Gail Miles: Who killed the 61-year-old retired police officer?

Gail Miles
Photo credit: WBUR

Gail Miles, 61, was a retired Watertown, Massachusetts police officer, having worked for the department from 1984 until her retirement in 2004. When she was hired, Gail was the first black police officer and only the second female officer at Watertown Police Department (WPD).

Throughout her 20 years of service, Gail endured severe sexual harassment and racism by male officers in the department. Gail documented all of it in personal journals, and even sued the police department in 2000.

Watertown settled a civil suit, out of court, for $150,000. The entire police department was required to attend an anti-harassment training course.

Soon after the settlement, Deveau, the police chief, sent Miles a letter informing her that he was filing an application for her “involuntary retirement,” charging she was unstable and unfit to be a police officer.

The department and Miles negotiated. For the next two years, Miles used up her accrued time off. In 2004, she retired on disability. (WBUR)

On December 3, 2011, Boston police were called to Gail’s home at 8 Wardman Road in Roxbury to perform a well-being check. When Gail did not answer the door, the officer tried opening the door but the deadbolt was locked.  He walked around to the back door and broke into Gail’s second-floor apartment.

When the officer walked into the apartment, he found Gail dead. She had been severely beaten and her throat was either slashed or stabbed.

It appeared to the officer on scene that whoever did this was known to Gail as there were no signs of forced entry, and the severity of her injuries pointed at her murder being a crime of passion; whoever killed her was extremely angry with her.

The day before she was murdered, Gail walked into WPD to pick up a new photo ID for her retirement benefits. Sometime afterwards, she joined a few former coworkers and friends for drinks at a local bar.

Around 2006, Gail married Adnilson Felix Cuencas, an undocumented immigrant from Brazil. Together, they took out a $401,000 mortgage loan, which was discharged 16 days later. The Suffolk County Land Court official could not account for that money and called it”bizarre”. Prior to that, Gail took out two other mortgage loans – one for $175,000; the other for $357,000. Gail lived on less than $60,000 a year. It’s unclear why she was approved for loans that high on a low income. Her home was appraised for less than half of what she borrowed.

Her marriage to Cuencas did not last long and was purely a marriage of convenience. According to WBUR, Miles wanted a husband to help her adopt her sister’s grandchildren, and her husband wanted a green card. But not long after they were married, Cuencas moved out and returned to Brazil, where he reportedly died in 2014.

Gail was left with a mortgage she could not pay. On November 28, 2011, her house was sold at a foreclosure auction.  She negotiated a lease with the owner to live as a tenant on the second floor.  The night before her body was found, Gail was supposed to meet the new owner of her home. It is unclear if the meeting ever took place. A family member stated she had spoken with Gail around 8:30 p.m. that night, and the landlord had not shown up.

The family of Gail Miles has criticized the Boston Police Department’s investigation into her murder.  A small hand gun that Gail kept in the home was missing, yet BPD claimed nothing was taken from the home. A broken chair that had blood on it was not taken in for examination. The family discovered it the day after Gail’s murder when they went to her home. No fingerprints were found in the home. Detectives claimed it had been wiped clean.

Four years after her gruesome murder, no arrests have been made and the case remains unsolved.

To read a more detailed article on the case, please visit WBUR.

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

When I first read about Gail’s murder and her time with the WPD, my first thought was this is a covered-up crime.  Second thought, it sort of reminded me of Robin Abrams. Did someone from the very police department Gail dedicated 20 years of life to viciously murder her? And if so, what was the motive?

I don’t think it would surprise me, or anyone else for that matter, if Boston PD is covering for a police officer, possibly one from WPD. Gail had been harassed for 20 years by cops she worked with and then murdered seven years after her forced retirement. Is it a coincidence that she died the day after she walked into the WPD to get that photo ID? Maybe.  If someone from WPD wanted her dead, surely her murder would have happened sooner than it did. Maybe.

Could it have been her ex-husband, the immigrant? Possibly, but he supposedly went back to Brazil. If he did go back, I would think there would be evidence showing he flew from Brazil to Boston around the time of Gail’s murder. What would have been his motive? The mortgage loan they borrowed together was discharged 16 days later, so I don’t think it was because of a dispute over that.

What about someone she had arrested during her 20-year career as a cop? Someone who held a grudge? I think this is unlikely. I don’t think she would have let that person into her home.

How about one of the people she was with or someone she first met at the bar the day before her murder? Maybe someone wanted more from her than she was willing to give. Maybe she pissed one of them off somehow.

Gail was supposed to meet her new landlord to talk about the rental contract. Could this person have killed her? Gail would have had to really piss off the landlord somehow, so what could have transpired between the two to cause this? A dispute over the contract? Doesn’t seem likely but you never know.

What about a family member? Well, she wasn’t close to her family and had not seen some of them in years, so I’m thinking that it wasn’t one of them.

We’re talking about a 61-year-old law-abiding citizen and former cop. Who the hell would have a reason to kill her and in such a brutal manner? Talk about overkill! Who could have been so angry with her they wanted her dead?

What about DNA at the scene? Any blood found that wasn’t Gail’s? Hair or fibers? Anything under Gail’s fingernails? Shoe prints? Fingerprints that may have been at the scene were supposedly wiped clean.

What about the neighbors? Did they hear or see anything?

Who called in the well-being check? Was it a family member?

When was time of death?

Was Gail sexually assaulted?

Could there have been more than one killer?

Where is the murder weapon? What kind of knife was used to cut her throat?

So many unanswered questions.

Her killer probably entered through the front door because the theory is she willingly let him in because she knew him. Then, after he killed her he locked the deadbolt and went out the rear entrance, locking it on his way out. I think this because the cop had to break in through the rear entrance.  In a way, that’s odd. Why would the killer worry about locking the door?

I would like to know why Gail took out three large mortgages within a 3-year period of time? That is very strange. Why was the last one discharged 16 days later and there is no account for the money? Where did all of it go?

The police have released very little information regarding this case, and they refused to speak with WBUR for the article. Shocker.

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Author: truecrimediva

True crime blogger

  • I think it has something to do with the mortgage loans. In fact, I’m sure of it. I think she knew the visitor, and my gut feeling is that he or she was there to discuss about the money…….. Follow the money.

    By the way, I’m a new graduate of Microbiology and Forensics Science, so this is right up my alley.

    • What an awesome field to go into!! 🙂 Thanks for offering your input. That wouldn’t surprise me. People do crazy things over money!

  • It’s sad that someone who has dedicated her life to law enforcement and has this kind of history, had to lose her life in retirement. Hopefully detectives will continue to follow up on what seem to be very telling clues. It’s understandable that there is certain information the police cannot release during an investigation, yet the information they have released seems very limited.

    • I agree and hopefully, we will have some answers one day.