From the book Human Sacrifice: “Kent Wommack told about one night in India. ‘Dennis and I were walking around the streets of the neighborhood where we were staying. This was in Delhi. We had stopped to admire a stand of fruit and flowers that the street vendors had, despite the poverty and unsanitary conditions. It was a beautiful display. Dennis was particularly interested since it was his line of work. As we were standing there, perhaps fifty yards up the road we heard an argument break out. As we turned, one of the men had a bottle which he hit the other man with and dropped the bottle and ran away.
‘There was a large crowd of people there who immediately surrounded the injured man who was bleeding profusely and seemed trying to get themselves organized, trying to do something with him. This was early in the evening. Both Dennis and I, I think, had similar reactions. Dennis described it as – [interrupted by objections and a court ruling]. He felt physically repulsed. He felt like a hollow feeling in his stomach. And that evening neither of us felt like having dinner because it was just very upsetting to see that kind of behavior.’
“Asked whether he had ever seen any similar response to violence from Dechaine, Womack told of an incident after they’d returned home from India. ‘Dennis was giving me a tour of the farm that he and Nancy had just bought where they keep goats. I asked Dennis what can you do with goats? He said…’ ” [What he said was blocked by the court's sustaining the prosecution's hearsay objection] (Human Sacrifice, p. 135).
From trial transcript, testimony by Kent Womack (in addition to testimony summarized above, from Human Sacrifice: [In response to prosecutor or defense attorney questions] “I consider Dennis Dechaine a close friend.…I got to know Dennis in the fall of 1986 when Dennis and I were both chosen to participate in what is called a group city study exchange which is sponsored by the Rotary Foundation. It’s a program, which, in their words, is to foster international understanding by taking groups of young professional men and sending them to another country where they can interact with another culture and help learn the problems and concerns of one culture and translate what it’s like to live and work in the United States….
“There were five participants on the trip who were selected from a large pool of applicants. The applicant pool came from northern Massachusetts all the way up to Quebec. So there were five participants as well as one group leader who was a Rotarian…
“I first saw him [Dennis] when we were both interviewing for the program – you had to go through two interviews to be selected for the program. And I first met Dennis when we both happened to be interviewed at the Brunswick Rotary Club. We were both selected to go on to the regional interviews, which we did, and then shortly after that once both of us had been selected – I guess the first time I got to know him is when we met the whole group of us who were going to be going, and we talked about the trip….
The trip was to northeastern India including Delhi and a lot of the countryside to the northeast of Delhi along the Nepal border…
“We were together as a group for the entire trip which lasted just over four weeks. The program, the goal, was to have us living and traveling together for all that time. And there were some times when we stayed in people’s homes. In India more often than not we stayed together in hotels there. Needless to say perhaps the accommodations were not luxurious….
“It was no picnic. The trip was a wonderful experience but it was [under] extremely difficult circumstances. India as you know has crushing poverty, and even though we were being hosted by Rotarians, which happened to be in the upper level of the society, it was a very stressful trip. I think all of us ended up losing 10 to 15 pounds because the food didn’t agree with [us]. Many of us were sick for all or part of the trip. The living accommodations were generally not good. And we were kept on an extremely hectic schedule….
”We [Dennis and Kent] were together pretty much the whole time. We were together 24 hours a day during that trip for just over four weeks….”
[Responding to question, "After you returned [from] India you remained close?”] ‘Yes. And we fortunately lived close enough to each other that we were able to see each other on a fairly regular basis, and our families and wives have since gotten to know each other. …’
[In response to question, "Was there a time in India when you observed Mr. Dechaine purchase some drugs on the street?"] ‘Yes there was…. I did not see Dennis buy drugs, but I was – we were together shopping, and going in and out of different stores. And as we left the market area…… Dennis showed me a small package of tinfoil which had drugs in it….. It was hashish. ….[which Dennis smoked and then…] we went to a museum. And it was a museum about Gandhi who was the past spiritual leader of India. We spent the afternoon at the museum. I believe it was approximately three to three and a half hours. Dennis and I wandered through the museum together for the first kind of part of it and he then moved on into different rooms and moved on faster than I did. When I emerged from the museum – the museum was sitting in a large park area with magnificent rose gardens all around, manicured lawns and trees. And when I was finished going through the museum and I came outside it was a sunny afternoon and I found Dennis lying underneath a tree out on the lawn near those rose bushes asleep….
