Date of Alleged Crime
|Aroostook County, ME
Convicted 1946 (Presque Isle)
convicted of assault with intent to rape after being identified by the
victim. Maine Governor Payne pardoned Hodsdon in 1952 after another man, Edward Kennison,
confessed that he had committed the assault. (Not Guilty) (Dredmund)
|Oxford County, ME
Dwyer & Carroll
Oct 13, 1937 (South Paris)
Francis M. Carroll, a deputy sheriff in
Oxford County, was convicted in 1938 of the murder of Dr. James G.
Littlefield. Littlefield and his wife, Lydia, disappeared from their home in South
Paris on Oct. 13, 1937. On Oct. 16, Paul Nathaniel (Buddy) Dwyer, 18, also
from South Paris, was found sleeping in the couple's car by police in North
Arlington, NJ. The bodies of the dead couple were found in the trunk.
Dwyer confessed to killing the couple and was extradited to Maine the next
day. He was placed in the custody of Francis Carroll, the father of Dwyer's
former girlfriend, Barbara (Babs) Carroll. On Dec 2, Dwyer pleaded guilty
to the murder of Dr. Littlefield and was sentenced to life in prison.
Dwyer accused Deputy Carroll of having killed Dr. Littlefield to prevent him
from disclosing that the deputy had engaged in incest with his daughter,
Babs. Babs allegedly acknowledged that she engaged in sexual activity with
her father on several occasions beginning when she was eleven years old.
Carroll was soon convicted of the murder of Dr. Littlefield, primarily
because of Dwyer's testimony. Carroll and Dwyer could not both be guilty of
murder under the conflicting prosecution theories on which their convictions
rested, but both were imprisoned until 1950, when Carroll's conviction was
vacated. In vacating the conviction, a Superior Court judge declared that
the prosecutor in the case “deliberately, purposely, and intentionally . . .
practiced fraud and deception on the court and jury.”
While there is reasonable doubt about Carroll's conviction, Dwyer's story
implicating him is quite believable and it would appear that Carroll is most
likely the killer. In Oct. 1959 Maine Governor Clausen commuted
Dwyer's life sentence to 28 years, making him immediately eligible for
parole, a parole Dwyer was soon granted. (CWC)
Daily News) (AP)
in Jersey) (Dwyer
v. State) (NY Times)
|Piscataquis County, ME
May 12, 1901 (Shirley)
Henry J. Lambert, a French Canadian, was indicted for the murders of J.
Wesley Allen, his wife, Mary, and his 15-year-old daughter, Carrie Louise. Allen's farmhouse and barn were burned to the ground
and all that remained of the family were charred bones.
Authorities did not believe the fire was an accident because it appeared
unlikely that the fire could have spread between the house and the barn.
Also witnesses reportedly had seen the fire from a distance prior to 10
p.m., before the family was likely to be sleeping. However, no one
visited the scene until the next day. Allen's remains were allegedly
found in the barn, although it was never completely clear that these remains
Lambert was tried
for the murder of Allen
only, presumably to allow the prosecution a chance to convict him of the
other alleged murders should he be acquitted of Allen's murder. The
prosecution alleged as motive for the crime that Lambert was in love with
Allen's daughter who it asserted was raped. Lambert had cut a square
piece of cloth from an area of one of his shirts that was normally tucked in
his trousers. He said he
used the cloth to bandage his foot. The prosecution alleged a charred
piece of cloth found at the murder scene came from this cut in Lambert's shirt.
It is not clear how good the match was or why such a piece of cloth would be
used or left behind at a murder scene. All other presented evidence
against Lambert consisted of attempts to cast suspicion on him, but these attempts were
largely refuted. Nevertheless, Lambert was convicted of Allen's
In 1923, after serving more than 20
years in prison, Lambert was granted a pardon based on innocence. It
was felt that Lambert was convicted on insufficient evidence and that other
evidence showed Allen had had a dispute with a tramp who may have
committed the alleged murders. (News
Articles 1900s) (News
Articles 1920s) (MOJIPCC)
July 7, 1988 (Bowdoin)
Dennis Dechaine was convicted of the
abduction, sexual torture, and murder of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry. The book
Human Sacrifice by James P. Moore, a former ATF agent-in-charge for
Maine and New Hampshire, contends that the evidence shows that Dechaine
could not have committed the crime.
pickup truck was found parked 450 feet from Cherry's body. Rope from the
truck apparently had been used to bind the girl. Dechaine's bandana had
gagged her. In addition, two documents bearing Dechaine's name had been
discovered in the driveway of the house where Cherry was babysitting before
she was killed.
summarized his case as follows: "An unidentified man/men took four items
from an unattended truck and used those items to kill Sarah Cherry and shift
responsibility to the owner of the truck, Dennis Dechaine."
At trial, the
medical examiner, Ronald Roy, estimated that Cherry had died 30 to 36 hours before he
examined the victim's body at 2 p.m. on July 8, 1988. The longest estimate,
based on the presence of rigor mortis, would have put the time of death at 2
a.m., July 7. However, according to police evidence, Dechaine emerged from
the woods before 8:45 p.m. on July 6, when a motorist stopped to pick him
up, after which time he has a solid alibi.
Moore said, when
he first began looking at the case in 1992, "I was going to prove that all
the criticisms [of law enforcement] were unfounded. It just didn't work out
that way." Some have disputed the timing of Cherry's death,
citing ambiguity in the medical examiner's testimony. However,
according to Moore, "Every pathologist interviewed, and every forensic
pathology textbook agrees that, in this situation and circumstances, rigor
mortis would last a maximum of 36 hours."
Evidence which could have identified Cherry's real killer was destroyed by
the state. This evidence included a hair found on the victim's arm, a
hair found on the rope binding victim's wrists, and mystery fingerprints on
the door of the house from which Cherry was abducted. The state
attempted to hide DNA test results of blood found under the victim's
fingernails. These results showed the blood belonged to an unknown
male. Further testing has ruled out male family members, police
officers, or medical examiner office personnel who could have inadvertently
contaminated the evidence. Dechaine is serving a life without parole sentence.
Globe) (IB) (www.trialanderrordennis.org)