Less than a week since her battered dead body was found inside her home, the husband of a beloved Lynn, Massachusetts teacher was arraigned for her murder. NBC Boston reports Andrew MacCormack, 29, sobbed in Chelsea District Court Wednesday as he was ordered to be held without bail for the brutal killing of his wife Vanessa.
Now, police say text messages helped them prove the motive.
While photographs on social media painted a picture of love and devotion, prosecutor’s say the MacCormack’s marriage was coming apart at the seems. This was allegedly due to Andrew’s raging cocaine habit, a local dealer telling police he spent up to $500 a week on the drug, according to ABC affiliate WCBV. Andrew had reported the theft of the couple’s wedding rings and also claimed his bank account was hacked, however, prosecutor’s say it was all a ruse to cover his coke tab.
Though they had bought a new home in 2015 just outside Boston in Revere, and had a 1-year-old daughter, Vanessa threatened divorce as money troubles piled up.
“I hate you so much... you’ve ruined (our daughter’s) life because she won’t have her parents together,” she wrote Andrew in a text message on August 31. “I’ll talk to (agent) tomorrow about listing the house and I’ll look into divorce lawyers…” A defiant Andrew responded, “Ur crazy, I’m not signing anything to sell the house or get divorced,” as quoted in the Boston Herald.
Vanessa MacCormack’s family became concerned last Saturday, September 28 when they were unable to reach her on her phone. They called Andrew, who had inexplicably brought his infant daughter with him to a carpentry job in nearby Saugus. When his daughter needed a diaper change, he drove home, taking a detour to East Boston where police say he bought $100 worth of cocaine.
He was on the phone with Vanessa’s mother as he entered the house and “discovered” his wife’s dead body. “Call 911, she’s gone,” he told her.
Responding officers found a gruesome murder scene. “(T)he victim’s face contained blunt force trauma, some of her teeth appeared to have been knocked out, and there were multiple sharp force injuries to her neck,” stated the police report. A large knife was missing from a butcher set on the kitchen and the medical examiner also noted signs of manual strangulation and suffocation.
Officers noted a strong smell of bleach at the crime scene, which appeared to have been cleaned up prior to their arrival. Chemical burns were found on the victim’s body, and Andrew MacCormack appeared to have a large rash on his upper torso. He said it was the result of switching laundry detergent brands, a claim prosecutors don’t believe.
Vanessa MacCormick was a second grade teacher at Connery Elementary School, up the road from her home in the Lynn School District.
In a statement earlier this week, principal Dr. Mary Dill said, "Vanessa was loved by students, parents, and colleagues. She was involved in every aspect of the school and a great friend to everyone on staff."
MacCormack’s sister, Angela Masucci, told WCBV Vanessa was “the world's best mother. She did everything for her daughter and had so many plans for her. She was her world.”