Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Howard Appledorf

Paul Everson

Rich K. Rein's research into the Appledorf case contributed to McCall's People article. In his notes, Rein wrote that Paul Everson's family had moved from Boston to West Yarmouth, Mass., hoping that the suburban community would provide a more wholesome environment for the children. They returned to Boston when the father inherited a house there. Rein reported that Everson had many problems in school. In the fourth grade, he attended a special education class. As a teenager, he was a frequent truant until he dropped out at 16, the legal age to quit school in Massachusetts.

Paul Everson
Paul Everson

Some of Rein's informants described extensive conflict between Everson and his father. Rein reports that a neighbor quoted Everson as saying, "If only my father would hug me and tell me that he loved me one time..." The neighbor also claimed that father and son sometimes "came to blows." However, another informant described the elder Everson as "an excellent father." Jackie MacMullan in The Boston Globe reported that Everson's father "fell off a ladder and broke most of the bones in his leg" in 1977, becoming disabled.

Rein wrote that the teenaged Everson's delinquencies included arrests for "breaking and entering into an automobile, possession of a stolen credit card, check forgery, trespassing, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle." Everson's father often went into the police station on crutches. Rein quotes a detective saying, "The father...expected us to perform miracles. But he wouldn't follow our advice to seek professional help."

However, Everson's father told MacMullan that he had indeed sought professional help for his son. MacMullan described the elder Everson as wiping tears from his eyes as he recalled mental health professionals assuring him that Everson "was fine." MacMullan quotes the father as speculating that his son was misdiagnosed because "he has a split personality and they [the doctors] could never get to that other side."

Rein reported that a neighbor said that Halloween was Everson's favorite holiday because it gave him an opportunity to dress up as a woman. Once Everson went to this neighbor's home in drag. She asked him if he was gay and Everson vehemently denied it, adding that he disliked gays. However, on another occasion he told her that he prostituted himself to men.

This same neighbor said that Everson ran away from home for the last time in the summer of 1981. She recalled that Everson believed that he would be sentenced to a youth services forestry camp for one of his crimes. She recalled, "He was petrified. He thought they would make him cut his hair."

According to McCall, Everson was arrested five times in New York City for prostitution during 1982.

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