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Convicted Rapist Held in Fatal Rest Stop Stabbing

July 19, 2002|From Associated Press

BOSTON — A convicted rapist working at a highway rest area allegedly stabbed a woman to death Thursday in a restroom after she fought his attempts to rob her, police said.

An off-duty state police lieutenant heard a commotion in the restroom in the Route 24 rest area about 25 miles south of Boston. When he opened the door he saw Paul J. Leahy standing over the woman, who had "numerous stab wounds to the torso and neck," state trooper Barry Shea said. He did not identify the lieutenant.

Alexandra Zapp, 30, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Alexandra Zapp was an innocent women who found herself in close proximity to a coldblooded killer that she didn't know," Assistant Dist. Atty. Frank Middleton said.

Leahy, 39, of East Bridgewater, was arraigned Thursday on charges including murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, armed assault and intent to rob.

He was being held without bail.

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