learned that an ATF agent by the name of James P. Moore had written a book
It was titled Human Sacrifice, about a 12-year-old girl who was brutally murdered in
Maine in 1987. I bought and read his book. The author’s name
was not spelled the same as that of the ATF agent mentioned in Bryce’s 1982 report
concerning a load of stolen riles, shotguns, and dynamite dumped at the Bangor PD
by an unnamed client. The unnamed client was Paul Pollard. I wrote to
Moore, asking if he was the ATF agent named in Bryce’s report. Here is the response
to my letter:
Dear Ms. Cochran,
On Wednesday, February 22, 2006, I received an email from Moore in response
to an email I had written to him. An excerpt from his letter:
Thank you for your letter, and I’m really very sorry to hear how the state
has failed so miserably in solving the murder of your son. I can only
imagine the pain of your experience. I’m sure the actual pain is much
worse, but what I can imagine is terrible enough.
I have no doubt that the “Agent Mower” or “Moor” mentioned in the
police reports refers to me. I was ATF’s agent-in-charge at Portland in
1981, and none of the special agents assigned there at the time had a name
similar to mine. ATF traces firearms at the request of any federal, state,
or local police agency and it’s the practice to pursue the trace until it leads
back into the jurisdiction of that agency, at which time the information is
given to that agency so that they may continue their investigation.
If the police had informed ATF that the stolen guns had been transported
across a state line from Maine to Massachusetts, it would have been
possible to lodge federal charges. However, in practice, if the pending
state charge carried a stiffer penalty (interstate transportation of stolen firearms is only punishable by
five years’ imprisonment) the government
usually defers to the state for prosecution. In any event, the federal statute
of limitations has now expired on such a crime committed that long ago.
One thing I found interesting about your case is the total indifference the
authorities show toward your feelings and your interest in the murder of
your son. In the Susan Carter case, members of the Attorney General’s office often attempt to change the subject away from the evidence
by saying that Susan Carter’s family has been through enough, and
resurrecting that case only brings them more pain.
They certainly show no concern for your feelings whatsoever. Assistant
AG Fernand LaRochelle’s order that M.E. Ryan withhold your son’s
autopsy report strikes a familiar chord. Mr. LaRochelle, and indeed
everyone in the AG’s office, demonstrates a fondness for concealing
information. It’s not a habit that generates confidence in their competence
Your son’s case reinforces my conviction that certain offices of our state’s
criminal justice system require major repairs. Perhaps Mr. [Dennis] Dechaine’s case will generate a move to bring about those repairs.
It’s been some time since I read about Micheal’s case, so I’m re-
familiarizing myself with the details. One question that comes to mind
is who’s this attorney? You wrote: “The AG’s office hired my attorney
and he walked out on me on April 30, 1990, eleven days before my trial.
He had been in contact with the AG’s office during the time he was
representing me and had given the AG’s office copies of my depositions.”
The man sounds like a real scumbag—which means he’s probably at
home in the AG’s office.
On February 25, 2006, I received another email from Moore. He said he was
looking forward to getting together over coffee some time. He said he would be in
the Bangor area before I got down around his area. But, in the meantime, he was
going to read more of what I had on my website. An excerpt from his email:
It certainly seems that Dr. Roy did a superficial job in this case. The same
(in my opinion) as he did in the Susan Carter case.
More and more I’m finding that, with certain officials, their personal
convenience trumps their interest in doing the right thing. Frankly, it
disgusts me. I’ve encountered more unworthy officials in connection
with Dennis’ case than I ever met during 25 years as a federal agent.
Including [Assistant AG] Pat Perrino, who signed off on something he
knew nothing about, simply because Cox asked him to. Well, we wouldn’t
want poor old Perrino to actually know what he’s doing, would we?
On March 3, 2006, an excerpt from another email from Moore, he said,
Maine’s legal community is really so small. So many people involved
in Micheal’s case were involved in Dennis’ case. Now I see that Marvin
Glazier turned in those guns and explosives “for an un-named client.”
Glazier is also one of the 3 “distinguished lawyers” whom Attorney
General Rowe selected for his panel to look into accusations of misconduct
by detectives and prosecutors in Dennis’ case. I guess the report of
that panel will tell us whether “distinguished” also means honest and
intelligent—assuming they ever produce that report. It’s now been 16
months since Rowe asked them to look into it, and no word yet. They
might be distinguished, but they’re certainly not speedy.
Thanks for pointing out where my name appeared in the case, and I can see
why I didn’t recall it. As far as ATF was concerned, we were only offering
our assistance in tracking down the “stolen” guns by checking dealers’
records and interviewing out-of-state witnesses. Just a routine, everyday
thing for us. If they’d asked our assistance/participation in determining
who’d taken stolen guns across a state line into Massachusetts, or who’d
had illegal possession of explosives, we’d probably have done it. But it
was the state’s case, and we were busy enough without asking for more
work when it wasn’t requested and not required.
The more I read about Micheal’s case, the more certain I am that there is
something malignant living in our state’s criminal justice system. While
it’s probably true that “only a few” commit these egregious acts, what
about the rest of them who put up with, condone, and cover up for those
“few”? There’s a principle in the law that “silence betokens consent.”
Some time later, I found a biography of James Moore on
a website. It said after serving with the U. S. Army in Korea, [Moore]
joined the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in 1960,
working there for 25 years. His career included two years with the
Federal Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force and two years with
Interpol, where he directed international investigations of robbery,
rape, murder and terrorism. He retired to Portland as the ATF agent in
charge for Maine and New Hampshire.
