Mohoney Trial

By Karin Carlson

While going through the WCVB news film cans I came across several with a note taped to the lid that said “Mahoney film held by court 4/7/77.”  After running across this a few times I began to wonder what the Mahoney trial was and why the court might have held the film.  With my interest peaked, I dug a little deeper and found out what the Mahoney trial was about.

On New Years Eve 1975 Maureen Mahoney arrived at her home in Tewksbury to find her mother, father, and 15-year-old brother had been murdered.  Dr. Hugh Mahoney had been a well-respected member of the community and as an obstetrician had delivered many of the neighborhood children.  The community was shocked by this senseless, and seemingly motiveless murder.  Several months later the case remained unsolved and police feared they may not find the killer.  Then a lucky break occurred when Donald Wilson, in custody of the New Hampshire police on unrelated charges, began to talk about the murders.

On the night of the murders, four men had gone into the Mahoney home with the intention of robbing a wall safe.  Donald Wilson was the driver, and therefore did not enter the house or participate in the murders.  His brother Robert Wilson entered the house along with Robert Smith and Terence Milan.  The robbery went wrong from the beginning and the burglars shot and killed the family.  Donald Wilson testified against the rest and went into witness protection after the trial.  Milan was also a witness for the prosecution and as a result was granted immunity for his part in the murders.  He still went to jail, however, for his part in another murder that the gang had committed.  Robert Smith and Robert Wilson were both convicted and sent to prison.  Milan was released in 2003, Smith died in 1988, and Wilson is still serving his sentence.

This gang was part of the “Troy Boys,” a gang from Troy, New Hampshire that was basically dispersed after this trial.  I did not find any information on why the film might have been held by the court, but I did find a few other reels that relate to this trial that were not seized and look forward to watching them.

Did you live in Tweksbury at this time?  Do you remember these murders?  Or were you in the Troy area in the mid-1970’s when the Troy Boys were active?


Associated Press. “Killer eligible for parole.” Lewiston Sun Journal, December 23, 1991. Pg.8

Associated Press. “Massachusetts Murders, New Hampshire Cases May be Linked.”  Naushua Telegraph, June 28, 1976.  Pg.3

Mcardle, Raymond C. “30 years later, triple murder’s impact still reverberates.”  Special to the Sun

“Commonwealth vs. Robert Stanley Wilson – 381 Mass 90.”  March 6 1980- July 7 1980.  Accessed November 7, 2012.