Former Fall River
detective revisits cult
murders for documentary
Former Fall River Police Detective Alan Silvia talks about the cult murders with Stephanie Kovac, of M2 Pictures, while a production crew turns his house into a television studio for the on-camera interview.
Former Detective Alan Silvia tries every day to block out the memories of the grisly cult murders conducted by Carl Drew and Robin Murphy.
But all those memories flooded back to the forefront recently when a film crew filled his home with cameras and lights to conduct a three-hour detailed interview of his involvement in the case.
“I don’t think about it on a regular basis, I try not too,” Silvia said. “It changed my life working on that case.”
Silvia is just one of the numerous interviews being conducted by crews associated with M2 Flims, an independent Virginia-based production company specializing in creating content for broadcast and cable outlets.
President and Executive Producer Mike Sinclair said the documentary is being produced for an Investigation Discovery series called “Wicked Attraction.” Sinclair said the serires focuses on the “psychological attraction of murdering couples and duos and the effort of police to solve these usually complicated crimes.” He said the program is expected to air sometime this autumn.
“This is a terribly complicated case that was difficult to solve and had some great police work,” Sinclair said. “We’re always looking for great police work with a lot of twists and turns. ... The Fall River case, I just thought had a lot of really interesting aspects. Cases this complex are usually very difficult to solve, and then you throw in the cult aspect and it becomes even more complex.”
Drew was convicted of the 1980 ritualistic murder of Fall River teenager Karen Marsden. Her murder was the third in a string of similar cult slayings in and around Fall River at that time. Drew and Murphy were both accused of dragging Marsden into the Westport woods, decapitating her and performing satanic rituals on her body. Drew was sentenced to life in prison without parole following a trial in 1981. Murphy, who was convicted of second-degree murder in Marsden’s killing in exchange for her testimony against Drew, was paroled in 2004.
Sinclair said there is still hope that Drew will be interviewed for the documentary, but said the process is now in the hands of prison officials.
“There is still that opportunity, and we’re hoping to talk to him and gather his story,” Sinclair said.
Although he tries to block out the memories of the case, Silvia described it as “a story that never seems to die.”
“They wanted more detail than I’m normally asked for, so it did bring up some strange feelings of what happened back then,” Silvia said.
Despite those feelings, Silvia said he is happy to see the story gain national attention.
“I’m happy the story’s being told, it was just so strange and bizarre,” Silvia said. “It took so much out of me.”