COLD CASE FOUNDATION
- UNCOVERED INVESTIGATES MIKE'S MURDER |
AND CAVES TO THE COVER UP
On November 10, 2022, Shawn and I went to his office in the basement of
his home shortly after 12:00 PM to wait for the investigators from Cold
Case Foundation to come on the computer screen for the zoom meeting
scheduled for 12:30 pm This meeting had been scheduled to give Shawn
and I an update on their five month investigation of Mike’s murder. But
at 12:11 pm I received an email from Zack Scott
saying that "Cathie wanted me to clarify that the meeting starts at 1 pm
EST." I knew that was not the time she had written to me in her
October 30 email. It confused me as to why she changed the
time at the last minute. I was so nervous during the wait for the
meeting to start and Zack's email intensified my nervousness. As I
waited something didn't feel right. I had to ask for the link for the
zoom meeting the evening before the scheduled meeting and now I was
being told that the meeting time was extended. But I certainly never
imagined what they were going to tell me. Cathie had been so kind and
the things she said to me in
her emails caused me to believe that during Cold Case
Foundation's investigation they had certainly uncovered some of the
injustice that had happened in Mike's murder case.
But the Cold Case Team told Shawn and I that Mike was NOT murdered that his death was an accident. It was the carpeting in the cottage that caused the fire and the gas cans were fuel for the oil furnace. Fire investigator Crumb told us that the fire investigators didn't do a good job of investigating the arson. Crumb and Deputy Executive Director Dean Jackson very cruelly told me that I needed to move on and do something else with my life.
My rebuttal to their investigation is below. First I will show my book that I wrote in 2018 concerning my many years of fighting for justice for my son Mike as well as some newspaper reports on Mike's murder.
Dec. 2017, Maine Portland Press did an article on Mike's case. It said that I had "devoted more time to the cold case [Mike's case] than any of the detectives assigned to it. And that a Maine State Police Office had told the paper that Mike's murder case was a "travesty of justice."
"Kenneth MacMaster, a former Maine State Police detective who wasn’t assigned to the Cochran investigation but knew the victim and many of the people involved, agreed with the victim’s mother that the case was mishandled. In an interview last month, he called the case a “travesty of justice,” and said the details were etched into his memory. After MacMaster offered to share those details, though, he stopped returning a reporter’s calls and emails."On July 2020, an organization by the name of Defrosting Cold Cases did a review of my book and believed there was a cover-up in Mike's case. There had been other newspaper articles written about Mike's murder case. In 1991, Randy Wilson of Maine Times did an article on Mike's case. He reported that I had brought suit against Paul Daniel Pollard and how my attorney walked out on me eleven days before trial and went to work for the Maine Attorney General's Office. There is also a video of Just a Dog in Maine reporting the unsolved murders in Maine. Mike's case is reported. It asks who will speak for the victim [Michael Cochran]?
Det. Ralph Pinkham told me the first time I met him after Mike was murdered that Percy Sargent sent a phone call to have Mike taken care of and that Paul Pollard's brother, Lionel Cormier, killed Mike. Then less than a month later he looked me in the face and said he didn't tell it to me. This was the beginning of the cover-up. But they ARE the men who killed Mike including Paul Pollard. But I have never found out why the state wouldn't investigate the men. They covered up for them. So I was really hoping that Cold Case Foundation investigators would find out why the state refused to investigate the men during their five month investigation. I was so anxious to speak with them while Shawn and I waited for 1:00 pm.
Crumb told Shawn and I that he was surprised to see that Mike’s body was found behind a door.
There is no information concerning Mike's body being found behind a door. The cottage had burned completely down when Maine State Police Cpl. Allen Jamison and 42-year veteran Fire Marshal William "Bill" Ricker arrived on the scene and found Mike's body. Photo of burned cottage. How could he say that! There is no evidence of Mike's body being found behind a door. The photo shows the burned cottage as it was when the investigators arrived on the scene. Furthermore, Deputy Medical Examiner Ronald Roy was asked during his 1990 deposition testimony "what was the first thing that you recall about what took place at that time?” He replied "It was difficult to identify a body at the scene until it was pointed out to us, and then we were able to recognize a badly charred body lying on its stomach near the front of the building. ... and it was still within the confines of the building, what would probably be a porch area.”
Crumb told Shawn and I the glass that was blown out was all jagged.
Maine State Police Cpl Allen Jamison stated that the glass was "even and not jagged" according to his report.