…There were hundreds of rose bushes and he wandered around the gardens before coming over to this spot in the sun and falling asleep….’
[About Dennis in Maine] Through meeting them [other friends of Dennis] when I went over to the produce stand or when he was over at our house or we would be in the Brunswick area. It’s a small area. You get to know the people readily…..
[Responding to question, "Now are you aware of whether or not Dennis Dechaine has a reputation in the community for peacefulness and non-violence? First, are you aware if he has a reputation?"] ‘Yes, I’m aware that he has a reputation of that sort….. I believe that Dennis’ reputation among the people that know him, myself included, is as a gentle, compassionate, peaceful person…..’
[Responding to question, "Is there anything in your experience with Dennis Dechaine that causes you to dispute the knowledge that you have as to Dennis Dechaine's reputation for peacefulness and non-violence?"] ‘Absolutely not.’ [TR pp 965-079] [Kent Womack, a graduate of Colby College and Yale University's School of Forestry, was the Associate Director of the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. In 2003, he is the Director]
From Rotary International about its Group Study Exchange: “GSE has provided grants for countless teams of men and women in the early stages of their business and professional careers to travel abroad and share vocational information with the representatives of their respective professions in another country. Team members spend four to six weeks studying the host country’s institutions, economy, and culture, while observing how their own professions are practiced abroad. Rotary districts select teams comprising four non-Rotarians and one Rotarian leader, engaged in different businesses and professions. Each of two paired districts sends and receives a team for a four- to six-week study program. Pairings are usually determined by The Rotary Foundation’s trustees to ensure wide geographical distribution, but exchanges can also be arranged by the participating districts. Applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40 and employed full-time, with a minimum of two years’ experience, in a recognized business or profession. In addition, candidates should have some proficiency in the language of the country to which they intend to travel, must be exemplary in their business or professional conduct, enthusiastic about their vocations, and capable of deriving maximum educational value from the program. After their study abroad, participants are expected to speak about their experiences at Rotary meetings and other civic functions.” (From email, 3/14/03 from Amanda Provost, Rotary International)
From Human Sacrifice: “At one point during the seventy-minute session, [1988 with prosecution's psychologists] Dechaine told the psychologists, ‘I really believe that evening, during the interrogations, that I was made to believe that I was responsible for this. I wondered if I had done something crazy that day. I guess what really shocked me was when I saw that girl’s picture in the newspaper and I had never seen that girl before, and that made me feel it wasn’t possible that I could be involved in this. At least I would have remembered what the girl looked like.’
