Justice Served Cold: The Murder of Dora Brimage

On the night of September 6th, 1987, Dora Jean Brimage, 19, accepted a ride from a birthday party in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. She was seen getting into a car with three men. The next day, construction workers renovating a vacant building a mile and a half away from the party location found her semi-clad, mutilated body; she had been severely beaten, raped, and strangled. There were no suspects, but investigators preserved the evidence, hoping that one day advances in DNA science would help them solve the vicious crime. Her family would wait nearly 30 years to find out who had killed Dora, who was active in her church and in high school athletics, and who had planned to pursue a career in nursing. Her sister said she never wore pink again. Dora was wearing a pink outfit when she was murdered.

In 2014, a federal grant enabled the Boston Police Department Cold Case Squad to re-examine “cold cases.” The DNA evidence from Dora Brimage at last yielded its secrets: a suspect was identified. It would take the Squad two years to build their case against him. When justice was finally served, Dora’s mother Doris made a dramatic declaration at the killer’s sentencing hearing which stunned the courtroom.