Michael Bizanowicz went to the Woburn, Ma., Police Department in 2002 and registered as a convicted sex offender, but the paperwork was apparently lost. His neighbors were not informed of his status until 16 months later — after he had allegedly raped and killed a woman and slit the throat of her 12-year-old daughter, the Boston Globe reports.
Woburn Police Chief Philip L. Mahoney confirmed that Bizanowicz, 41, registered with the department on Aug. 19, 2002, giving his fingerprints and having his mug shot taken. What happened then is unclear. Either the information was never sent to the state Sex Offender Registry Board, or it was sent and lost on the other end.
Woburn police never received confirmation from the board of Bizanowicz’s status as a Level 3 offender, the highest level. As a result, police never notified his neighbors or community organizations as mandated by state law. “I don’t know if we were the ones who screwed up,” Mahoney said. “But it doesn’t matter, I just feel outraged. We could have and would have at least been able to give those neighbors some notification. We have a 34-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl dead. Whether this would have changed anything I don’t know, but at least in my own mind we would have done everything we could.
Neighbors and friends of 34-year-old Joanne C. Presti and her daughter Alyssa have complained bitterly about not being notified that Bizanowicz, a convicted rapist who frequently played with neighborhood children and whose girlfriend was a friend of Presti’s, was registered as a sex offender.