Family Reunion, Madawaska

From Dennis Dechaine, trial testimony: “I’m not exactly sure when we left, but it was Friday prior to the Fourth of July…. I was going to see my brothers principally, but we were having a rare family reunion. Basically, the Dechaine side of the family was congregating for a dual purpose celebration; one was the 75th birthday of my uncle Joe, and the second was for the Fourth of July. This occurred on Long Lake in Sinclair, Maine….It was a great week. It was a great weekend … In terms of cousins, there were a great number of cousins from all over the country that arrived that I hadn’t seen in years…. I stayed at my brother Philip['s] who owns a home on Long Lake also in Sinclair. … we drove down via Route One instead of the Interstate. I wanted to show Nancy that part of Maine. She hadn’t been up there yet.” [TR p. 1191-1195]

From Carol Waltman: “I graduated from high school in 1978 and my 10th reunion was at a local club on Thursday, the 7th, and it had a large TV. Some of us were looking at the news, and then there was a story about a murder of a young girl down South; and then we saw the arrest of our friend Dennis and people in the room were shocked. Dennis was always the peacemaker.” (Phone call 2/9/03)

From Carol Waltman: “Every summer, Madawaska has an Acadian festival and they celebrate a Madawaska family every summer, by having a family reunion for that family. In July 1988, Dennis had stopped by my crafts booth… must have been Monday or Tuesday, July 4th or 5th… and I gave him a few things; and he was very happy. Then he left for his home in Bowdoin.” (Phone call 2/9/03)

From Steve Young: ” He had lots of interests, including organic farming. When he lived in Bowdoinham, he packaged and sold locally Maine signature products including Christmas wreaths, blueberries. And also sold mail order, via UPS. He had entrepreneurial skills and was a hard worker, very focused.

My parents loved Dennis and he came to our home many times. He visited with us that fateful July 1988. My sister, Elizabeth, lives in Wiscasset and heard the news of Dennis’ arrest on the television and she called us. I then called Dennis in jail. We were all devastated.” (Phone conversation 12 February 2003)