Man with ‘Checklist’ in His Pocket, Beat His Ex-Wife’s Mother, Murdered His Ex, and Then…

Before he beat his mother-in-law within an inch of her life or killed his ex-wife, Brendon Owen methodically made a checklist of items he would need while breaking his court issued restraining order. He broke that order whenever he felt like it, at least twice before. “Lighter and lighter fluid…” Check. It’s not clear from initial reports if Shirley Branco was still alive when Owen set her on fire, or if he hammered her to death first.

Beat with a lead pipe

Brendon Owen, a 47-year-old resident of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, didn’t care about the restraining order he had against him when he entered the home of his ex-wife on Friday morning, December 17. The first thing he did was assault his former mother-in-law and nearly beat her to death. Local news outlets report Owen “began menacing” his ex-wife’s 75-year-old mother “with a lead pipe and a hammer” and then escalated the attack.

Mom told police Brendon “hit her over the head with the lead pipe and smashed her cellphone.” As he “duct taped her legs and mouth,” Owen warned she “better not warn” her daughter that he was there.” She “freed herself from the tape and fled the house.” That’s about when Shirley got home from taking their kids to school.

According to police documents, the mother “could hear her daughter screaming,” just as she ran from the scene. She made it to a neighbor’s house around 7:40 a.m. and called the Franklin Police Department.

When they arrived to check out the “ongoing domestic assault at the residence,” they observed Owen “standing next to a flaming couch, spraying what appeared to be lighter fluid, and lighting a match.” Officers “kicked in the door, but were overtaken by a cloud of smoke.” Despite the way he had beat her, the mother was still able to yell to police “She’s still in the house!”

“He ignored commands to open the door to police and instead exited the home through another door,” police note. Additional officers spotted Owen “in the area of the garage and driveway, deploying a Taser to bring him into custody.” They weren’t going inside until they had him safe in cuffs. He was ready to beat them too.

After he was under control, officers “were met by substantial smoke and fire inside the building.” They managed to rush in and back out quickly with the victim. The former Mrs. Owen “showed obvious signs of major traumatic injury and was unresponsive when FPD began first aid and life support measures.” She was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.

Anger and desire to harm

Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey confirms that restraining orders are really nothing but toilet paper in today’s lawless anarchy of revolving door justice.

He verifies there “was a restraining order in place against Mr. Owen” and the children are safe only by luck, being at school when he attacked. Shirley Branco Owen, he acknowledged in a press release, filed for divorce in 2014 after “years of verbal and physical abuse.” He liked to beat her.

The estranged couple were in court as recently as November 30, 2021 on the “most recent complaint,” which occurred August 23, 2021. That was only one of “several active complaints for contempt in the divorce proceeding.”

Apparently Owen has shown repeatedly that laws are meaningless. He beat her before and she told the court she knew he would do it again. He did. “His controlling behavior with regard to our finances leaves me and my children vulnerable because of his anger and desire to harm me.”

When police finally got him in custody, the found “three handwritten notes” in his pockets. The first was written to his mother.

The second was to his children, now left without a mother. Third was a “a checklist that included a lighter and lighter fluid.” The inferno raged out of control and what remained was bulldozed away by nightfall.

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