By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The year that Susan “Su” Taraskiewicz was murdered she helped her mother Marlene celebrate her 50th birthday in June. Three months later Su was found murdered and stuffed in the trunk of her Toyota at a Route 1A auto body shop in Revere.
It was Sept. 14, 1992 and every year since that date Marlene, with the help of the State Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, has made sure her story and plea for answers is put out there.
Su worked the 11 p.m.-7 a.m. shift at Logan Airport. She left the airport to pick up sandwiches in the early hours of September 12. She never came back to work and no one ever reported her missing.
On Monday at the State Police barracks at Logan Airport Marlene, who strongly and confidently holds her head up as she speaks, remembered her then 27-year-old daughter.
“No one has a right to take anyone’s life,” Marlene said. And especially my daughter Susan.”
Su, a graduate of Saugus High School, was a ramp supervisor for Northwest Airlines at Logan Airport. She had worked her way up from cleaning cabins to the ramp in five years. One of her favorite jobs was de-icing planes.
“She met so many people and had an autograph book signed by so many people. She met Charles Bronson. Max Gail from Barney Miller. She loved the fact of meeting them all,” Marlene said. “She also used to make all the Halloween costumes for the kids in the neighborhood. She had a lot of talent. She wanted to be a cartoonist. She met Charles Schultz in February, 1992. He drew the Snoopy on her gravestone at Woodlawn Cemetery. I have over 2,000 Snoopy’s boxed away.”
Su also had been a victim of sexual harassment. Someone had smashed her radio and left a graffiti drawing of a coffin with her name on it.
At the time, police thought her murder might have to do with an investigation into a credit card theft ring at the airport. There are still strong suspicions and suspects. There is still a $250,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of the guilty party, funding that came from the now defunct Northwest Airlines.
“Even after 24 years there are still people afraid to come foward,” Marlene said.
Police wanted to make it clear that having information about the credit card scam doesn’t necessarily connect them with the murder. Police would just like anyone with information to come forward. This has been a very active case, said Lt. Bob Murphy of the Suffolk County Detective Unit, which also handled the Baby Bella case. He took over the case 13 years ago.
Marlene knows anyone involved in the murder now has grandkids. She can’t imagine what it would be like to have your grandkids know of any involvement in Su’s murder.
Since Su’s murder, Marlene has experienced a lot of loss – her husband, son, brothers and sisters, and parents. Marlene and her other daughter, who now all live in Peabody are the only survivors. She has three teenage grandchildren who have also learned the story of their aunt.
“I will get justice for Susan,” Marlene said. “Susan wasn’t perfect but she was a loving and very giving girl. She would do anything for you. The only thing Susan wanted to be is a supervisor on the ramp, to help people who traveled. She was not perfect, she had her ways.”
The Tarakiewicz murder case has been covered on the internet, newspapers, television, and videos by Marlene. Police urge people to come forward with information and to see Marlene’s latest video on the State Police Facebook page. Call 617-727-8817 with any information about the case.
Marlene will go to mass on Su’s anniversary and visit the cemetery.