Saturday, November 24, 2007

Maid Found Slain in Bangor Hotel

As reported in Bangor Daily News on March 19, 1965

The beaten and molested body of a 54-year-old chambermaid was discovered Thursday afternoon in a third-floor room at the Bangor House. She was strangled with a nylon stocking.

The victim was identified as Mrs. Effie MacDonald, who had been employed at the hotel for the past seven years.

County Attorney Howard M. Foley said a medical examination showed that the victim had been sexually attacked and strangled. An autopsy was performed Thursday evening.

The discovery was made by another hotel employe about 2:45 p.m., less than two hourse after the victim had last been seen alive.

County attorney Foley said the woman had been struck about the face.

Police compared the slaying with a string of unsolved strangulation murders in the Boston area in recent years.

Capt. Clifton E. Sloane said he has accepted an offer of assistance from the Massachusetts State Police and two of their detectives were speeding to Bangor to help in the investigation.

Capt. Sloan also reported that the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office is making available a special file on the Bay State murders.

Mrs. MacDonald was generally described as a quiet and friendly person and popular with other hotel employees. She was a divorcee who lived alone at 3 Boynton Street.

Her normal work day at the hotel was from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. She reported for work as usual Thursday morning and spent the early part of the day at routine chores. She was last seen alive about 12:30 or a few minutes later..

Sometime after 2 p.m. her immediate supervisor realized that she had not been seen for an hour or more and, knowing that the woman had an asthmatic condition, asked the others chambermaids to look for her.

The body was found in a third-floor room in which the victim would not ordinarily have any business. Hotel records showed that the room had not been rented for the past two days and would not require any kind of maid service.

Police said the partially nude body was found on the floor. Most of the clothing had been torn off and the tightly knotted stocking was wrapped four times around her neck. Nothing else in the room appeared to have been disturbed.

Capt. Sloan pointed out the similarity between the Bangor murder and 11 unsolved stranglings of women in eastern Massachusetts since June 1962. The Massachusetts women all were strangled with stockings or underclothing and seven of the victims were middle-aged or elderly.

The last of the “Boston Strangler’s’ victims was 19-year-old Mary E. Sullivan whose body was found Jan. 4, 1964 in her Boston apartment.

A 32-year-old inmate of the Bridgewater State Mental Hospital in Massachusetts has recently admitted to the 11 deaths but officials have uncovered no evidence to link him to the slayings.

Mrs. MacDonald, who has been divorced for nine years, was described as a “very quiet and pleasant woman” by her landlady of nine years, Mrs. Roger Jacques, 3 Boynton Street. She had no children.

The last time Mrs. Jacques talked with Mrs. MacDonald was Tuesday night.

“I had company at the time,” Mrs. Jacques said, “and Mrs. MacDonald dropped in to see how I was.

“She was a woman who didn’t go out much, and her only visitors as far as I know were members of her immediate family.”

Mrs. Jacques. said Mrs. MacDonald hadn’t felt well the past few weeks.

“She kept more or less to herself,” said Mrs. Jacques, “and on Sundays she would clean her room and probably listen to the radio or watch television.”

The room in which Mrs. MacDonald stayed was a housekeeping room just up the street from the Bangor police station.

It was in this quiet solitude that Mrs. MacDonald during her time off from work sat and knitted and crocheted. She neither drank nor smoked, according to her landlady.
SOURCE: Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Maine, March 19, 1965

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