John McCabe was a 15-year-old boy who was last seen at a Knights of Columbus dance in 1969. His mother said he got all spruced up. “He didn’t shave but he put his father’s aftershave on.” By 11 o’clock she said she started looking out the window. That’s when the dance ended. “He should be home by midnight,” she remembers. But John didn’t come home.
The day after John McCabe went missing, three kids cutting through a vacant lot in Lowell, Massachusetts found John’s body. He had been bound, gagged and tied with rope. He was strangled to death. His family was fearful – the police hadn’t caught the person who killed their John. There was no physical evidence, no witness. The case remained unsolved for 42 years until one of the teen killers, Edward Brown (then 59) came forward in 2011. Brown testified that it was a prank that went dreadfully wrong. Brown and two other teens — Walter Shelley and Michael Ferreira — intended to teach McCabe a lesson for flirting with Shelley’s girlfriend at the dance. 48 Hours will air a special investigative report on October 31 at 9pm on CBS.