Saturday, November 24, 2007

Police Check New Leads in Strangling

As reported in the Bangor Daily News on March 25, 1965
by Jim Byrnes

Investigation into the strangling rape of Mrs. Effie MacDonald, 54, Bangor House chambermaid, last Thursday, spread from Fort Kent to Kittery, as the public furnished new leads. Bangor police have added extra phones to handle the calls.

Every facet of the state’s law enforcement complex was being pressed into service to track down leads as they were pressed into service to track down leads as they were phoned to Bangor Police, this included State Police, other local police and sheriff’s departments.

No Solid Clues

“No new solid clues have been uncovered as yet,” Capt. Clifton E. Sloan said Wednesday, “but we have uncovered some new leads through the public’s cooperation. Those will have to be tracked down and are being tracked down. It takes time and we are not giving up.”

The two special investigators from Boston assigned to the Boston “strangler” cases have returned to that city but one is expected back shortly to give local police further assistance in the case.

Earlier, police had indicated that the similarities between the Boston cases and the Bangor case were diminishing, but the announcements Wednesday that one of the special investigators would be returning, would indicate that the theory that the crimes might have been committed by the same men, was not entirely discarded.

Capt. Sloan said that the two Boston investigators are assigned solely to the Boston strangler cases and that they travel throughout the country investigating similar cases and assisting local police in such cases.

Lead Didn’t Check

It also was revealed Wednesday that one of Boston’s suspects had a history leading to Bangor but the lead did not check out. At the same time Capt. Sloan said one of Bangor’s prime suspects at the very beginning, was located in a Massachusetts institution.

The detective division of the Bangor police has been reinforced by patrolmen working extra hours checking leads phoned in locally while the long distance calls – and there have been many from all parts of the state – are being investigated by the other law enforcement agencies.

The reported trespasser who startled a girl in one of the rest rooms at Bangor High School Tuesday, and set off a wave of rumors that another girl had been strangled, had not been found Wednesday, although several men have been assigned to the investigation.

Before leaving Bangor, one of the Boston detectives gave an illustration of how important it is for persons with any scrap of information to report it to the police quickly.

Casual Conversation

A year after one of the murders in Boston – and investigators were going over the ground again – two acquaintances of the victim, reported that they had a had a conversation about the strangler and asked if she were not frightened of living in the area where several of the murders had been committed. She told the others that she wasn’t and would in fact be alone all the weekend. The next day she was found murdered.

“If police had known of that conversation a year earlier, where it had taken place, and who could have possibly overheard it, we might not be on this special assignment today,” he said.
SOURCE: Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Maine, March 25, 1965

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