This version of Dechaine’s reaction to seeing Sarah’s picture can’t be disputed. This interview… was videotaped.” (Human Sacrifice, p. 90)
From Human Sacrifice: “Clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Ginn examined Dechaine before the trial” [for the defense, but Dr. Ginn was not permitted to testify by the judge. Here is part of Dr. Ginn's report, which, again, was not seen by the jury] ‘There is nothing to suggest problems with anger, aggressiveness, or hostility. In general, he appears to be a very unhostile individual. He has no apparent history of aggressive or antisocial behavior. While he has used drugs in the past there is nothing to suggest problems or issues with chemical dependency. He does, however, show some naivete about the risks he was taking when using drugs. There is nothing to suggest problems with interpersonal relationships. There is no apparent history of relationship problems. He values his relationship with his wife and this appears to be a very important relationship to him. There is no data to point to any problems with sexuality or sexual expression. In summary, the overall picture of Dennis is one of a highly intelligent man who in spite of some negative experiences, particularly having to cope with the death of his parents while a teenager, has turned out to be a well-functioning individual who shows no signs of a significant mental illness or personality disorder…’ (Human Sacrifice, p. 145)
From questioning of Dr. Ginn for the purpose of Atty. Connolly’s request to have him testify before the jury, “The results in terms of the general assessment found Dennis to be significantly above average in intellectual capacity with no specific cognitive or intelligent weaknesses. Overall functioning I would place him at the 96 percentile when placed against other adults. Personality assessment showed no significant emotional or psychological problems, no mental illness… The assessment showed somebody who tends to look at life in a rather optimistic manner, somebody who tends to be rather individualistic and independent in their approach to life. An individual who could somewhat be described as compulsive and compliant at times. No signs of any significant anxiety or depression. Somebody who may tend to avoid unpleasant things and may tend to look on the optimistic side more often than perhaps he should…. There was nothing in the data that showed any problems with impulse control, hostility, underlying hostility….No indication of [antisocial behavior]…I would not see the drug use as antisocial behavior, no; in a clinical sense… I would characterize [Dennis] as a drug user; not somebody who is a drug abuser or chemically dependent… There is nothing in the data to suggest any problems with that [interpersonal relationships] He appears to have significant number of friends and acquaintances; nothing to point to any real problems in that area….. Nothing to point to any real problems with sexual dysfunction. No problems with sexual function…’ [TR pp. 1137-1139] “No, nothing to suggest any paranoia…” [psychopathic?] ‘No.’ [“Sociopathic of any kind?”] ‘No.’ [TR p. 1141-1142]
From Human Sacrifice, p. 147): “A friend named Mike Hite testified that Dechaine was, indeed, very squeamish and, further, that he never locked his truck when he parked it.”
From Dennis Dechaine, in a letter to Mike Hite dated 12/17/02: “One of the greatest gifts I have here is a rich tapestry of fond memories. Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine some of the wonderful things I’ve seen, or remember some of the good people I’ve known. You come up frequently, Mike, not only in my thoughts but in my conversations. I’ve known a lot of people in my life, from all over the world. I can honestly say that not a one of them ever treated me with greater kindness or generosity than you have. I think fondly on all those nights we spent in our garage, fixing one junk heap of mine or another and I desperately wish that we could have made fond memories for many more years. I love thinking of the night we took your boat out on the Androscoggin to fish for stripers. When things get really bad here, that memory brings me such peace.
You’re a good man, Mike Hite, and a great friend, and I miss you terribly.”
From Mike Hite, in trial testimony: [Responding to question, "Calling your attention to one particular time in reference to an incident which occurred… involving the sight of blood…”] “The incident happened in September of 1987. I had had a big tumor on the back of my head and I had to have it removed. And I went to the hospital in the morning and had it removed. And what was supposed to be a 15 minute operation lasted about an hour and the doctor’s only warning was if anything like severe bleeding or anything like that occurred to return. And I went home and later that afternoon I walked across the street to talk to Dennis and I felt something run down my neck and I went like that, and it was blood. And Dennis said, ‘Mike, you are bleeding’. And I said, ‘Okay, I’ll go on home.’
“I went on home and I walked into the bathroom, and this wound, the bandage just started rupturing with blood. I grabbed a towel and hollered across the street for Dennis to come and help me. He came over and it was bleeding pretty bad through the bandage. I asked him to get me to the hospital. Dennis got very nervous because of what he saw and he said, ‘Oh my God, Mike.’ I said, ‘Just get me downtown to the hospital..’ And I called my wife at her employment and told her I was on my way. And Dennis did get me in the car and got me to the hospital. He was very upset about what was going on. Of me bleeding so severely. I was bleeding very severely from that. When they removed the gauze at the hospital it just sprayed all over the emergency room. Dennis was very upset at the sight of what he saw. That’s about all I can say about it.” [TR pp. 1162-1163]