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Thursday, August 30, 2012


 Respectfully ripped from

Stepson charged in Spencer death

Stepdad slain, body put in crawl space

Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. right speaks about the homicide. Behind him is Spencer Chief David Darrin. (T&G Staff/BETTY JENEWIN)

SPENCER —  A Spencer man will be arraigned on a charge of murder today for allegedly killing his elderly stepfather, wrapping him in plastic and then tucking the dead man's body into a crawl space beneath their lakeside home yesterday morning.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said Jason Masiello, 37, of 35 Pine Acres Road, was arrested by Spencer police soon after they arrived at the home and found 88-year-old Michael Iagallo dead shortly before 11:30 a.m.

“Nancy Iagallo, 68 years old, the mother of the defendant, is the person who made the 911 call,” Mr. Early said. “She returned home, there was some questioning with regards to, 'Where is your father?' Shortly after that point a call was made to the Spencer Police.”

Mr. Iagallo was seen alive earlier yesterday morning, Mr. Early said. He declined to discuss a motive but said there were no prior indications that there would be any violence at the home. There were no restraining orders in place, he said.

Mr. Early said the state medical examiner will unwrap the body, which had been wrapped in plastic and a blanket, and work to determine exactly how Mr. Iagallo died. He said the body was under a trap door to a crawl space below the home. The area is accessible from inside and outside, he said. He declined to say where the slaying took place, inside or outside.

The news that Mr. Masiello had been arrested did not surprise Nancy Mandella who lives a few houses away on the dirt, dead-end road. She said the few times there was trouble in the quiet neighborhood, it was always Mr. Masiello.

“It's just terrible,” she said, adding that Mr. Masiello had been behaving oddly recently.

“He was digging holes everywhere in the yard,” she said. “But he was always doing stuff to the house that didn't need to be done.”

Mr. Masiello was arrested in November of 2010 after he allegedly fired guns inside the remote Pine Acres Road home. Several neighbors called police to report hearing the shots and officers wrote in their report that they arrived and found him standing in the driveway with his fingers laced behind his head.

When he was arraigned on those charges, he was taken from the court by ambulance. A judge ordered him to remain drug- and alcohol-free when he was arraigned in 2010.

Scanner transmissions during the incident yesterday indicated there were no guns inside the house, though there were knives.

Thomas Lynch who lives on Pine Acres Road said most of the homes are year-round residences though only Mr. Masiello was staying at the house during the winter months when Mr. and Mrs. Iagallo would go to Florida.

While he knew them only in passing, he was aware that Mr. Masiello had been in trouble before.

Neighbors said Mr. Masiello had a brown dog that sometimes rode in his truck and that his mother and stepfather may have had a smaller dog, as well.

Scanner reports indicated that Mr. Masiello was rounding up the dogs when police were on their way to the home.

Mr. Early said last night that state police detectives had obtained search warrants and were executing them. He declined to release details of the crime because of the ongoing investigation.

“The investigation, although the murder happened this morning, it's still in its infancy,” Mr. Early said. “We're letting the state police, the Spencer Police, crime scene services and the chemists do their job.”

Mr. Masiello was being held without right to bail at the Spencer Police Department. He will be arraigned today in Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield on the single count of murder.

The last murder in Spencer was in 2010 when Michael Khoury allegedly killed his wife, shot and wounded their horse which survived, lighted their home on fire and fatally shot himself.