Debra Sundstrom

I have often stated here that while I obviously do cases that involve the murder of a spouse I have to be in the “mood” to do them to give them the same justice other cases receive by me. This is mainly because these sorts of crimes are almost commonplace in our world right now. While researching this case I read an article published in 2013 that stated that 750 marriages end in murder (by a spouse) every year in America. The article went on to say that 80% of those crimes are committed by the male in the relationship. This may be why a lot of the spousal crimes that I blog about are in the other 20% that are committed by the female. This is one of them.

On February 19, 2013 local Walton New York police officers went to a cabin home owned by the Bosco family. They had gone there looking for Debra Sundstrom. Debra had been dating Dominick “Nick” Bosco for close to a year, but they were not there for anything related to their relationship. No, officers were there to serve a bench warrant on Debra. She had failed to appear in court to answer to theft charges a few days prior. Authorities had been given the tip that Debra often stayed with Bosco in the family cabin. Sure enough when they got there Debra opened the door. They obviously told them what their business was and Debra asked if she could go change her clothes. Walton New York is a small town where most everyone knew everyone else and while the officer executing the warrant has stated it was out of the norm to allow a person to do this, he felt he had known Debra for several years and it would be fine. It did not take long for him to realize it was the wrong decision.

Not long after Debra went behind the closed door of her bedroom officers on the scene heard two gunshots. They barged into the bedroom and found not just Debra apparently dead from a gunshot wound, but also her beloved dog. The responding officer was attempting to check her body and examine things when another officer on the scene yelled to him to get out of the home as it was on fire. By the time firefighters were able to get on the scene to extinguish the fire the only thing that would remain would be the wrap around porch. Officers knew that they were going to find Debra's body at the scene but they immediately realized that they could not find, nor did they know where Dominick Bosco was. A neighbor contacted Dominick's brother when the cabin was on fire and he made his way to the scene. On the way to the scene Dominick's brother repeatedly tried to call Debra and Dominick's telephones. He did not receive an answer from either phone, but then again he was not sure that he would hear Dominick answer. About two weeks prior to the fire Debra had called Dominick's brother and told him that Dominick had lost his phone and that if he wanted to reach his brother he should contact her. That was the last time he had spoken to either Debra or Dominick.

While combing through the remains of the burnt home authorities not only found Debra's body but they also found the body of Dominick Bosco. Authorities determined that his body was found in an area that would have put him at the bottom of the basement stairs of the home. It was pretty obvious that Debra's cause of death was suicide. Authorities knew that there was no way that Dominick could have killed Debra and made it down the stairs. An autopsy revealed that Dominick was dead at least one to three days prior to Debra but it seems an exact cause of death was not able to be determined. It had been several days, if not up to two weeks since anyone had physically heard or seen Dominick. It appears that while his family may not have heard from him in recent days that the time of death was likely determined based on his work record and other people who had seen or heard from him. Knowing this authorities knew that Debra had been in the home, at least at some point, while Dominick's body lay at the bottom of the stairs and they found it hard to believe that she did not know. It seems that it was very quickly determined that this was a murder/suicide situation but unlike most that we see.

Authorities were obviously puzzled at the events that had transpired. Yes, Debra was facing criminal issues but they were petty. The odds of doing “hard time” for the actions that happened prior to February 19th, were little to none. Debra had recently been fired from her job as a cashier at a grocery store when not only was she accused of taking a customer's wallet after he mistakenly left it behind, but lied about it, and the store had it on video. The customer had chose to press charges and that was why Debra had been due into court a few days prior. But, she did not show and that resulted in the bench warrant being issues, and the reason the officers showed up at the door that day. These charges seemed hardly a reason for Debra not only to kill herself but commit murder. While technically the case was closed as a murder/suicide, authorities wanted some more answers as to the “why.” This led them to Debra's actual home on the other side of town in Walton.

