Episode 32: Malaga Island, Maine’s secret shame

Malaga Island residents (malagaisland.org photo)

In 1912, the state of Maine bought Malaga Island and evicted its mixed-race residents, placing eight of them — an entire family — in the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded and casting the rest adrift, some with tragic results.

The move came after a several years of denigration of the people of the island by newspapers, politicians and area residents.

It’s something that until a decade ago, no one in Maine talked much about, or even knew about.

Now, in 2017, we’d like to think we’re better than that. Are we? Things like this surely couldn’t happen today. Could they? We discuss.

Yep, we’re back and all fired up after a month off. Join us for Episode 32. Actually, Episode 32 B. Because we’re not too proud to re-record if severe technical issues screw up a good story.

Bonus Episode 2: What we’re doing on our summer vacation

Soooo… it’s been 31 episodes. And it’s July in Maine. And we have day jobs (kind of). So we’re taking a break for a few weeks from Crime & Stuff. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to say…

We discuss what we’re reading, watching, doing (Maureen’s reading 75 self-published books as a contest judge. By August 1. You can imagine what she has to say about that). Rebecca’s planning some pretty cool upcoming topics for when we return in August.

And if you REALLY miss us, there’s always Groovy Tube: The Crimes of the Brady Bunch.

Episode 22: Anthony Sanborn, murder, injustice and disposable lives

Portland Press Herald Photo

 

When 16-year-old Jessica Briggs was found dead under the Maine State Pier in Portland in May 1989 — stabbed, beaten and eviscerated — police quickly narrowed their focus to¬†her fellow street kids. They arrested her sometime boyfriend Tony Sanborn in 1990, he was convicted of her murder in 1992 and an appeal failed in 1994. In April, after 27 years behind bars, Sanborn was let out on bail after attorneys spent more than a year combing through police and prosecution files that show a trail of lies and constitutional violations.

The star witness? 13 at the time of the murder? Turns out she was legally blind and couldn’t see what she’d claimed she’d seen, something the prosecution didn’t share with the defense. Another important witness? Police had threatened to pursue the adult man’s sexual assaults on underage girls unless he testified that Sanborn told him he’d killed Briggs. The defense didn’t know about that, either. And that’s just the beginning.

Sanborn’s release was a first for Maine, but what lead to it will blow your mind.

Join us for Episode 22! And keep an eye out for Episode 22.2, with important updates on this ongoing case.

 

 

Episode 7: Maine’s murderers and the women who loved them

Maine has one of the lowest murder rates in the country. For the past couple of decades, there have been between 20 to 25 homicides a year in the state. In 2016, there were 16.

Yet, the types of murders Maine has are telling — murder victims are most likely to be killed by someone who professes to love them. We take a look at three of 2016’s Maine homicides on this week’s episode.

We also learn not to take presumption of innocence lightly from a fired-up Matt Nichols in Ask a Lawyer, and what do Abe Vigoda, Prince and Harper Lee all have in common? Come on, we know you know the answer. We take a last look at some of the famous people who died last year on this week’s Crime & Stuff.

Episode 4: Sarah Cheiker’s long strange trip

Sarah Cheiker and former LA neighbor Jim Caccavo in 2012. [Caccavo/LA Times photo]
Sarah Cheiker and former LA neighbor Jim Caccavo in 2012. [Caccavo/LA Times photo]
Sarah Cheiker happily lived most of her 80-plus years in her Los Angeles bungalow. That changed when three drifters befriended her. In 2008 she disappeared, turning up 3,000 miles away in Maine four years later, abandoned in a ramshackle cabin that the police officer who found her said he wouldn’t keep his dog in.

What happened to Cheiker from the time she met Nicholas and Barbara Davis in the mid-2000s to when she was found in Maine in 2011 will make your hair freeze.

We discuss¬†her long strange trip on this week’s Crime & Stuff, and then have attorney Matt Nichols clarify some of the nuances of multi-state crime in Ask a Lawyer.

We also trash Santa Claus, moon over Dennis Lehane and discuss Tig Nataro’s “One Mississippi.”