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Brutal slaying of gay man in Dorchester leaves police baffled

by Amy Tennery
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jan 23, 2008

One look at Daniel Yakovleff's Facebook profile and it's easy to figure out that he was loved. Like many his age, Yakovleff frequented the social networking site, where he shared inside jokes with friends and where he posted pictures.

The popular hairstylist with the exclusive Liquid Hair Studios salon had a loyal following of clients and friends. On his profile, the 20-year-old Red Sox fan wrote: "I'm a hairstylist, very happy with my life."

But shortly after moving to Boston, Yakovleff's happy life was cut short. Police discovered the body of Yakovleff, the victim of a lethal stabbing, in a home in the Savin Hill area of Dorchester on Thursday, January 17.

Cops discovered the victim lying on a bed in a third-floor apartment on Tuttle Street with a knife rammed in his chest. Sources say Yakovleff was last seen leaving the Eagle bar in the South End on Wednesday night and was found by police around 6:10 a.m. on Thursday.

Steven Odegard, the occupant of the apartment turned crime scene, has been questioned by police. His attorney, John Swomley, tells Bay Windows that his client is innocent. Sources at the scene say police escourted Odegard away early on Jan. 17 after he dialed 911 to report the murder at his Savin Hill apartment.

Officer James Kenneally, a spokesman for the Boston Police, says no arrests have been made in the investigation.

"I’m a hairstylist, very happy with my life."

The unresolved homicide has sent shockwaves through Boston and Ashford, Conn., Yakovleff's rural hometown community.

Although Boston Police have yet to comment on Yakovleff's sexual orientation, the Hartford Courant reported that the Yakovleff family is concerned the case won't be taken seriously because the victim was gay.

According to reports, many of Yakovleff's friends have suggested that the alleged attacker may have targeted Yakovleff because of his sexuality.

To contact the Boston Police with any information on this ongoing investigation, call 617-343-4470 or call CrimeStoppers 1-800-494-8477.

A memorial service for Yakovleff was held on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Knowlton Memorial Hall on Route 44, next to Ashford Town Hall. The family has asked that donations in Yakovleff's name be made to Joshua's Trust Gifts and Contributions, P.O. Box 4, Mansfield Center, CT 06250.

UPDATE: Police are looking for anyone who saw Yakovleff in the Savin Hill area or in the South End in the late hours of Wednesday, Jan. 16 and the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 17. Cops are especially interested in anyone who may know who the victim was with during those hours or what kind of transportation he used. Call the Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470 with any information.

Boston's gay community frustrated over Yakovleff murder investigation

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