When Moore joined the ATF in Newark, New Jersey, in 1960, it was an arm of
the Internal Revenue Service with one job: to catch the Maia bootleggers whose
Prohibition-style distilleries each cheated Uncle Sam of $20,000 a day in tax revenue.
During his 25 years of service, Moore saw the ATF shift into the enforcement of gun
laws, be reborn as a separate bureau, and take on the bombings and arson cases that
most officers of the law wrote off as impossible to solve.
His fiction books are based on experiences gained from the various departments
of law enforcement in which he has served.
|Mike’s brother contacts U. S. Representative Michael Michaud
With Pollard and Percy argent still free, Derry contacted Maine U. S. Representative
Michael Michaud. The following is a letter to me from Rep. Michaud on April 14,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the death of your son Micheal.
There are no words I can say that will make your loss easier to bear.
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I appreciate the
opportunity to bring this to the attention of the proper authorities.
On May 18, I received an email from Coleman that said, “Give me a call when
you get a chance.” He sent me his cell and pager numbers to reach him. He just
wanted to fill me in on what he was doing on the case. I don’t remember if it was at
this time that he flew to Florida and spoke with Percy Sargent. But, he said he got
little from Percy Sargent, and that he didn’t want to talk.
The story that your son related to my staff about the murder of his brother
was a troubling one. I regret that my position as a Member of the United
States House of Representatives does not permit me the authority to
direct state law enforcement in your case. However, in an effort to offer
as much assistance as possible, I am forwarding your privacy release to
the State Attorney General and asking that your case be reviewed again.
I have also asked that the A.G.’s office contact you directly in an attempt
to offer some resolution for you and your loved ones.
I cannot begin to understand the feelings that come from losing a child.
While I am not permitted direct authority in matters like this, I do hope
that my actions will lead to some resolution for you. As such, I have asked
that the Attorney General inform me when you have been contacted.
Again, your entire family is in my thoughts, and I wish you the best.
|September 5, 2006, I received a letter from Deputy AG William Stokes:
Dear Mrs. Cochran:
I understand that you spoke to Mary Farrar, one of the Victim Advocates
in our ofice, regarding the case involving the homicide of your son,
Micheal. I believe you have been in touch with Detective Coleman.
On May 17, 2006, Detective Coleman made a presentation of the Micheal
Cochran case at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory to all the
commanding officers within the State Police as well as the commanding
officers of Portland and Bangor. I was also present as was the Medical
Examiner and the Director and Assistant Director of the Maine State
Police Crime Lab. Detective Coleman has done outstanding work on
this case but there remains tremendous difficulties with prosecuting this
case particularly in view of the fact that the “homicide scene” was not
treated as such until a significant period of time after your son’s death,
potentially jeopardizing important evidence in the meantime.
Detective Coleman’s presentation lasted well over two hours and, as a
result of that presentation, it was decided that additional interviews should
be conducted. The State Police are planning to conduct those interviews.
Upon the completion of those interviews, the matter will be reviewed
once again to determine whether the case is in a posture where it can
conceivably be prosecuted [Other interviews were never conducted.].
|On September 12, 2006, Coleman sent me a link to a newly-launched Maine
State Police/Criminal Investigation & Forensics/Unsolved Homicides page.
The body of 24 year old Micheal Craig Cochran was found on February
24, 1981, in Dedham. Michael’s body was found in the rubble of a cottage
destroyed by fire. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Maine State Police Criminal Investigation Division III.
I answered Coleman’s email the next day: “I’ve been to the unsolved homicide
site already. Thank you. Did you
receive the two documents I sent you on Shuman & Pinkham?
Major Crimes Unit–North, 198 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine 04401.
Telephone (207) 973-3750 or toll free 1-800-432-7381.
Contact the Maine State Police, Criminal Investigation Division with
information regarding this murder.
Coleman responded and said he had received both.
I respond to Deputy AG Bill Stokes September 5 letter:
Dear Mr. Stokes:
I received another letter from Deputy AG Stokes, on September 14, 2006:
I am writing to thank you for your letter of September 5, 2006 and say
that I have been in touch with Detective Coleman for years now. Gerald
Coleman is a fine man and caring detective.
I was forty-four years old when my son was murdered, twenty-five
years ago. [now nearly 41 years ago] His death has been with me all those years. He died once but I
relive it over and over. I have feared no resolution to his murder before I
die, but I see hope with Detective Coleman on his case.
Dear Mrs. Cochran:
Thank you for your letter dated September 11, 2006.
is one of the finest detectives in the Maine State Police and I know that he
is strongly committed to the unsolved case involving your son Micheal. I
know that you have suffered greatly by losing your son, and I also know
that you have been persistent in your efforts to make sure that the police
and the prosecutors involved in this case do not forget that your son was,
in fact, murdered.
I am quite confident that that will not happen. We are trying to make a
renewed commitment to reviewing unsolved cases. I do not want to raise
false hope with anybody that we are going to be solving a great many
cases. If they were easy to solve, they would have been solved many
years ago. But I do believe that the family members of homicide victims
need to be assured that the case is not simply filed away and forgotten. I
am hopeful that with the hiring of at least a part-time attorney who will
be organizing and reviewing unsolved cases on a regular basis, that we will have in place a program for giving these cases the attention they