Nearly twenty-five years before Debra had met and married Randy Sundstrom. At the time that they met Randy was living with his girlfriend and had a two year old daughter in a nearby town. It seemed to be common knowledge that once Randy met Debra he not only left his girlfriend, but had no more contact with his daughter. In 2013 the daughter, now a grown woman would tell authorities as well as journalists that she had received a few birthday cards over the years, a necklace for Christmas one year and a gift card when she graduated high school but she would not have known him if she saw him walking down the street because she had no memory of ever seeing him. She had been told that most people believed that it was Debra who had prevented Randy from being a part of his daughter's life and many of his friends would later say it was something that Randy expressed that he regretted. At any rate, Debra and Randy had created what most believed was a good life in Walton. They had a few very close friends but they spent a lot of their time concentrating on things such as gardening and living more of a homestead life outside of their work. In the late 1990's they got very involved in growing “giant” pumpkins and became somewhat of local celebrities in 2008 when they grew one that weighed nearly 1,500 pounds. From the outside everything seemed fine.

Then in February of 2010 Randy was just gone. Debra began telling people that Randy had left her for another woman. In some versions the “other woman” was pregnant. In many versions of her story she seemed relieved he was gone because she claimed that Randy was abusive. Although none of their friends ever seemed to have seen anything, nor had they even suspected such a thing, claiming that Randy always seemed to be a very loving person to Debra, it appears that it did not take much to convince them that he had been abusive to Debra. Most people lived with the idea that we do not know what happens behind closed doors and did not want to believe that Debra was lying. In fairness, there seemed to be one person who had no issue believing that Debra was abused, a neighbor. He would claim that he had seen two incidents first hand of what he called abuse but from my understanding, even by his own accounts, he did not see Randy literally abusing Debra but saw Debra running and screaming from the home. At the time that Randy left he had two siblings but he had not apparently spoken to them in years and since he never had contact with his daughter, the only person who could report him missing was Debra. She never did since she claimed that he simply left. After the events of February 2013 more would be revealed about Debra.

In the course of the investigation investigators got a search warrant for Debra's own home. They were looking for answers as to why not only that Debra would do this to herself but why she would have murdered Dominick. Whether something made them suspicious at the home or whether they were already thinking about Randy is unclear but cadaver dogs were taken to the property. Three days after the incident at Dominick's cabin authorities came across a 55 gallon barrel on the Sundstrom property that contained the body of Randy Sundstrom.

It is unclear through my research if a cause of death was ever determined for Randy or Dominick but the manner was ruled homicide in both cases. There are those who still believe that Randy was possibly abusive to Debra and that was the motive behind his death. But, again, most of those people did not see abuse. It just seems to be the only explanation to them for Randy's death. When it comes to the motive of Dominick's death it is more cloudy. No one knows if possibly Dominick's discovered what happened to Randy or if he learned of Debra's current legal issues. It has been said that Dominick's had told his mother that Debra had lost her job recently but the story he told his mother was not the story of what happened. It has been theorized that it is possible the story he told his mother was the story Debra had told him and that possibly he discovered the truth and was upset he had been lied to.

In my opinion if we can say that the motive in Dominick's death was based off him discovering she lied about why she lost her job then I believe it is also plausible that something similar could have happened in the case of Randy. By all accounts Dominick

was “crazy” about Debra and it does not necessarily appear that if he had known about the petty theft that it would have been something that would have been a big deal, unless of course it was not the first incident of something like this. It is more likely that it was the fact that she had lied to him about things. The theory of this would be then that obviously an argument ensued and in the course of that argument Debra killed Dominick. If we can believe this theory then who is to say the same sort of thing happened with Randy? Who is to say that she did not lie to him about something and then found out he had been lied to? Who is to say that the two did not have an argument over something with his daughter that he had abandoned? No one knows, nor will they ever know exactly why either man was murdered by Debra.    


Popular posts from this blog

Rebecca Simpson

The Quinn Hanna Gray Kidnapping

Matthew Heikkila