone, who later pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to life in state prison. Cantrambone came up for parole more than 25 years later, but it was denied, McRae said. Cantrambone was sentenced in the same Brockton court and on the same day as Bartolomeo Vanzetti, of the anarchist duo Sacco and Vanzetti, who was convicted in a controversial trial of assault with intent kill and intent to rob after the robbery of a shoe factory in Bridgewater. The presence of Cantrambone and Vanzetti drew a large presence of Italians from the community to the courthouse.
One more detail to the story is that Guyette's police partner, who was with him at the time of the murder, was suspended from the force for 10 days as a result of an investigation into the incident. Brockton police determined that Patrolman Joseph McKenney was carrying an unloaded firearm when the incident took place, preventing him from firing back on Cantrambone, who was arrested hours later after a citywide manhunt. Police found Cantrambone holed up at a brother's house, McRae said.
In addition to Guyette, other Brockton police officers who have been killed in the line of duty include John Sullivan, who died on Aug. 19, 1931, John Savalis, who died on Feb. 10, 1980, and John Gilbert, who died on March 8, 1984.
McRae said this was his first noteworthy story that he could dig up from his family's history, and that he's happy to share the story with others, after doing a genealogy search involving correspondence with extended family and research at the Brockton Public Library, using microfilm archives of city newspapers. One takeaway McRae said he has from his research is that Brockton was just as violent back then as it is now.
"I was shocked, but fascinated. I wanted to learn more," McRae said. "It really drew me in. Who is this man? What happened, what did he do what was his life like. ... One thing people need to realize is that for all the talk people say about how much better those days were, it really wasn't. It was the same stuff, different year. If you go read any Brockton paper from the early 20th century, you'll find the exact same things we are all dealing with now, shootings, stabbings, births, marriages, deaths."
Especially on this 100th anniversary, McRae said Guyette should not be forgotten for his contributions to public safety in Brockton.
Casual Kid Shoe
Baby Shoes, Kids Shoes, Parent-Child Shoes, Baby Sneakers - Ling Feng,https://www.lingfengshoes.com/