Candlelight vigil set for woman killed in her home

December 19, 2021 GMT

FRANKLIN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts town is mourning a woman who authorities say was killed in her home by her ex-husband, who also set fire to the house.

A vigil is planned for Sunday starting at 5 p.m. on the town common in Franklin in memory of Shirley Owen. Anyone planning to attend is asked to bring a candle and wear purple in her honor.

Owen’s estranged husband, Brendon Owen, has pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping, arson, and assault and battery charges. He remains in custody.

Brendon Owen’s attorney, Neil Madden, said Friday that it’s early in the case and a lot of investigating still needs to be done.

Police were called to the scene Friday morning after Shirley Owen’s mother escaped from the house and sought help from a neighbor, the district attorney’s office said. Police used a taser on Brendon Owen in the driveway, then found Shirley Owen inside, the office said.


First responders performed lifesaving measures but Shirley Owen was pronounced dead at the scene. There was clear evidence of blunt force trauma, according to the district attorney.

The former couple’s two teenage children were not at home at the time.

Shirley Owen filed for divorce in 2014 citing “irreconcilable differences” and had an active restraining order against her ex-husband, The Boston Globe reported.