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Author Topic: Missing candidate mystery deepens in N.H.  (Read 2304 times)
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bleachedblack
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« on: January 31, 2008, 11:37:17 AM »

 

This story gives new meaning to the term "Biggest Loser"



+++++++++++++++++



Missing candidate mystery deepens in N.H.

 Associated Press /  January 31, 2008
DOVER, N.H. - A mansion, a tunnel, and a vanishing man: The mystery deepened yesterday in the case of a man accused of faking an overnight disappearance in 2006 to attract attention to his flagging congressional campaign.
more stories like this

Authorities believe that Gary Dodds may have spent some of the 27 hours he was missing after a car crash hiding in an apartment in an 1805 mansion believed to have a tunnel to the outside. Police say that when they knocked on the door, a man answered but would not let them in. When they got in hours later, the man had vanished.

Dodds owned the building, Cutts Mansion in Portsmouth, which also housed his campaign office. Police went to the apartment of campaign staff member Alison Spruce on the afternoon of April 6, 2006, while searchers were looking for Dodds in the snowy woods two towns away.

State Trooper Joseph Ebert said he and other officers stood watch until Spruce returned home and let them in.

"There was a very low chance that someone could leave the apartment without being seen," Ebert said.

Spruce testified that she was in and out of her apartment that day, leaving to attend college classes, take a walk, and visit her parents. She was not asked to explain the man's voice police reported hearing.

She said she would have known if anyone had been in the apartment.

"I would like to think so," she said. "I am very meticulous. I would like to think I'd know if someone had been there."

Dodds, 43, is on trial in Strafford County Superior Court on charges of falsifying evidence, creating false public alarm, and leaving the scene of the April 5, 2006, crash in which his car went over a highway guardrail in Dover.

He was found the next night a mile from the crash scene under a pile of leaves, fading in and out of consciousness and missing a shoe. Dodds told authorities he remembered little after the crash, other than nearly drowning in an icy river and then wandering until he could go no farther.

His lawyers say he has been wrongly accused by law enforcement officials to deflect attention from their bungled search and rescue.

But prosecutors say he faked his story and soaked his feet in cold water for hours as part of a ploy to attract attention to his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the First Congressional District.

Dodds's wife, Cindy, offered a few political theories of her own, telling one state trooper during the search that she hoped her husband had not been harmed by "someone from his campaign" and that she suspected the state Democratic Party of playing a role because it wanted Jim Craig to win the primary.

Cindy Dodds also gave other reasons she feared foul play, Trooper Robert Quinn said.

"She told me that her husband did not drink, didn't have a girlfriend, didn't do drugs," Quinn said. "So basically, she felt this was suspicious in nature."

But in a pretrial hearing, County Attorney Thomas Velardi sought permission to present evidence that Dodds was having an affair. A judge barred any mention of the alleged affair, but said he may reconsider his decision.

There also was no mention in court of the tunnel at the mansion, which was built in the old seaport by ship's captain Edward Cutts. But in 2000, Dodds described it in a Portsmouth Herald story about efforts he and his wife were making to renovate the building and learn its history.

"Roy Jones, whose family was the last single family to live there, said you could walk in the tunnel standing up until the edge of the property, then you could crawl the rest of the way," Dodds told the newspaper. He said the tunnel ran from the mansion to a cove.

Authorities estimate they spent $18,000 searching for Dodds with teams assisted by dogs and a helicopter.

Dodds was never considered a contender in the primary, which he lost to Carol Shea-Porter. She defeated Representative Jeb Bradley, a Republican, in the general election.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/01/31/missing_candidate_mystery_deepens_in_nh/
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bleachedblack
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 10:35:17 PM »

'Missing Candidate' Convicted of Faking Post-Crash Disappearance for Attention

Thursday, February 21, 2008
DOVER, N.H.    A businessman was convicted Wednesday of faking his disappearance after a car crash two years ago to draw attention to his long-shot congressional campaign.

A jury in Dover convicted Gary Dodds of falsifying evidence, causing a false public alarm and leaving the scene of the April 2006 crash. He showed no emotion as the verdicts were returned on the first day of deliberations after a 15-day trial.

