Katharina Reitz Brow aka Kay --- Sept. 8, 1931 - May 21, 1980

TV Show Recalls Attack by Man Freed in Ayer Killing

May 25,2001
By Peter Ward
Sun Staff

Walter "Scotty" Ingram looked into the face of the man slashing him with an 8-inch knife and saw the future.

"I saw his eyes.  This guy would kill again," Ingram said this week.

The attack on Ingram took place in 1975 in Portsmouth, N.H., when Ingram was 30.  Ingram's throat and arms were slashed by Kenneth Waters, a man Ingram had never met before.

Ingram refused to testify at Waters' trial because of earlier threats he had received.  So the assailant pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to up to seven years in prison.  He was released 18 months later.

In 1980, Waters' rage would make news again when he was accused and convicted of the murder of Katharina Brow, 48, of Ayer.

Had he testified and helped convict Waters on the 1975 attempted murder charge, Ingram believes he might have prevented Brow's murder, he told The Sun.

I've thought about it and thought about it.  Would this woman be alive if I said something?" asked Ingram, whose story is being broadcast on tonight's episode of the tabloid TV program Inside Edition.  The program airs at 7 on WCVB-TV, Channel 5.

In March, a Superior Court judge released Waters from prison after two decades behind bars for Brow's murder.  Lab results showed blood evidence does not match Waters' DNA.

The story made headlines in part because of Waters' sister, Betty Ann Waters of Rhode Island, who put herself through law school and for years worked to challenge her brother's life sentence. 

Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley is considering whether to retry Waters.  A hearing is scheduled for June 11.

In psychological exam records, Waters admits to being drunk and not remembering the fight with Ingram at a Portsmouth apartment building.

"That sneer, almost like he enjoyed what he was doing," Ingram told The Sun.  "If I was defenseless, I'd be a statistic.  If he had his way, no way we'd be having this conversation. ...But he picked on the wrong guy because 25 years later, we're still going at it."

Ingram received more than 20 stitches at a hospital.

In the Brow case, prosecutors suggested the motive was a longtime grudge Waters held against Brow, who turned him in to police for breaking into her house 10 years earlier.

Two of his former girlfriends testified that Waters admitted to stabbing and bludgeoning Brow to death in her home.

But noted DNA attorney Barry Scheck, who is assisting in the case on Waters' behalf, told officials recently that at least one of the women, if not both, have either recanted their statements or wavered about their testimony.


Anonymous said...

Just because the guy was a scumbag does not make him guilty of the murder in which the DNA evidence cleared him. It is sad that the real perp was never found, and hopefully someday they will be, but to blame Waters when he has been cleared is wrong. Obviously the police were either corrupt or incompetant, or the estate would not have won such a large settlement. Place your anger where it belongs.. on the real perpetrator of the murder.

Anonymous said...

Waters had nothing to do with that slaying, I agree this was absolutely an injustice, for Brow and Waters! Why don't you try focusing your time and interest on Brow's slaying because this looks like a crime of passion, who was closest to Brow at the time of her murder? I hope Brow gets the justice she deserves.

Anonymous said...

I agree! with the message above! it shows clearly he is innocent, dont keep blaming him for somethin he clearly didnt do, take your anger out on the real perpetrator.

Anonymous said...

I'll be blunt about what I think about your blog and your comments towards Hilary Swank and the rest of the crew behind the motion picture.
I know that you didn't even offer a condolence, neither when this case was cleared as a miscarriage of justice or when Kenny Waters died. Why should you expect any courtesy in your demands?
Kenny Waters was a true victim, and Betty Anne Waters is a true heroine, and Hilary Swank is a brave artist who dared to dramatize the story - live with it!

Anonymous said...

The evidence says the fingerprint on the running faucet was highly indicative of Waters' prints. Who knows? I couldn't watch the film past the first 15 minutes, I couldn't get over the feeling that he was guilty.

timandliz said...

Who has the right to say anything about being innocent or guilty?? Come on people, we watched a movie and read some articles, we do not have "inside" information so we cant really conclude a true and fair opinion. I hope that the truth will be revealed!

Anonymous said...

It is so strange that this entire website seems dedicated to smearing the name of Kenneth Waters... even after DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Perhaps grief makes people think irrationally? I would have imagined this site would be directed at finding the REAL murderer and demanding answers for why the wrong man was focused on so recklessly in the first place. I sincerely hope the real murderer is apprehended and that her family finds peace.

Anonymous said...

First, I am sorry for your loss. I hate when the guilty go free @ trial. I do however respect the law & as long as we follow the facts & not conjecture our justice system will remain intact and be worthy of our praise. Obviously the DNA did not match. Just because he had a history of crime doesn't make him guilty. Somewhere a guilty person is free,but I pray they will be caught & confess. It is possible it was someone who knew her & has been an acquaintance & avid supporter of the family through all of this. Someone inthe town knows because secrets don't stay hidden forever. I wish you family continues to find support & ultimately justice for your mother.

