Former state rep. dies


John Kelleher, a former Jamaica Plain state representative who ran for state Senate two years ago, died Feb. 11.

Kelleher, 65, was a recently retired Boston Police Department (BPD) detective. From 1972 to 1976, the Arborway resident represented part of JP in the State House.

In 2006, Kelleher re-entered local politics as a last-minute candidate against incumbent state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson in the Democratic primary. He drew only a handful of votes in the unusual election—where all candidates were write-ins—and later endorsed Wilkerson.

As a detective, Kelleher served in the BPD’s vice and organized crime units. In 1988, a grand jury named him as an un-indicted co-conspirator in a racketeering case where several other BPD detectives were convicted of extorting money from bar and nightclub owners. Kelleher was never charged and always said he was not involved in the case.

A funeral Mass was held Feb. 15 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

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