WEYMOUTH, Mass. — Upland Road in Weymouth is a neighborhood trying to come to grips with the unthinkable: the murder of 50-year-old Paula Rudolph, her daughter, 24-year-old Caylin Rudolph, and Paula Rudolph’s boyfriend, 52-year-old Frederick Medina — all allegedly at the hands of Paula Rudolph’s son, 18-year-old Donald Rudolph.
Police say they found Donald Rudolph at his mother’s home Thursday night showing obvious signs something bad had happened, after a neighbor called them expressing concern. Medina, the mother’s boyfriend, had called the neighbor on his way home from work, worried because his girlfriend wasn’t answering the phone.
Over the weekend, friends and family members stopped by the scene of the tragedy to leave flowers, candles, notes and stuffed animals. Among them was Pattie Roy, Medina’s sister, who said he was extremely devoted to Paula — his girlfriend of a few years.
“Obviously the son was very disturbed, and Fred wanted to stay with Paula and help her get through it, and it just is horrible,” Roy said, adding that Medina kept the depth of the problems to himself.
“I never heard him talking about anything like that bad, just that there was problems with kids,” Roy said. “But nobody ever thought it was that bad. Now I’m hearing all the stories that he was schizophrenic and he was this and he was that. We had no idea he was that dangerous to his family.”
Donald Rudolph had a criminal record, including charges of assault. He had been in intensive foster care and receiving state social services previously.
Sue Chandler, an advocate with Domestic Violence Ended, or DOVE, in Quincy, said it’s too soon to know if he somehow fell through the cracks of the system. But the system needs help.
“It’s very important we maintain services to ensure the safety of people, to ensure that somebody in this situation with a mental health issue was getting the appropriate care, medication, attention, and that we as a society were supporting that person’s welfare,” she said.
According to Carol Cayon, an acquaintance of Paula Rudolph, Paula remained devoted to her son.
“I know she did a lot to try to help him,” Cayon said. She said Paula was friendly to everyone around her, despite her family’s struggles.
“Oh, just so nice. She couldn’t do enough for the kids. She was so generous with them. It’s just a sad, sad thing,” Cayon said.
The Rudolph family released a statement, saying they are “devastated” by the tragedy and extend their deepest sympathies to the families impacted by it.
Among those families, that of victim Frederick Medina. Loved ones and friends describe him as a whiz with computers and electronics and say he worked in that field for many years. He was also devoted to his Methodist church in East Bridgewater, where he videotaped Sunday services every week.
Paul Moreau was a friend of Medina’s 20 years.
“He was kind, loving, religious, a nice guy. A nice guy,” Moreau said.
Now friends and family members are haunted by the thought that Medina would likely be alive had he called police to report his concerns something was wrong at his home, instead of walking through the door himself.