Forty years later, the sister of an 11-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered in Ronan Park recently proposed to rename a playground within the park her name.
Back in 1983, Maryann Hanley was found raped and murdered in the park. According to NBC10 Boston, Val Mayfield was found guilty of the murder of Hanley. He was sentenced to life in prison and was denied parole earlier this year.
According to the case, Mayfield, at 17, sought revenge after he thought Maryann had told on him for stealing a pair of sneakers.
The dedication proposal is being led by Maryann’s sister, Janet Kulka. Kulka says that she initially received support back in July from the Boston Parks Department. Also, she had the support of Meetinghouse Hill Civic Association, But after a presentation at the September 20th meeting by a neighbor, Linda Matranga, who is against the renaming, the group changed their decision.
A public hearing was held on September 28th to discuss memorializing the park in Maryann Hanley’s name hosted by the Parks Department. Family members and neighbors were there in support of it, while other residents led by Matranga were against it. The Dorchester Reporter recently reported the proposal was tabled abruptly.
Kulka believes naming the park after her sister is a way to honor her sister’s memory. The opposition feels it’s a dark reminder of a terrible tragedy and is very “upsetting.”
As of now, the Boston Parks Department has not rescheduled a follow-up meeting. But Kulka is not giving up. “It’s my mission to get the playground in Maryann’s name,” she told Caught in Dot via email.
You can read all the details here.