Leominster01453 said...

First I want to say to The Family of Katharina Brow, I send my deepest condolences in the tragic loss of your mother. I can't imagine what the last 30 years have been like for any of you.

I just finished watching the movie "Conviction." Having grown up a few towns away from Ayer, but far to young to remember when the murder occured I was interested in learning more about the case, aside from what the movie depicted. While I would have to agree that Kenny Waters doesn't appear to have been a model citizen, I have to be honest, I think he WAS innocent of the murder. I found a 36 page complaint (on PDF) that was filed on behalf of the Estate of Kenny Waters by Betty Ann against the Ayer PD and Nancy Taylor. If you haven't read it, I'm providing the link.

The complaint shows that Officer Nancy Taylor knowingly and willfully destroyed and supressed evidence that would prove Kenny Waters' innocence had it been made available at the trial. It also states how she was able to coerce witnesses in to giving false testimony that lead to his wrongful conviction.

The truth is an innocent man served almost 20 years for a murder he didn't and was proven to NOT have committed because of an over zealous, dirty cop who was hell bent on making a name for herself being the only female officer on the Ayer police force. It is because of this evil woman's actions that an innocent man went to prison, and the victim in this case, Mrs. Brow was denied justice and a killer has yet to be caught and probably won't be...all thanks to Nancy Taylor, who by the way, also had another man wrongly convicted of a rape charge in a seperate case - seems to be a pattern with her.


To Mrs. Brow's family, I can only hope and pray that one day your family will finally get the justice you have been waiting for and especially the justice your mom deserves.

One thing I did want to mention is that while I agree that you should've been consulted about the movie first, I think the plot was more centered around a sister devoting half her life to clear her bother's name of a crime he didn't commit and less about the crime itself. Still, you should've had some imput. I believe that your story - Kay's story that is, needs to be told as well. If it were me, I'd make it be heard. I would also sue the absolute shit out of that bitch Nancy Taylor and the Ayer PD for obstruction of justice, mental anguish and everything on the books. But first, if nothing else...get rid of Gloria Allred - PLEASE.

- Leominster01453

Anonymous said...

I do not think he was guilty, neither does the DNA evidence and DNA does not lie. He was in prison for something he didn't do and then died shortly after he was freed. It was horrendous what happened to Katharina, but blaming an innocent man is not going to bring her back.

Hilary Swank is not to blame either, the idea of the movie was to show one side and you cannot blame an actress for acting in a film, she did not write it.

Anonymous said...

Completely irrelevant.

Chastidy said...

Innocent until proven guilty.He WA proven innocent by solid proof.DNA Doesnt lie.I HOPE THIS MAN HAD SOME HAPPINESS IN HIS LIFE AFTER ALL THIS.Dont forget he lost a daughter.I hate to be so blunt with what i'm about to say....
I'm sorry for your loss and the injustice to your family...but you should give your mother and yourself peace.you lost your mother he lost his daughter.your mothers life was stolen his life was stolen.maybe you should look close at the people who failed your mother like the chief of police and the uptight wanna be woman cop.trying to blame an innocent man who was found guilty only makes you just as guilty as the people who actually framed this man and ruined chances to catch the real murder from the start.they had their eyes set on him just as you do now.
I wish you piece.do the right thing.never give up.but do the right thing instead of being angry that what you believed for so long was found to be a lie and refusing to accept it.
BTW; i'm Chastidy Murray
Killeen TX.

GROVRAT said...

I'm sorry, but Scotty Ingram's opinion that "this guy will kill again" is silly. One can discern pretty much nothing by looking into someone else's eyes. DNA evidence, on the other hand, is conclusive. I am sorry about Mrs. Brow's horrible death and sorry that you spent twenty years thinking that the perpetrator had been found and justice done. That this is not the case must be blamed squarely on the police department and more specifically on Nancy Taylor. The statute of limitations has elapsed for criminal charges but how about civil? Nancy Taylor did not kill Mrs. Brow but it seems that her actions were directly responsible for the fact that justice may never be done.

Anonymous said...

thank you Leominster01453 for those links. I like to look up true story movies on line after I watch them. and this one had me wondering, perhaps because the male actor (I cant remember his name) often plays evil or bad characters so that had me wondering. that link provided actually also shows that he was working a double night shift the night before she was murdered. he came home, changed and was picked up to go to the court house. He had no blood or scratches on him, and a search of his home found nothing.

I think the emphasis on swank is quite unfounded on this site. no one is banging on the male actor or mini driver for thier place in the movie. The movie is based on her giving up her life to get her brother out of jail, and while it would have been nice to have known a bit more about the victim and her family, as the story of this movie, It wasnt necessary part of the plot.