Dodds, 43, claims he injured his head in a crash on the Spaulding Turnpike and nearly drowned in a river before being rescued 27 hours later from the snowy woods. Prosecutors say he spent part of that time soaking his feet in cold water to make it appear he spent the night outdoors, all to boost his faltering campaign.

"He had a story that he was going to stick to," County Attorney Thomas Velardi said during closing arguments Friday. It would've been a heroic story. It would've been a great story all the people who hadn't heard of him before ... really would've known who he was."

Except for his shoes and socks, Dodds' clothing was dry when he was rescued. His feet were purple and wrinkled, but the rest of his skin was pink and dry. An expert in cold weather injuries testified that must have resulted from Dodds soaking his feet in cold water for a prolonged period of time.

Prosecutors allege that Dodds was desperate for money after having spent nearly double the amount his wife had agreed to and taking out two mortgages on their home to finance his campaign. But defense lawyers said bank records show the mortgages were used to pay for property renovations and there was no reason for Dodds to stage the crash.

"What the state has done is they've taken innocent facts and infused them with dark and sinister meanings," defense lawyer J.P. Nadeau told jurors Friday.

Nadeau had no comment on the verdict other than to say he was disappointed and that he would consider an appeal. Under instructions from his lawyers, Dodds also left the courthouse quickly without comment.

During the trial, defense lawyers argued that police brought charges against Dodds to cover up their bungled investigation. Aside from a few officers who searched the night of the crash, authorities did not launch a large scale search until the next morning.

Dodds faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced in about 45 days. Velardi said he wasn't sure what sentence he will recommend, though he noted that Dodds earlier rejected a plea deal in which he would have avoided prison time had he pleaded guilty to the least serious crime leaving the scene and repaid the state the $20,000 it spent on the search.

Dodds continued campaigning for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District after the crash but came in third in the four-way primary.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331608,00.html
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 12:15:46 AM »

Once-missing NH candidate agrees to electronic monitoring

May 7, 2008
The Associated Press

By HOLLY RAMER 2 hours ago

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) A former congressional candidate who was convicted of faking his own disappearance during the campaign will be released from jail but be subject to electronic monitoring for violating his bail conditions, his attorney said Wednesday.

Gary Dodds has been behind bars since Tuesday, when he was arrested after his wife reported that he had moved out of their home in Rye, been acting erratically and threw her to the floor during an argument.

A hearing to set new bail conditions had been set for Thursday, but lawyers reached an agreement that calls for Dodds to be monitored through a global-positioning system for 45 days. He also will be under a curfew that bars him from leaving home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"It was negotiated. His main concern was for his wife and his children and himself not to have to go through another public spectacle," said his attorney J.P. Nadeau.

Dodds' lawyer says his client also agreed to a mental health evaluation.

He was convicted in February of falsifying evidence, causing a false public alarm and leaving the scene of an April 2006 traffic crash that prosecutors said he staged to boost his faltering congressional campaign. He was never a serious contender and finished third in a four-way Democratic primary.

He claimed he hit his head in the crash and nearly drowned in a river before being found 27 hours later. Prosecutors said he spent at least part of that time inside, soaking his feet in cold water to make it appear he had been outdoors.

Dodds was sentenced in March to 20 days in jail and a year of home confinement. He was free pending a ruling on his appeal.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gnpwqihPPc6DYhaEAQvMQTuyC5mgD90H5GFG0
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 09:48:39 AM »



Ex-candidate Dodds Charged with Assault at Home

 04 Jul 2008, 9:07 AM EDT
Former New Hampshire congressional candidate Gary Dodds has been arrested again, this time for assaulting someone at his home.

Portsmouth police say Dodds was arrested Thursday night and charged with simple assault, false imprisonment and breach of bail conditions. He is being held without bail and will be in Portsmouth District Court on Monday.

Dodds was convicted in February of faking his disappearance after a car crash two years ago. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail and a year of home confinement. He has been free while appealing his conviction.

Dodds was also arrested in May after his wife reported that he had moved out of their Rye home, had been acting erratically and had thrown her to the floor during an argument.

http://www.myfoxboston.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=6912920&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
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