On May 8, 2019, Carolyn Medeiros, executive director of the Alliance for Safe Communities, received a threatening phone call, she says, from an inmate at the Roosevelt Benton Center. Benton houses the criminally insane population in Rhode Island, whom some have called “the worst of the worst.” The caller identified himself as Mathew Komrowski, a man awaiting trial for a violent and heinous murder.
“Nobody should ever have to experience this. As the Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Communities and advocate for the victims family it is my opinion I was targeted,” said Medeiros. “This phenomenon of calls from within prisons nationwide is unfolding with contraband cell phones. The fact this incident exists from a secure facility, holding some of the state’s most dangerous committed individuals is unacceptable.”
Medeiros is well known at the Rhode Island State House for advocating for strong legislation on behalf of the victims of violent crimes.
The call came following a WJAR segment with family members of murder victim Shirley Goon Donnelly, for whose murder Komrowski was charged. The family expressed fears based on previous threats from Komrowski and recent social media posts. The Benton resident has been caught on Facebook and Instagram accounts, with notable news coverage.
Komrowski has a long criminal history. In 2011, he pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered Goon Donnelly, whom he had met online during his prison sentence. The murder occurred the day after Komrowski was released from prison. Reports indicate that Komrowski and Goon Donnelly had a romantic relationship. Her body was found beaten and stabbed inside her Cranston apartment. She was a mother of three.
The phone contact for Alliance is not posted publicly, and significant effort would be needed to obtain it. The policy for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals is for psychiatric patients to not be allowed access to cellphones. Despite the policy, there has been extensive news coverage of Komrowski posting on social media over multiple years including sexually explicit images.
Featured image: Apparent online posting by Komrowski provided by Medeiros.
Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?