On August 15, 2013, Jared Remy, a former Red Sox security staffer and son of longtime broadcaster Jerry Remy, fatally stabbed Jennifer Martel, his fiancée and the mother of his daughter. Jared had a history of violence toward women, assault, and steroid use. He is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. The following is excerpted from Jerry Remy’s book, If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox, out today from Triumph Books.
There are so many legalities involved, so many lives were affected. It’s not an easy topic for me to talk about. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened. I know it will be that way the rest of my life.
The cancer, the anxiety, the depression—nothing compares to this.
It’s so hard to write this: my son Jared brutally murdered his fiancee, Jennifer Martel, on August 15, 2013.
I found out while I was in Toronto, where we were finishing up a road trip. I was actually on the bus heading to the airport when I got a call from my wife, Phoebe. I knew it couldn’t be good news, because she never calls at that time. I picked up the phone and she let me know that something had happened between Jared and Jen, and that Jen was in bad shape.
Phoebe said, “I’ll call you back when I know more,” and hung up. Just as we were rushing to get on the plane, she called back and said, “Jen died.” That’s all the conversation we had because the plane was ready to take off. I sat on the plane in total shock. I don’t remember the flight. I don’t even remember taking my seat. I was in a complete daze. All I could think about was what had happened at home.
By the time we landed, I knew that my son had been arrested and that he was responsible for the terrible act. I walked up to Jack McCormick, the team’s traveling secretary, and let him know that something terrible had happened and that, as a result, there might be some chaos around me and the organization. The news was already out in the media, but when I arrived at Fenway, there was no one there.
It was and continues to be, by far, the most horrible day of our lives. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about Jen and what a heinous act was committed by our son. Two families were ruined, and a beautiful woman who was so full of life was gone.
The next day we were immediately crushed by the media, which we totally expected. Media trucks were set up everywhere in our development. It was awful; we couldn’t go anywhere near a window. We received a call from one of our close friends who suggested that we spend time at their home, away from Boston, to collect our thoughts. We spent three days there, trying to come to grips with what had occurred. We were absolutely distraught.
More and more details were coming out about what had happened. Talking to our lawyer, there was no question that Jared was going to be charged with first-degree murder.
The trial date was set for the fall of 2014, but in May of that year, Jared decided to plead guilty to the charges against him. He told Phoebe that a trial would be a circus and that he didn’t want to put his family through that. He said, “I did this, this is my fault, this is my responsibility.”
He made his decision knowing that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He wasn’t looking for an out. No one was looking to get him out of anything. There was no out for anyone involved. We were just going through the legal process and dealing with everything that came with it. We were trying to deal with our grief as well as protect and do what was best for our grandchildren. What I do know is that it was a tragedy and, for our grandchildren, a terrible, life-altering event.
So, now, Jared spends his life in prison. We talk to him when he calls, we visit, write letters. His life has changed in the worst possible way. It’s just so hard, and it’s something our family has to deal with daily.
For Jen’s family, their daughter is gone. What do you say to them? There are no words. Jen was the sweetest, most loving person you could ever meet. She was a gem.
And our son is responsible for taking her life. That’s not an easy thing to accept. It’s the guilt that’s consuming. We will live with this tragedy for the rest of our lives. You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy. It’s absolutely horrible.
Our grandchildren have rebounded as well as can be expected. I have as much respect and adoration for my grandson, Dominik, as anyone I know. He’s an incredible young man. With what he’s had to go through in his life, to turn out the way that he’s turned out right now, it just makes me so proud. We get to be with our 10-year-old granddaughter, Arianna, who is a sweet, loving child. She is special; she is our little angel.
What bothered me so much after the tragedy was the criticism of my wife. I heard comments like, “How can she be a responsible grandmother when she can’t even raise her own kids?” Of course, this narrative took off on the talk shows. It was nasty; it went above and beyond. I promised her that I’d never do another talk show, and I have kept my promise.
The criticism lasted for months. It was just relentless and cruel. People would offer opinions on whether I should ever work again and speculate about how I could possibly do my job knowing that my son had murdered the mother of his child, my grandchild.
I certainly had those thoughts, I really did. I thought this was going to be it. I didn’t know if I could ever return to the booth. A meeting was set up with Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, president Larry Lucchino, principal owner John Henry, NESN boss Sean McGrail, and communications director Dr. Charles Steinberg. They asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I didn’t think I could go on. Honestly, I was in no condition to broadcast a game nor did I have the desire to. They told me to do what I needed to do. They couldn’t have been more understanding. I could tell that they really felt for me, that they cared for me and my family. It was agreed that I would take the rest of the year off, to attempt to get my head on straight, and come back the following year. Then Larry Lucchino kindly offered me his house in La Jolla, California, if Phoebe and I needed to get away. I never took him up on it, but the gesture was amazing. That’s how much these people cared about Phoebe and me.
Sean McGrail, from NESN, was very supportive. I’ve said it over and over again, but the relationship I’ve had with Sean and Red Sox ownership, Larry included, and now Sam Kennedy, who replaced Larry as team president, has been off the charts for me. These people have treated me like family. They have supported me through my bouts of cancer, depression, missed work, and have been nothing less than 100 percent in my corner. I’d run through a wall for them; I really would.
While Jared is our son, what he did was unforgivable.
This excerpt from If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox by Jerry Remy with Nick Cafardo is printed with the permission of Triumph Books. For more information and to order a copy, please visit www.triumphbooks.com/WallsRedSox.