Freedom — February 7, 2007 — A Freedom lake home owned by a man on trial in Massachusetts for a double murder burned to the ground Monday night, leaving authorities here piecing together suspicious circumstances surrounding a neighborhood love triangle that turned deadly last spring.
Shooting suspect Sean Fitzpatrick owned the house leveled by flames on Intervale Avenue, a lakeside street in a private community on Ossipee Lake. The 44-year-old faces charges in Middlesex County, Mass. over the double slaying in March of two men at a Wakefield, Mass. concrete company, including his neighbor in the Freedom vacation development, Michael Zammitti Jr.
Authorities after Fitzpatrick’s arrest here last spring said he shot Zammitti and an unfortunate bystander, Chester Roberts, hoping to pursue an affair with Zammitti’s wife. Records in the Carroll County registry of deeds reveal that a Wakefield, Mass. couple, Michael and Patricia Zammitti, bought a nearby lot from Fitzpatrick in 1993. The deeds listing does not include “Jr.” after Zammitti’s name. Zammitti’s parents own a large house across the street from Fitzpatrick’s.
Early reports identified Zammitti’s wife as Michelle.
“Fitzpatrick was interested in pursuing a relationship with Michael Zammitti’s wife,” then Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said at the time. She also said no relationship had developed.
Michelle and Michael Zammitti had been married 10 years and had three children, Coakley said, according to WBZ TV channel four. Authorities said the murdered 39-year-old Zammitti had a vacation home in Freedom and was a neighbor of his killer.
Smoke-muddied icicles hung from charred timbers below a coil of steam rising from the heap of rubble still smoldering on Tuesday morning. Local police and the state fire marshal’s office were sifting through the freezing mess, investigating the cause of the blaze to strike the Mountain View development about a block from the water, Freedom chief of police Josh Shackford said. No injuries were reported.
Officers were posted at the scene overnight and much of the morning, and onlookers were not allowed to step beyond police tape. Locals said the home had been empty with the power shut off for an extended period, leaving some volunteer rescuers to speculate it was arson connected to the murders.