Orion Krause, right, is arraigned on four counts of murder in Ayer District Court Monday as his lawyer, Edward Wayland, listens to the proceeding. He was
Orion Krause, right, is arraigned on four counts of murder in Ayer District Court Monday as his lawyer, Edward Wayland, listens to the proceeding. He was held without bail in the slaying of his mother, grandparents and a caretaker in Groton on Friday and ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation. See video and slide show at lowellsun.com. sun/john love

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

AYER -- Orion Krause neither spoke nor showed any emotion as he was ordered held without bail Monday for allegedly beating his mother, maternal grandparents and one of his grandparents' caretakers to death with a baseball bat.

Krause, 22, of Rockport, Maine, was arrested Friday evening, shortly after he knocked on the door of his grandparents' neighbor on Common Street in Groton while naked and covered in blood, according to that neighbor, Wagner Alcocer.

Shortly after Alcocer called 911 at 5:52 p.m., Groton police found four people dead of blunt-force trauma at 80 Common St. -- the home of Krause's grandparents.

Orion Krause and his lawyer, Edward Wayland, listen to the judge in Ayer District Court on Monday.Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug
Orion Krause and his lawyer, Edward Wayland, listen to the judge in Ayer District Court on Monday.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has identified the dead as Krause's mother, Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause, 60, of Rockport, Maine; Krause's maternal grandparents Elizabeth Lackey, 85, and Frank Lackey, 89, of Groton; and Bertha Mae Parker, 68, of Groton, who was a home health-care worker working with the Lackeys.

Investigators recovered a baseball bat in the yard of the Krause family home that appeared to have been used in the attack, according to prosecutors.

Few details of the case were discussed at Krause's arraignment, which focused mainly on Krause being sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental-health evaluation that will determine his competency to stand trial.


Advertisement

Neither police nor prosecutors have said anything about a possible motive for the attack.

Krause, who graduated from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio earlier this year, watched proceedings attentively as he stood in Ayer District Court with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Two college classmates have described Krause as a "gentle," and largely quiet jazz musician and drummer.

An unidentified spectator in Ayer District Court reacts to the murder arraignment of Orion Krause on Monday. See video and a slide show at lowellsun.com.
An unidentified spectator in Ayer District Court reacts to the murder arraignment of Orion Krause on Monday. See video and a slide show at lowellsun.com. SUN photos /JOHN LOVE

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

"He was one of the most gentle people I've ever gotten to know," said an Oberlin classmate, Louie Krauss, of Baltimore, who is not related to the Krause family. "He wasn't the most talkative guy ever, but he would listen really intently to what you had to say."

Krause watched as Assistant District Attorney Tom Brant and defense attorney Edward Wayland spoke to Judge Margaret Guzman about scheduling for the case.

He wore a T-shirt with the logo of a Maine seafood restaurant, with what appeared to be a sweater tied around his waist, but maintained an emotionless facial expression even as some of over a half dozen people in the back of the courtroom appeared to shed tears.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan speaks Monday at a press conference at the police station about the murders in Groton on Friday night. Next to her
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan speaks Monday at a press conference at the police station about the murders in Groton on Friday night. Next to her is Police Chief Donald Palma.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

The identity of those in the back of the court, who were escorted into and out of the room by police and court officers, was not immediately clear.

Guzman ordered Krause held without bail, ordered him sent to Bridgewater, and preliminarily set Oct. 30 as his next court appearance, though that appearance could take place sooner if Krause's mental-health evaluation is completed.

At a press conference after the arraignment, Ryan said Krause left Rockport on Thursday evening, which prompted his concerned mother to contact Rockport police with a description of his vehicle.

His mother was "reassured" Friday morning when Krause called her and reported he was "fine" and in the Greater Boston area, Ryan said. Later Friday morning, he called his mother back and asked her to give him a ride home, Ryan said.

Elizabeth Krause drove to an undisclosed Greater Boston community and picked up Krause on Friday, initially intending to head straight home to Maine, Ryan said.

"The original plan was to return to the family home, but at some point a decision was made to visit grandparents in Groton," Ryan said.

It was at some point during that visit that Krause allegedly attacked his family and Parker before appearing at Alcocer's home in the nude. Alcocer said Krause claimed to have killed four people when he appeared outside Alcocer's home.

Also Friday, Krause at some point called "an individual known to him" and made statements that prompted that individual to begin calling family members and police, according to Ryan. 

"At approximately the same time police responded to the call from Common Street, they also got calls at the police station from other family members and the individual Krause had called," Ryan said.

At Brant's request, Judge Guzman ordered a police report regarding the incident impounded, so further details were not immediately available.

A story appearing in Monday's Penobscot Bay Pilot, located in Camden, Maine, provided background information on the victims. According to the article, Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause was married to Alexander "Lexi" Krause, a longtime tuna fisherman.

Buffy graduated from a private boarding school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with the Class of 1975, the article states. She and Lexi lived on Penobscot Bay islands before moving to Rockport with ther young children.

Buffy was a tennis player who often competed in local fundraising events.

Her parents, Frank Danby Lackey III and Elizabeth (Cleveland) Lackey, were married June 9, 1956 in Pelham Manor, N.Y. Mrs. Lackey was a graduate of the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., L'Ecole Brillantmont in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Connecticut College.

Mr. Lackey was a 1947 graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and later graduated from Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, according to the article. He also served in the U.S. Navy for three years.

The Lackeys gave generously of time, spirit and financial resources, the Peobscot Bay Pilot pointed out based on an exploration of online records of numerous charitable organizations.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis.