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Author Topic: The murder of Joyce McLain -1980- E. Millinocket, Maine Philip Fournier CONVICTED  (Read 40845 times)
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« on: March 21, 2008, 05:13:52 PM »

State declines request to exhume Joyce McLain's body
By Nick Sambides Jr.
Friday, March 21, 2008 - Bangor Daily News


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — She has no technical expertise or training, but when it comes to her daughter’s homicide, Pamela McLain is by far the case’s most ardent investigator.

That’s why McLain, 61, was disappointed but ultimately not deterred that the state Attorney General’s Office recently declined her request to exhume the body of her daughter, Joyce McLain, who was killed 27 years ago.

"I don’t have a choice but to do this," McLain said Thursday. "I am fighting for my daughter. She is laying in the ground, and she can’t protect herself. She can’t speak for herself. She can’t say if there’s anything [evidentiary] down there with her, so I have to try and find out."

Citing recommendations from the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory and the state’s chief medical examiner, Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes said the chance of getting foreign DNA relevant to the case, per McLain’s request, "is virtually nonexistent.

"Given the fact that 27 years have now passed since your daughter’s death and burial, the amount of bacterial degradation would be significant and would destroy any foreign DNA that might exist," Stokes wrote in a letter to McLain dated March 3.

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain went jogging the night of Aug. 8, 1980. Her partially clad body was found two days later in a power line clearing about 200 feet from the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object.

When Pamela McLain asked the state medical examiner’s office late last year to exhume the body, she hoped that the killer might have left DNA traces in the wounds that could help with the state police investigation, which continues. She also believes there is at least a chance the body has not degraded to the extent the experts believe.

"They think they know what’s down there," McLain said, "but they can’t tell me that all bodies decay in the same way. God might have preserved her better than that.

"I was hoping that they would give me this one," she added, "with all the letters I have written."

Maine’s U.S. senators, congressmen, attorney general, local and state police, and national cold case investigative societies are among the recipients of McLain’s letters, telephone calls and e-mails over the last 27 years as she moved from quiet ******* to outspoken advocate in the effort to nail her daughter’s killer.

McLain is alternately condemning and heartbreakingly philosophical in her comments about the murder and the six primary state police investigators and others who have handled her daughter’s case. She is quick to criticize almost all and lavish in her praise of the few she felt were up to the task.

She carries the awful burden of the homicide, but also owns a bar, Pam & Ivy’s on Main Street, and cares for foster children. While she rambles at times, McLain is focused, not hysterical.

"I’ve been on the case for 28 years. They come, they go. They bungled it from Day One, and as far as I am concerned they are still bungling it. ‘We’re that close,’ they would say. That was years ago," McLain said. "There were too many people, too many notebooks, on the case. They have had about a dozen suspects in this.

"I’ve come to terms with it. If I just knew who did it, if I was the only person who knew who did it, that would be enough for me," she said of the homicide. "It would be enough for me, but not for her. I don’t think I could keep it secret."

With the attorney general’s rejection, McLain hopes to get a second opinion from such forensic experts as Dr. Michael Baden, the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police, and Dr. Henry Lee, chief emeritus of the Connecticut State Police and former chief criminalist for the state of Connecticut.

She’s hoping their opinions will be more favorable and might sway Maine’s attorney general.

McLain lacks the money to hire a private investigator or exhume the body herself, but she’s not quitting.

"I’m going on with this," she said, "until the day I die."

http://www.bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=161913&zoneid=164
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 12:05:14 PM »

www.wcsh6.com 4//9/08

EAST MILLINOCKET (NEWS CENTER) -- There is a new push on in the towns of Medway and East Millinocket to solve a murder that happened nearly 28 years ago.
   

Joyce McLain, a 16-year-old Sophomore at Schenck High School, was found beaten to death just a few hundred yards from the school.

She was last seen jogging at night on August 8, 1980. No one was ever arrested for her death.

Now, Joyce's mother, Pamela McLain, wants to exhume her body and send it to an independent medical examiner in New York in the hopes that there may be some evidence police didn't find in their initial autopsy. The process, she says, will cost $15,000.

On Monday, the Medway Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to donate $800 to help the McLains find their daughter's killer.

"Everybody on the board felt if there was anything we could do bring closure," Board Chairman David Dickey told NEWS CENTER. "We understand this is a first step in a long process for this family. We're glad we can be a part of it and help out."

David Dickey said this is not the first time Medway has paid to have a body exhumed.

In 1998, local resident John Dickey's death was originally ruled a suicide, but a second autopsy revealed he was murdered. That case is also still open.

The State Attorney General's office, however, has denied the McLain's requests to exhume the body, saying investigators have already collected all necessary evidence from her body.

Pamela McLain says the state is withholding her daughter's autopsy records. She says she is prepared to go to court to get them released, so she can pursue a second medical examination in New York.

The organization "Justice For Joyce" is collecting money through fundraisers to help the family.

The organization will be holding a series of meetings at the Municipal Building on April 18 and April 25 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss their fundraising efforts. The public is invited to attend.

Well, she's keeping true to her word as to not giving up.  Nor should she give up. I hope she finds the answers she is desperately looking for.....
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 08:01:48 PM »

Thanks MsVada!!
I was just reading this on Boston.com and was going to bring it over.

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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 01:28:52 PM »

Renowned forensics expert reviewing McLain homicide
By Nick Sambides Jr.
Thursday, July 10, 2008 - Bangor Daily News


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine - He's interested, but internationally renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden doesn't know yet whether he will examine the body of homicide victim Joyce McLain, he said Wednesday.

Baden is reviewing paperwork provided by state Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes and will determine within two weeks whether exhuming the body would help solve the 28-year-old homicide.

"I may or may not think it would be helpful or wise to go ahead," Baden said Wednesday.

A grass-roots organization, The Justice For Joyce Committee, has raised between $17,000 and $18,000 to pay Baden’s expenses, which would be about $10,000, plus transportation to Baden’s New York office, reinterment costs and legal fees, said the victim’s mother, Pamela McLain.

McLain said she hopes Baden will proceed and that the continued effort to exhume the body would increase pressure on Maine State Police to maintain efforts to find her daughter’s killer.

"That’s what we have been working for here," she said. "[Baden’s] words are that they exhume bodies for all kinds of purposes. It might not solve the case, but just so that the family might know that there’s nothing else there [in the body] and that’s the end of that. Closure, I guess."

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing about 200 feet from the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object. Several suspects have been investigated, but no arrests have been made and the case remains open with state police.

Baden had said in April that he hoped to see from the data whether exhumation would be helpful but also expressed willingness to examine the body even if his initial opinion is negative.

If he demurs, Baden would join Stokes and Maine’s forensic pathologists, who declined to exhume the body last year because of doubts that useful DNA traces would be found. The state retains the best evidence — three tissue samples of inconclusive origin — taken from the body at autopsy, state officials said.

McLain said she hopes the killer might have left DNA traces in the wounds, and believes there is at least a chance the body has not degraded to the extent experts say.

His review might lead Baden to the same conclusion. However, Maine’s forensic investigators are quite good, Baden has said, describing his relationship with them as collegial.

Stokes, Baden said Wednesday, "has been very helpful. He is the one that I conferred with and it’s still an open case for them so not everything can be released, but what he has given me is substantial."

DNA evidence is very fragile and has been the logjam-breaker in many homicides, particularly in cases featured on TV shows such as his own HBO "Autopsy" series, but 90 percent of all murder cases are solved with investigation that creates a factual narrative confirmed by the forensics, Baden said.

Cases where bodies are well-preserved enough for DNA evidence recovery after decades underground are quite rare, but not unheard of, Baden said. Investigators found mitochondria and nuclear DNA in a 5,000-year-old body buried in the Austrian Alps, Baden said.

In 2001, he and other forensic pathologists found semen in the pubic hairs of Mary Sullivan, the last reported victim of the Boston Strangler. She was murdered in January 1964. That evidence shed light on a new suspect. Some said it exonerated confessed killer Albert DeSalvo, but Boston police disagreed.

The body of civil rights activist Medgar Evers was extraordinarily well-preserved at exhumation in 1994, almost 31 years after his murder. That helped convict Ku Klux Klansman Byron De La Beckwith, but investigators there weren’t seeking DNA, but rather how the bullets the killed him went through the body, Baden said.

Nevertheless, McLain wants her daughter’s body exhumed. She has been living with the pain of the murder and the knowledge that the killer or killers have escaped justice for 28 years. She and other Katahdin region residents say the crime hangs over East Millinocket like a dark cloud.

"It has gone on long enough. Something should be done," said John Tyson, organizer of a poker run at the American Legion of Millinocket Saturday to benefit Justice for Joyce. "I am surprised that something like this wasn’t done sooner. Everyone in the tri-town area would like a finish to this."

Not for the first time, McLain questioned the state police commitment to the case. She said Wednesday that she believed leads are developing due to the renewed public interest in the homicide that are not being followed up.

"We have to make sure that they do their job. If they don’t do their job, this is all for nothing. This is a waste of all the Maine people’s contributions if they don’t keep going," McLain said of state police.

McLain said she has heard from people who want to give police information that their calls to investigators are not being returned. Investigators also have refused McLain’s request of a photograph that would show exactly where and how the body was found.

"Everything I ask for is ‘No way, no how.’ They can’t say the case is open if they are not doing anything," she said. "They have to cooperate one way or the other … to make this case solved or say that it can’t be solved and close it. They can’t teeter. It’s either ongoing or it is closed. If it’s ongoing, how often is it worked on?"

Stokes and Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland had no immediate information about the number of hours state police Detective Brian Strout, the case’s lead investigator, had put into the case this year.

Lt. Jackie Theriault, one of Strout’s supervisors, declined to say how many hours Strout had worked on the case but said that state police "have received information."

"It is an open case," Theriault added. "We are investigating it and whatever information we get is followed up."

But investigators such as Strout, who conducted several McLain case interviews in the Katahdin region in April, typically works cold cases in lulls between live ones, Stokes said.

And with 20 homicides reported so far in 2008 — slightly off the pace of the record-setting 44 committed in 1994 — state police have had very few lulls.

"We are having a horrible year for homicides," McCausland said.

"I understand that she has lost a daughter," Stokes said, "but I expect his caseload is quite heavy if it’s like everybody else’s. ... It’s a balance. Would we like to have more prosecutors doing homicides? Sure. Are police overworked by their number of cases? Of course. There’s no sense complaining about that.

"We are doing everything we can and we have cooperated fully with Dr. Baden," Stokes added.

State police have a good record solving cold cases, said McCausland, who recounted several that have been closed by arrests. Tyson said he hopes McLain’s case soon will be added to the list.

"She was a young girl murdered, and he could still be around," Tyson said of McLain’s killer. "It could happen again. Nobody wants to see that happen again."

http://bangornews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=166905&zoneid=164
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 08:15:31 AM »

Slain girl's exhumation still uncertain
By Nick Sambides Jr.
Saturday, July 26, 2008 - Bangor Daily News


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine - Pamela McLain had yet to hear Friday night from renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden about whether he would advise pursuing the exhumation of her slain daughter’s body in search of new DNA evidence.

Not that McLain was complaining. She said she trusted the doctor would contact her when his review was complete, and once that happened she would relay his findings.

Baden is reviewing paperwork provided by Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes to determine whether examining the body for DNA evidence would help solve the 28-year-old slaying. He began his review late last month, amid handling other cases. He said he hoped to reach a decision by Friday.

A grass-roots organization, the Justice for Joyce Committee has raised more than $18,000 to pay Baden’s expenses, McLain said.

Joyce McLain, a 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing near the school. Her head and neck had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object. The investigation remains open.

http://bangornews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=167647&zoneid=164
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 12:49:08 PM »

'Most Wanted' show eyes McLain homicide
By Nick Sambides Jr.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - Bangor Daily News


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine - "America’s Most Wanted" might feature the 28-year-old Joyce McLain homicide if it can get video or home movies of the slain teen, her mother said Tuesday.

Pamela McLain and Nancy Deschaine, an organizer of the Justice For Joyce Committee, appealed to Katahdin region residents for any footage from 1977 to mid-1980 that features Joyce. A producer from the Fox Television program contacted McLain earlier this month to discuss doing a segment on the case.

"They are not going to give me anything until I get a video," McLain said Tuesday. "I really need the video, and they wanted something that showed her as she was older, you know."

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain was killed on or about Aug. 8, 1980. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing about 200 feet from the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object. Several suspects have been investigated, but no arrests have been made and the case remains open with state police.

Hosted by John Walsh, "America’s Most Wanted" is a half-hour program dedicated to the capture of wanted felons, the solving of unsolved crimes and the recovery of lost or missing people. It airs at 9 p.m. Saturdays on Fox, is syndicated, and has a Web site, amw.com. The show has helped capture 1,022 suspects, the site states.

Publicists from the show and Fox did not immediately return telephone messages and e-mails seeking comment Tuesday.

The McLain case previously was featured on the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries," hosted by the late Robert Stack.

Much time has passed, but video featuring the teenager might not be difficult to find, Deschaine said. Someone might have taped her without knowing it. Videotape or 8 mm or 16 mm film of a birthday party, school event, dance or other large-scale happening might not star Joyce, but she might be seen in the background of a crowd shot, perhaps, or for a brief interval, Deschaine said.

Joyce was an outgoing participant in school basketball, soccer, softball and tennis. She acted in several plays and was a cheerleader and band member at Schenck, her mother said.

"She did everything," McLain said.

Deschaine urged amateur videographers and camera buffs who lived in or visited the Katahdin region from 1977 to 1990 to open their libraries and take a look. If anything interesting is found, they may call Deschaine at 746-3273 after 6 p.m. or e-mail justiceforjoyce@gmail.com. The family will review the footage to help identify McLain. Information on the case and efforts to find McLain’s killer is at justiceforjoyce.com.

Justice for Joyce is a grass-roots effort revitalized earlier this year to spark new interest in the case. Group members have raised more than $15,000 to fund the exhumation of the body so that renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden can see whether any new DNA evidence is available.

Baden had hoped to complete his review of the case by last Friday and decide whether exhumation would be helpful, but as of Tuesday had not contacted the family, McLain said.

http://bangornews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=167769&zoneid=164
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2008, 07:29:17 PM »

Slain girl’s body to be autopsied by experts Friday

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine - The 28-year-old mystery of the homicide of Joyce McLain will be investigated anew Friday when internationally renowned forensic experts Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee examine her body.

An exhumation is scheduled for Thursday. The body will be taken to the chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta for an autopsy on Friday, said Stephen McCausland, Department of Public Safety spokesman.

Baden and Lee will receive any aid the state can provide, officials said. Autopsy expenses will be covered by the approximately $18,000 raised by the Justice For Joyce Committee, a group of concerned citizens.

“We welcome the renewed effort,” McCausland said Tuesday. “We are looking at this as a renewal of our own investigation and we are as committed to solving this as we were 28 years ago.”

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, McLain was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing about 200 feet from the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object.

Several suspects have been investigated, but no arrests have been made and the investigation remains open.

To help Baden and Lee and prepare for their arrival, four state police detectives who were the lead investigators on the McLain case met in Bangor last week to discuss the case, McCausland said. East Millinocket Police Chief Twig Cramp and his predecessor also attended the meeting.

The chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police and host of HBO’s “Autopsy” series, Baden has been a medical examiner for 45 years. He has performed more than 20,000 autopsies and helped with congressional reinvestigations in the 1970s of the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the world’s top criminologists, Lee is known for his work on the O.J. Simpson murder case and the rape trial of William Kennedy Smith in 1991. He also was pivotal in Maine’s first trial involving DNA.

Lee was the state’s key witness in the murder trial of David Fleming in 1995. Fleming was convicted of the 1990 murder of 18-year-old Lisa Garland of Bangor. Her body was found in an Alton gravel pit, and semen retrieved from her body was identified as Fleming’s.

Since it was the first time that DNA evidence was allowed into a state trial court, the case was eventually reviewed in several appeal courts before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld Fleming’s conviction. The case established legal precedent for DNA evidence in Maine.

Baden and Lee are becoming involved in the McLain case at the request of her mother, Pamela, who occasionally has been critical of the state police investigation. McLain rejected arguments from Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes, who was advised by the medical examiner’s office that exhumation would likely uncover no new evidence.

Undeterred, McLain wrote Baden in November seeking his aid, and a grass-roots Katahdin organization, the Justice for Joyce Committee, raised about $18,000 to pay for the autopsy.

Baden and Lee have said they doubt the examination will be helpful, but share hope that something new or yet unseen may surface.

Pam McLain declined to comment until after the exhumation.
http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/49639.html

Dr. Michael Baden (left), Joyce McLain


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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2008, 10:17:05 AM »

Wow,  looks like persistence is paying off...I truly hope they solve her murder.

I remember being a Freshman in HS when she was murdered..... It freaked my own Mom out, she didn't want us girls going anywhere after dark, not even for a bike ride. 
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2008, 10:21:47 AM »

From Robots: there is another case in Maine that im about to get involved in.

this one stinks to high heaven 


Joyce Mclain Case date: 1980

Town: East Millinocket

 
Joyce McLain was 16 years old when she left her home and went jogging in East MIllinocket on the evening of August 8, 1980. Her body was found two days later, partially naked, on a powerline behind the Schenck High School soccer field, with blunt trauma to her head and neck. At the time of her death, there were several hundred construction workers at the local mill and the town was hosting a softball tournament.



 purely off topic: Has anyone heard from Robots? 

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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2008, 02:13:06 PM »

I remember when he posted that!!

I think he still posts on SM front page, but I have not seen him. He does not come in the forum now.....I think.
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2008, 07:37:13 PM »

Thanks Nut

I sure do miss him. 
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008, 12:40:16 PM »

8/29/08
Intact coffin offers hope in search for new evidence

MEDWAY, Maine — Internationally renowned forensic experts Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee will learn today whether the body of homicide victim Joyce McLain is as remarkably well-preserved as the vault and casket found during Thursday’s exhumation.

Baden and Lee will perform forensic examinations at the state chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta in search of new evidence. They hope to help solve a tragic mystery that has cast a pall over the Katahdin region since the 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore was found bludgeoned to death near the school’s soccer field on Aug. 10, 1980. She had disappeared two days before.

No one could assess the body’s condition Thursday, but the 30 investigators and family members gathered at the Grindstone Road Cemetery were astonished to find an intact vault seal and a vault and metallic coffin that looked almost new. State police detectives kept marveling about the almost pristine condition of the coffin, said town Public Works Department Director Greg Hale, a cousin of McLain’s.

“The casket looked in remarkable, exceptional shape,” said Stephen McCausland, state police spokesman.

“This has gone the way I expected it to,” said a buoyant Pamela McLain, the victim’s mother. “Everything is perfect. If this is what the coffin looks like, who knows what evidence is inside?

“Everything was in such good shape that I believe there’s a chance, a big chance, that this will get solved,” McLain added. “Everything fell into place.”

“They have a really good group of people working on this,” said East Millinocket Police Chief Garold “Twig” Cramp, whose department covers Medway. “Her forensic guys kept telling her, ‘If the casket is in good shape, we can do a lot.’ They can definitely work with this.”

The only mar was a few inches of groundwater seepage that Public Works Department workers gingerly shoveled from the vault floor after the coffin was removed from the sandy soil. No one could say what impact the water might have.

“I have more hope today than I had 28 years ago,” McLain said.

McLain asked Baden to intervene after rejecting arguments from Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes, who was advised by state forensic experts that exhumation would likely uncover no new evidence — an opinion Baden and Lee share.

McLain friends revitalized the Justice for Joyce Committee earlier this year, and together they raised about $18,000 to pay the expenses of Baden, who sought Lee’s aid.

Some people might consider it melancholy or even grisly to dig up a loved one’s casket, but McLain said she had 28 years to prepare.

She seemed unfazed, even cheerful as media watched from 100 yards away and Public Works Department laborers Rick Albro, Joel Stanley and Dusty Cramp, Garold’s cousin, methodically unearthed the vault and state forensic technicians gathered sod and topsoil from the grave for examination.

McLain carried a small travel mug and chain-smoked cigarettes as she paced behind the yellow police tape state police set. She wore bluejeans and a T-shirt picturing a frazzled cat bearing its claws with the caption reading, “Feeling Stressed!”

“I’m not,” McLain said wryly, “and this is what I wear when I’m not.

“I have fought and been rejected and fought again, but this is the time,” she said. “If this had happened 20 years ago, I would not have been as prepared for it as I am now.”

State police have disagreed with her occasional criticism of their performance, but they have always respected McLain for her passion and tenacity, McCausland said.

“She’s worked extremely hard to get to this point,” said McCausland, who called McLain’s efforts “Herculean.” He has previously stated that her efforts also revitalized a state police investigation that has produced several suspects and many theories but no arrests.

“Now we have to see if there’s any new evidence here,” he said. “We’ll do everything we can with it.”
http://bangornews.com/detail/49794.html
PIC 1
Pam McLain (below, foreground), mother of murder victim Joyce McLain, touches her daughter?s casket under the watchful eyes of Maine State Police Detective Jay Peary (background, from left), Lamson Funeral Home director Chip Lamson and detective Lt. Jackie Theriault after the casket was exhumed from the Grindstone Road Cemetery in Medway on Thursday. Earlier in the day before Joyce?s body was exhumed, cemetery ground maintenance supervisor Dusty Cramp (below, right) gives Pam McLain a hug and pat on the head as he tapes off the cemetery plot where Joyce is buried.

PIC2
Greg Hale (from left) director of public works for the town of Medway, steadies the lid to the vault as Lamson Funeral Home director Chip Lamson, Pam McLain, Maine State Police detective Lt. Jackie Theriault, Boston-based forensic pathologist Dr. Peter Cummings and Detective Jay Peary peer into the grave of Joyce McLain during the exhumation of her body Thursday at the Grindstone Road Cemetery in Medway.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 12:42:24 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 03:02:31 PM »

It's never too late for justice, and in this case it appears it may still come.  Pamela McClain didn't give up. 
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2008, 09:23:14 AM »

9/1/08
McLain's body reinterred
Pastor sees God's fingerprints on homicide victim's case
MEDWAY, Maine — To the Rev. Ralph Jacobs, God has been leaving his fingerprints all over the Joyce McLain case lately.

East Millinocket’s Pentecostal Lighthouse Church pastor, who presided over the reinterment of the body of Joyce McLain at a graveside service Saturday, believes the intuition that compelled Pamela McLain to start pressing nine months ago for new DNA testing of her daughter’s remains was a nudge from God.

The Justice For Joyce Committee’s raising $20,000 for the homicide victim’s exhumation, and the donations, had God all through them, Jacobs said. So was the highly improbable pristine condition of the body, which was exhumed Thursday after 28 years of interment, and the equally unlikely discovery of forensic evidence Friday.

“When you think of everything, from the preservation of the body to the way everybody’s working together — wow. Whether you believe in God or not, this is a wild thing, an unbelievable thing,” Jacobs told about 85 people at McLain’s committal service at the Grindstone Road Cemetery.

“All the little things have added up. All the obscure things have come together,” added Jacobs, who conducted McLain’s first funeral.

Pamela McLain’s joy at this was apparent at the ceremony.

As she held a cigarette and cup of coffee — which she also carried during the exhumation — McLain said the new evidence relieves her of a burden she has carried since 16-year-old Joyce was found bludgeoned to death near the Schenck High School soccer fields on Aug. 10, 1980.

No longer does Pamela McLain have to fight for her daughter, she said. After decades of silence, Joyce McLain is speaking for herself. The evidence allows Joyce to give state police clues about who killed her, and those detectives have pledged to renew their efforts to catch her daughter’s killer. That, together with her belief that Joyce’s spirit left her earthly remains long ago, had McLain feeling buoyant.

“This is not a sad day for me at all,” McLain said Saturday.

Soon, McLain said, she can be more attentive to the family and friends who have suffered with her all these years. But she would never have had the strength to face this new chapter of her life had she not visited her daughter’s grave Wednesday night.

“I knelt here and said, ‘Well, kid, we made it. I can’t wait for tomorrow,’” McLain recalled. “I could not wait to see the hearse pull out of that driveway and head for Augusta — which I missed, by the way, because I was talking to somebody when it happened.”

McLain said she knew scientific advances would produce new evidence for her daughter’s case during the autopsy, which was conducted at the office of the chief medical examiner in Augusta.

Boston forensic neuropathologist Dr. Peter Cummings, a Millinocket native who volunteered his aid, assisted Dr. Michael Baden, an internationally recognized pathologist who has reviewed the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Baden and Cummings conducted the autopsy, Dr. Henry Lee, whom Baden brought into the case, reviewed the investigation’s physical evidence. One of the world’s top criminologists, Lee worked on the O.J. Simpson murder case and was pivotal in Maine’s first successful DNA-based prosecution, the murder trial of David Fleming in 1995.

Brought into the case at McLain’s request, Baden split the $20,000 with Lee to cover their expenses. The doctors were initially dubious that a forensic exam would reveal anything new. They weren’t the only ones with doubts, McLain said.

“Other parents and people would doubt me and what I did, but until they have to fight for their daughter or their son, like I had to fight, they should not criticize,” McLain said during Saturday’s ceremony. “I knew why I did it, God knew why, and Joyce knew why.”

That powerful sense of purpose came from her daughter’s spirit, McLain said.

People who knew Joyce McLain wouldn’t find that so strange, said Judy Page of East Millinocket, a family friend who read the poem “A Faded Rose” during the ceremony.

“The people or person who did this thought they had eliminated Joyce but they did not,” Page said just before reading the poem. “Her light still shines, her spirit still lives and she has touched the hearts of people all over the United States, and that, and her mother’s determination to never give up, has brought us to this day.”

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/49914.html
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2008, 10:24:06 AM »

EAST MILLINOCKET (NEWS CENTER) -- Pam McLain fought for twenty years for a second autopsy for her daughter Joyce. Now that autopsy has given State Police new evidence in the case.

Thanks to a second autopsy, Maine State Police are looking into new evidence that could lead them to the person or people who killed Joyce McLain twenty-eight years ago. Joyce's mother, Pam McLain, fought for twenty years to have that second autopsy performed. The weight on her shoulder's has felt lighter since the day her daughter's body was exhumed.

"The way that I felt was like I had a twenty year job and they laid me off real fast," McLain said. "Because I feel God and Joyce let my job end."

And that weight on Pam McLain's shoulders just keeps getting lighter. The pathologists who performed Joyce's second autopsy gave Pam the news she had been praying for: Joyce's body was intact-enough to provide new information about her death.

"My question to him was, 'How well preserved was she?"' McLain told NEWS CENTER. He said she was very, very, very well preserved, almost recognizable. And he told me, 'Your God done well for you.'"

The pathologists said they have found new evidence to help move the investigation forward. It's news that confirms what Pam McLain has had faith in all these years.
"What everybody else, State Police, even all the pathologists didn't know what I knew deep inside: That everything was going to work out in the right way," McLain said.

State Police said input from the public is an important part of solving cold case crimes. They encourage anyone with information about Joyce McLain's death to contact Maine State Police at 1-800-432-7381.

NEWS CENTER

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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2008, 12:23:47 PM »

Well, just maybe, the evidence they have found will link one of the suspects they've had on file all these years, to Joyce's murder. 

I have a strong feeling they'll be able to close this case.
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2008, 07:53:57 PM »

I am hopeful on this as well.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2009, 11:00:33 PM »

1/28/09 | 4 comments
Murder victim’s mom tired of police silence
 
By Nick Sambides Jr.
BDN Staff
EAST MILLINOCKET — The mother of Joyce McLain will give state police a month to tell her what’s new with her daughter’s 28-year-old homicide investigation or she will push them to seek FBI help, she said Wednesday.

Speaking five months after her daughter’s body was exhumed, Pamela McLain vented frustration at seeing no investigative progress despite fresh evidence unearthed by forensic experts Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee on Aug. 29. They were paid with $20,000 she and a citizen’s group helped raise.

“After six months, I am going to start being loud again,” McLain said Wednesday.

“I was OK for awhile and I tried to get some answers for the public, but now I need answers for me, because I am starting to get the same feelings I had 28 years ago,” McLain said. “How long do I wait this time? I don’t have 28 years to wait.

“If they [state police] don’t have anything, perhaps they should ask someone else to help them out. There is always the FBI … ,” she added. “I want to know if the state police are capable of solving unsolved murders. If they need help and can’t do it, then I think they should ask for more help.”

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said state police sought help several years ago from FBI profilers. He said he would speak Thursday with detectives about the investigation’s status.

“The case is open and active and we continue to work on it,” McCausland said. “We have tried to keep her [McLain] in the loop as best we can.”

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980 apparently while jogging. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing near the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been hit with a blunt object.

Several suspects have been investigated, but no arrests have been made.
http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/98256.html

COMMENTS........4 comments on this item 
On 1/28/09 at 06:50 PM, pcme2000 wrote:
I hope that they can find the person that did this and give this mother some closure.

On 1/28/09 at 06:54 PM, anne_of_mdi wrote:
What the he$$ is going on here? Is this what we all can expect as parents?

On 1/28/09 at 07:14 PM, Louise wrote:
After 28 years , it's quite obvious that the state police are Not capable of solving this unsolved murder! This mother must be so sad and so frustrated and nearly at the end of her rope! I do not know how she has held up the way she has. I know she will never give up. If it were my daughter, I would do the same thing. Do what ever you have to do for your answers.

On 1/28/09 at 07:27 PM, dandlmom wrote:
She is right, she doesn't have another 28 years to wait around. This is sad, I was thinking of her not too long ago and wondering what the status of this case was. Guess there hasn't been too much found. Whovever murdered this girl is a coward and should admit to what he/she has done and what he/she has put this family thru after all these years!

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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 07:31:30 PM »

State police defend work on 1980 case

Pam McLain says: ‘I just want to be informed’

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — As many as eight detectives have devoted thousands of hours to investigating the 28-year-old homicide of Joyce McLain since her body was exhumed and new evidence uncovered in late August, a state police spokesman said Friday.

“There has been an incredible amount of work done on this case since then and that work is continuing,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McCausland was gently defending investigators against comments made earlier this week by Pamela McLain, the victim’s mother. McLain vented frustration at hearing no progress in the investigation from detectives despite fresh evidence unearthed by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee on Aug. 29.

The internationally renowned forensic investigators were paid $20,000 she and a citizens group helped raise after the Maine Attorney General’s Office declined to pursue the exhumation.

“If they [state police] don’t have anything, perhaps they should ask someone else to help them out. There is always the FBI to help them out,” McLain said.

She added: “I want to know if the state police are capable of solving unsolved murders. If they need help and can’t do it, then I think they should ask for more help.”

Detectives have no plans to consult outside agencies, McCausland said.

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980, apparently while jogging. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing near the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been hit with a blunt object.

Several suspects have been investigated — McLain places the number as high as 14 — but there have been no arrests. At least four detectives have handled the case through the years, and state police Sgt. Troy Gardner, the case’s primary investigator, has worked with several other detectives who have been on the case almost full time since September, McCausland said.

State police try to keep victims’ families informed about investigation progress but are often hamstrung by the need to keep so much of their information confidential, McCausland said. Detectives have visited McLain three or four times since August, she said, with the last visit from Gardner coming Monday.

“Details of those kinds of investigations are not something we talk about,” McCausland said. “We give as much information as we can. We update immediate family as we think appropriate.”

McLain was not impressed with McCausland’s explanations nor those expressed by Gardner when he telephoned her on Friday, she said.

“I told him that I don’t want to head-butt with the state police. I won’t do it,” she said. “I just want to stay informed as the mother. I told them that as the mother, I ought to get a little respect and know a little about what’s going on ...

“I know what I am told. I am told nothing,” she added.

“I told them I am 62 years old,” McLain said. “I know what I should say and what I shouldn’t, and no one is going to keep my mouth duct-taped. I am going to keep on this.”

State police have about 70 open murder investigations dating to the early 1970s that have detectives assigned to them. Those detectives periodically review the cases, McCausland said.

In 2007, 61.2 percent of the 21 Maine homicides reported that year were cleared by arrest, according to statistics on the FBI’s Web site. That’s a fairly high percentage compared to other states, but one that signals how challenging homicide investigations can be. Clearance percentages for other, lesser crimes are dramatically lower.

No data were immediately available from McCausland or other sources Friday regarding the percentage of decades-old homicides cleared by arrest. McCausland declined to discuss the long odds typically associated with making arrests in unsolved murders.

“I would prefer to be optimistic that there is hope for each one of them,” he said of the 70 open cases.

But state police have had some successes in closing decades-old murders, McCausland noted. He cited seven homicides that were at least 12 years old when first arrests were made. One, involving the 1983 murder of Judith Flagg, 23, of Fayette, occurred because state police used new DNA technology to examine old evidence. Charged in August, suspect Thomas Mitchell Jr. of South Portland is due for trial in April.

“We never close these investigations,” McCausland said.

McLain envisioned the same success when she asked Baden and Lee to investigate her daughter’s death.

It took almost two years for her and other Katahdin region residents to raise the money to pay the doctors, the Maine Attorney General’s Office having declined an exhumation on the unlikelihood of finding new evidence. But Baden and Lee said McLain’s intuition proved eerily prescient when they found her daughter’s remarkably well-preserved body and a large amount of new evidence.

Still, the doctors warned that the evidence would take time to process and might not lead police anywhere.

Her pain at her daughter’s death is always there, but McLain said she is not obsessed. Nor will she hound detectives.

“I have great-grandkids, grandkids and a business,” said McLain, who owns a bar, Pam & Ivy’s, on Main Street. “I have a full house, a lot going on. It’s tough sometimes, but I just want to be informed. I want them to lay the cards on the table.”

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/98451.html
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2009, 04:47:20 PM »

2/9/09 | 21 comments
Mom seeks to assure donors who helped fund daughter’s exhumation
McLain: State police working hard on daughter’s homicide
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — State police are working “almost daily” on the unsolved 28-year-old homicide of Joyce McLain and still analyzing large amounts of evidence found when her body was exhumed in August, the victim’s mother said Monday.

Speaking after a visit to town on Feb. 5 by state police Maj. Dale Lancaster and Lt. Jackie Theriault, Pamela McLain said she wanted to assure contributors to her successful $20,000 effort to have the body exhumed and examined last August that their contributions were not in vain.

“I really knew that they were going to give it their all five months ago. That had not changed much,” McLain said Monday, “but the public needs to know. I believe they [state police] are working hard on it. They are giving it their all, but the public raised the money. They [contributors] have to be assured that [the investigation] is still ongoing.”

Theriault is the commanding officer for the state police Northern Criminal Division, and Lancaster oversees the state police Criminal Division, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Speaking through a statement released by McCausland, the officers described their meeting with McLain as positive, one in which information was shared.

“State police have been the ones to stress that it is going to be time-consuming,” McLain said. “It is going to take time. Period. I know that, and I want the public to know that, too.”

A 16-year-old Schenck High School sophomore, Joyce McLain was killed sometime around the night of Aug. 8, 1980, apparently while jogging. Her body was found two days later in a power line clearing near the school’s soccer fields. Her head and neck had been hit with a blunt object.

Several suspects have been investigated — Pamela McLain places the number as high as 14 — but there have been no arrests. At least four detectives have handled the case through the years, and state police Sgt. Troy Gardner, now the case’s primary investigator, has worked with several other detectives who have been on the case almost full time since September, McCausland has said.

The meeting with McClain on Feb. 5 resulted from statements she made Jan. 28 in which she vented frustration at hearing no progress in the investigation from detectives despite fresh evidence unearthed by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee on Aug. 29.

“If they [state police] don’t have anything, perhaps they should ask someone else to help them out. There is always the FBI to help them out,” McLain said on Jan. 28.

The two internationally renowned forensic experts were paid with $20,000 she and a citizens group helped raise over almost two years after the Maine State Attorney General’s Office declined to pursue the exhumation, citing the unlikelihood of finding fresh evidence.

But a large amount of evidence was found, Baden and Lee said, enough to keep detectives working for months.

Still, they cautioned that the evidence guarantees nothing. Detectives still must fit the evidence within a scenario that identifies a suspect and convince a prosecutor and judge that they have enough probable cause to warrant a charge — a formidable task.

As many as eight detectives have helped out, putting in several thousand hours of work since September, McCausland said.

State police have about 70 open murder investigations dating to the early 1970s that have detectives assigned to them. Those detectives periodically review the cases as well as handle new cases, McCausland said.

McLain has said she accepts state police rationales but remains committed to seeing her daughter’s killer caught. Throughout the case’s 28-year odyssey, the 62-year-old bar owner and foster mother only gradually became an outspoken and occasionally harsh critic of police efforts — and sometimes laments not becoming more free-spoken sooner.

Her struggle has attracted People magazine. A writer and photographer from the national publication visited town last fall to write about McLain and how her daughter’s homicide has hung over the Katahdin region. McLain and Dr. Peter Cummings, a Boston-based coroner and Millinocket native who was inspired by the homi-cide to become a medical examiner, were among those interviewed.

No publication date has been set. The story will be published in mid-March at the earliest, editors said Monday.

McLain seeks to balance her absolute refusal to allow her daughter’s case to be forgotten, the need to allow detectives the time and patience they need to do their work, and her own need for a stable existence.

“We have to let them do it the slow-process, right way,” McLain said of the detectives.

The examination and integration of the new evidence “could take a year, two years or 2½ years. I am sure they are going to do everything they can,” McLain said. “I believe the case is solvable and I do pray to God that they are going in the right direction.”

So McLain will wait. Though far from content, she finds herself becoming more patient and is busy with her children and business. A pack-a-day smoker for 44 years, McLain said she hasn’t had a cigarette in 48 days.

“I am calmer,” she said.

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/99168.html
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Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

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