I would love to hear one day that they have found the murderer. but this will probably never happen unless that persons blood is tested or they confess to the crime.

As for whether or not Kenny knew who did it, I guess we will never know. but chances are he found out somehow while in jail for 19 years for a murder he didnt commit, so I honestly dont really blame him for not wanting to help out the poilce to find the real murderer.

I wish you all peace. I can only imainge how hard it would be to have your mother murdered and not have the murderer pay for their crime.

Anonymous said...

I will admit, when I came to this site, I thought it was going to provide some evidence that mr walters had indeed done the crime. but it doesnt.

I think the family needs to move their focus from a dead man who spent half his life in jail for a crime he didnt do, to finding out who did do it (which will be hard considering all the evidence that coudl help is GONE. the only reason the blood remained is because at the time with no DNA it was helpful in convicting him. if there was DNA testing back then, the blood DNA would have gone missing too. as things wouldve with Nancy Taylor on the scene.

all the best to both families, who have lost their loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Chastidy, he didn't get to make the most of the rest of his life as Kenneth died about six months after his release - without ever really having the opportunity to get to know his daughter.

There are a multitude of issues here; first and foremost that a woman lost her life, a tragedy and heinous crime.

I've worked as a forensic specialist for many years now and have studied this case quite seriously.

One thing I can say is that the extreme violence shown and use of a knife is a very personal way to murder someone. Over the years we've come to understand that stabbing offences of this nature carry a very high percentage of the offender being known to the victim.

In this instance, the attack was very repetitive with a lot of the injuries being sustained to the chest, Mrs Brow and the offender would have been face to face when this happened.

The level of anger and rage shown through the violence caused to her is extremely indicative of the offender being someone she not only knew, but knew fairly well.

Your family has my utmost sympathies for your loss and what you've been through. And whilst no-one could blame you, you are aiming your anger and frustration in the wrong direction.

Whatever his history, it has been categorically proved that Kenneth Waters did not murder your mother.

I can't imagine how after all those years to find out that you no longer had the answers you thought you did must feel.

Kenneth Waters does deserve to rest in peace, God knows he lost the best years of his life, and then his life itself.

In this tragedy your mother wasn't the only victim. Kenneth got justice but ultimately lost his life anyway.

But that doesn't mean people won't help you fight to try and find out who really did this; please be open to offers of help from people who want to assist you in finding the real killer of your mother.

If you would like to talk more, leave a message here and I'll send you my contact details.

My dearest wish is that you find the truth and some peace one day.

Anonymous said...

Its sad that the state can just arrest the man, ruin his life, and just let him go to finish off what ever else he has to live for. This is why it was so easy to get away with murder back then. I strongly belive that Nancy Taylor is equally respondsible for the murder just as the real killer is. Also all the witnesses whom lied in court should have faced years in prison. But as for the family of Katharina Brow you have my deapest condolences and the film Conviction wasnt entirly base around the bloody death of Brow but how this inoccent mans life was destroyed by the state of Massautess.

Anonymous said...

Get over it... if DNA doesn't match, he's not the killer. Why would you wish he was? Christ, why would you wish anybody was? For me, I'd be relieved to know it wasn't someone she new. The very fact that your hung on this tells me you are just as f-ed up as Police Officer Nancy. I'm sorry for your loss but sorrier that you haven't gained anything from it from a spiritual standpoint. Indeed, it seems you'd rather channel the very injustice that was brought against her.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, my DEEPEST condolences to the victim(s) & her family. I spent 21 years in the military, endured 5 combat operations (from Panama to Iraq & Afghanistan), and murder is WRONG - it's the purest exhibition of evil there is. Sadly, we have an imperfect legal system that rarely renders perfect justice.

Nevertheless, we need to hold our instruments of justice in THE highest accoutability for 'getting it right'. No one deserves to be punished for crimes they didn't commit. From my own research (& thanks for the PDF webpages & other sites) it appears this Mr Water's conviction was a gross example of people playing with lives in their elevated positions of power instead of following the basic principles of what's right. The investigating police officers AS WELL AS the DA deserve punishment of some sort - I believe those at the top are MORE accountable. We're required to give them honor, respect, & obedience, but forget they are servants first (just as I believe politicians are), not obligees!

In conclusion, I just feel we owe each person in life the simple dignity of proper consideration. Prejudice sadly extends beyond skin color, religion, or ethnicity. It exists in the fabric of our day-to-day dealings with anyone for any reason. We pass judgement to somehow comfort or protect ourselves from people we're not willing to understand. The victim deserves justice, but never at the price of punishing the most convenient to ourselves - anger will drive us to commit our own evil.

Thank GOD we live in a country where we can discuss, question, protest, appeal, and strive to live a life of peace in justice; never perfect, but still learning. Great discussion and comments!!

Jeff K
Portland, OR