Suspect in Mission Hill rapes dies

Patrick Barry, a former Northeastern student charged with trying to rape two women on Mission Hill last June - and then charged with sexually attacking a girl in Arlington last week - died at Brigham and Women's Hospital this morning.

Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan issued a statement:

This is an unfortunate situation, and Mr. Barry’s death is under investigation by Arlington Police, the Middlesex Sheriff, and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan’s Office. Mr. Barry made no statements about his health to Arlington Police at any time prior to his arraignment.



Free tagging: 



    Rumor around here is that he swallowed a whole bunch of Tylenol shortly before his arrest and the inevitable liver failure set in over time and that's why he took a week to die. No evidence for that yet, but the autopsy should clear up the mystery. Highly unlikely that he got a tune up from any LEO. The evidence against him was so strong that no one thought he would escape conviction. Hope his demise brings some peace to his victims.

    Tylenol only a theory

    Susan, I offered up that theory because it fit the few facts available. Without any information from tests done the week at hospitals or autopsy results publicly available, acetaminophen overdose is just one (strong) possibility. He does look jaundiced to me in his APD arrest mug shot but reportedly told APD he was not suicidal, perhaps thinking the Tylenol didn't work. I have no inside information to bolster the Tylenol theory.

    FYI - Public Service Announcement

    You don't have to swallow a whole bottle of Tylenol to destroy your liver.

    You can do this unintentionally by taking a multi-symptom multi-drug cold remedy and then taking tylenol on top of it, or simply by taking too many full doses in a 24 hour period because you have the flu and feel like crap.

    Accidental overdose is frighteningly common. Some countries have gone so far as to ban multi-symptom medications and require that "paracetemol" be sold only in blister packs. It is generally more expensive than ibuprofen in Europe, too.

    More info:

    Yup. Tylenol has many problems.

    First, it's got a surprisingly small therapeutic index -- the difference between an effective dose and a toxic one. Secondly, people mistakenly assume, because of the way it's sold and because hospitals hand it out like candy -- that it is "as safe as Aspirin". Combine the tiny therapeutic index and the popular belief that "It's safe, so I can take more than the recommended dose without worry," and you get a lot of trashed livers.

    Also, while it's a great painkiller, it's not a very good anti-inflammatory, so for sprains, minor joint injuries, etc, it's not nearly as good as Ibuprofen.

    I stay the hell away from it.

    The real question is why this

    The real question is why this guy was out on the street 9 months after being charged with attempting to rape and also stabbing two women in Mission Hill. I didn't find any evidence that he was ever convicted of those crimes. Are accused sex offenders really out on bail upwards of 9 months prior to trial in MA? Not that I'm complaining about the ultimate outcome, but a speedier trial would have prevented at least one of his crimes.


    The real question for me is

    why don't more people understand the concept of bail?

    He was only charged, not convicted, so the Commonwealth would need a compelling reason to keep him locked up before trial. It takes time for the lawyers to prepare their cases, assuming that the lawyers for both sides care about securing a satisfactory outcome for the side they represent. Admittedly, the sixth amendment allows for a speedy trial, but how is that determined? Therefore, it seems to me that 9 months is nothing. Aisling Brady has been locked up for over a year for allegedly killing a child she was minding, and she is being held on high bail. Leaving aside actual guilt or innocence, the delays are valid due to the requests for medical documentation to build a case and the high bail seems justified due to the nature of the case (allegedly killing a child) and the risk for flight (she is in the country illegally, so international borders don't seem to be a concern.)

    Note, I am not a lawyer nor have any connection with the criminal justice system, aside from being called for jury duty every 3 years. Still, if he wasn't an immediate danger or flight risk and if he could come up with whatever the bail was, that's why he was out on the street 9 months after being charged with attempted rape and the other charges. He hadn't been, and unfortunately for closure will never be, convicted of anything. I'm not saying he's innocent, but the justice system has this strange concept, in short "innocent, etc."



    chances are he was on a GPS ankle bracelet and had restrictions as to where he could go and what time he had to be home etc. Judges are in favor of lower bail and not filling beds with people waiting for trial.

    I understand the concept of

    I understand the concept of bail and take no issue with it. I take issue with the length of time allowed to elapse before the trial takes place. Just because the status quo is 1.5 years from arraignment to trial for a murder charge or at least 9 months in this particular case doesn't mean that is ok. That length of time may be valid in the case of a complex murder charge but there should be some urgency to get other types of criminals, including accused sex offenders, off the streets. After all, criminals like sex offenders are an "immediate danger" to society since many re-offend. Victims as well as the public have a right to a speedy trial just as much as an accused perpetrator does.

    Then the fault is with the system

    If the prosecution and defense agreed that they were ready but the judicial system couldn't schedule a date, that's a sixth amendment violation. If either side were working on the case (I don't know why, but theoretically) then it would have been a miscarriage of justice to have a trial before all sides were ready. If the defense were dawdling on this, I would imagine the prosecution would take issue (as happened in United States v Bulger).

    As far as the overall danger, in hindsight we can see that he was a threat, though as some have pointed out he did have an ankle monitor, but technically he was (and again unfortunately never will be) never found guilty of something.

    But yes, trials should be held as soon as possible.

    The Right to a Defense

    They can't bring him to trial right after he's arrested. His attorney needs time to subpoena the victim's therapy records and interview her old boyfriends to see if she was "that kind of girl."

    According to previous stories

    According to previous stories, he posted 50,000 bail, and was required to wear a GPS and check in with probation. I will tell you that the vast majority of people who have bail set, no matter how low, remain in custody pending trial or disposition. It strikes me that someone mortgaged their house so that this individual could be free prior to trial.


    I get the Tylenol theory, but other than proof of that or a congenital heart defect or aneurysm, hard to see how a 21 year old dies.

    You can't have jailors executing prisoners on their own initiative.


    According to the news reports

    According to the news reports he was brought to Billerica after court. At Billerica be was being seen by their medical department and it was determined he needed emergency medical care, so they sent him to Lowell General. From there transferred to Boston where he would expire.

    As of how they haven't released the information as to what ailment sent him to the hospital. It will come out eventually.