Home / Crime / Today marks the 19th anniversary of New Bedford man’s unsolved Halloween murder

Today marks the 19th anniversary of New Bedford man’s unsolved Halloween murder


On October 31st, 2004, at approximately 8:25pm, Cecil Lopes was shot and killed on Chancery Street near United Front Housing Project in New Bedford. Witnesses stated the shots were fired from a vehicle. Lopes was only 18 years old when he was murdered and was a business student at UMass Dartmouth.

Less than a year later on July 4th, 2005, there was a murder in Monte Park in New Bedford which was later found out to be retaliation for the murder of Cecil Lopes. John C. Burgos was sentenced to 15-17 years in state prison after admitting to the retaliation murder in a recorded conversation from his jail cell.

Burgos, while incarcerated on unrelated gun and drug charges, engaged in conversation with a friend who was also detained. The conversation was recorded pursuant to a court order. During the approximately one hour conversation, the Burgos admitted to killing Mr. Haywood with William Payne, who is now deceased. The defendant explained that he and Payne went to the Monte Park area to kill someone from the area, that Mr. Haywood was the first such person they saw and consequently it was his “judgment day.”

While there was a retaliation murder, it is not believed that the individual was the suspect in the murder of Cecil Lopes, which leaves us here 19 years later with no resolution.

If you have any information on this case please call 1-855-MA-SOLVE.

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