Willow the Golden Doodle, normally confident and affectionate, didn’t like the man in the white car.
The encounter happened on Thursday, just before Willow and Theresa Wolf of Concord, a retired medical professional, were about to disappear into the trees outside the entrance to the Swope Park Trail off Long Pond Road. Willow’s reaction put Wolf on edge.
“Willow didn’t seem to like it,” Wolf said. “She turned around at the start and came back (to the parking lot), near the car. She feels things. She was just barking.
Maybe Willow was having a bad day, misjudging the character of the stranger in the car. But there’s no doubt that Wolf’s concern about Willow’s barking was a byproduct of last week’s double murder near Broken Ground’s Marsh Loop Trail.
The mysterious shooting death of Wendy and Steve Reid has the townspeople scared and questioning. Police have yet to make an arrest in the shooting death of a couple who had a good reputation.
So people like Wolf, who regularly enjoy the city’s trail system, now worry when their dog approaches a stranger and barks, rather than wagging its tail.
When asked if she would be visiting the Marsh Loop Trail soon, Wolf replied, “Not for a while. Not until we find out what’s going on. What was the motive? That’s the big question, and they were good people.
This case has a disturbing side. The Reids were last seen on April 18, heading for their 1.5-mile loop hike on Marsh Trail.
They were reported missing on the 20th and discovered on the 21st.
Concord Police continue to investigate the crime with the assistance of State Police and the FBI. The lack of arrests, the location where the murders took place, and the bizarre circumstances surrounding the case — a middle-aged couple shot while hiking — have people wondering: Was it random? Maybe a serial killer? Were they targeted?
As the community awaits these answers, another question has emerged – as Wolf wondered – is it safe to hike again?
“We have no specific information that would lead us to believe the general public is at risk, but that being said, be vigilant, take your usual daily precautions,” Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said April 22. “Concord Police will continue to be vigilant with patrols in these areas and in areas where there are public outdoor recreational areas.
The case has hikers considering safety measures beyond a twisted ankle or carrying extra food and water.
Wolf said, “I saw some shady characters where we didn’t have a good vibe, so we just turned around. There are times on this trail where I have not felt comfortable. No matter which path you take, just beware.
Concord’s Russell Lilley sees things more confidently. He sat in the Winant Trails parking lot, having lunch with his partner, Jana Flynn-Padick, during a break as a landscaper at nearby St. Paul’s School.
Lilley is convinced he can go where he wants. Anytime.
“I carry a gun pretty much everywhere I go,” said Lilley, who is unarmed while working at St. Paul’s. “I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, so I don’t worry about myself too much because I can protect myself. It’s for others that I worry.
Flynn-Padick said she and Lilley walk together all the time. They walk to the quarry behind Blossom Cemetery.
In fact, they hiked Concord, including the Marsh Loop Trail in Broken Ground, where the Reids were shot.
Flynn-Padick does not carry. She doesn’t know when they’ll be back on the Broken Ground trails.
“With so little information, it’s frustrating and scary,” she said. “I would feel more comfortable with him carrying a gun. I shot a few times, but it was never a regular thing for me. “That could change.”