Crumb told Shawn and I that the fire caused the small piece that holds the hydraulic storm door open to be locked in an open position as well as the hinges to the outside door.
Fire inspector Ricker's testimony disputes Crumb's information. Ricker said the fire couldn't slide the little piece across to keep the storm door in the open position nor could the fire cause the hinges to the outside door to change. Maine State Police Allen Jamison's report also says that the door was propped open.
Crumb told Shawn and I that the fire was an accident and that the carpeting in the cottage caused the fire.
I am showing only three State of Maine documents that reports Mike's death as a homicide. The first document is a cause of death supplement by Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Ronald Roy and it reports Mike's death as homicide. The second document is a report on the gas cans containing gas that Ricker took to the lab and the third is a report on a gun found in the fire. The lab reports state Mike's death as arson-murder. As for the carpet Crumb explained that carpeting would cause a severe fire because carpeting is like gasoline but he didn't explain what caused the carpet to catch fire. He said when Pollard opened the back door it gave a draft for the fire. furthermore, Mike's death is listed as an unsolved murder on the State of Maine unsolved homicide website as well as an unsolved homicide on the Cold Case Foundation website.
Crumb told Shawn and I that the gas cans sitting beside the burned down cottage were fuel for the oil furnace.
On July 25, 2022, Cathie wrote me asking "Were you able to find any of the oil inspector reports?" I sent many copies of oil inspector reports. In December of 1980 there had been a fire in the small outside building that housed the oil fired hot water boiler.. The hot water boiler didn't use gasoline. I have copies of Fire Inspector Bill Ricker's deposition testimony about the gas cans that totally differs from Cold Case Foundation Arson Investigator Crumb's fuel for the furnace version.
Fire Inspector Ricker delivered the gas cans to the Maine crime lab in Feb. 1981. He later took them home and stored them in his barn until Feb. 1990, 9 years. When I sued Paul Pollard for Mike's death Ricker brought the gas cans to US Federal Court as exhibits. They were left there. The court contacted me asking me to pick them up. I had the gas cans for 12 years when a new detective, Gerald Coleman, was assigned Mike's homicide in 2002. He asked me for the gas cans and gave me a receipt for them. There were also a couple of Ricker's photos left at court. One was a photo of a third can that he found on the ground below the back door with fire debris on and around the can.
How then could he say to me that Mike's death was an accident, the carpet in the cottage caused the fire and the gas cans were fuel for the furnace?. CCF Arson Investigator Crumb had read the many documents I sent the organization and the many documents on my website. Deputy Executor Director of Cold Case Foundation Dean Jackson listened to this and didn't contradict Crumb. Crumb told me that the arson investigators didn't do a good job investigating Mike's death. Did he think that I am just an old fool and he could feed me anything and I would believe it. What kind of an organization is Cold Case Foundation that they would do this to an 86-year-old mother? I have worked on my son's case for over 42 years and they would try to make me feel like I am just a crazy old woman and it was all an accident.
Crumb told me "The cans you are holding you took from a barn.
I sharply responded "I did not! I got those cans from the United States Federal Court." In the information I sent Cold Case Foundation - Uncovered I had sent a photo of myself holding the gas cans used in Mike's murder. I feltl like Crumb was laughing at me when he said "You got the cans from a barn." I had sent Cold Case Uncovered all my years of work on Mike's murder and now they were laughing at me. In Cathie's Oct. 10, 2022 email she said "My respect for you is immense." But now, one month later there was no respect for me. I was in shock .
Crumb told Shawn and I the reason Pollard ran was because he had criminal charges against him and he was scared.
That is the same story the Maine Attorney General's Office has been telling me for 42 years except the state doesn't say Pollard had criminal charges they just say he was scared. Paul Pollard was scared when he woke to find the cottage on fire and when he heard the fire trucks coming he was scared of them so he ran into the woods away from them. Pollard was the only person in the cottage with Mike when he was murdered and Ricker didn't think a man fleeing into the woods away from a raging fire was normal. He said they usually run to them. I will repeat what CCF Uncovered Management Superior Cathie Vallas-McKinzie wrote to me "You can relax a little ... we have your back." Only CCF Uncover didn't have my back but the State of Maine did have Paul Pollard's back. Pollard didn't have to be scared.
A little back ground on Pollard's crimes and his criminal buddies:
April 8, 1986, Percy Sargent wrote me saying that Paul Pollard and Lionel Cormier killed Mike. After Derry read Percy's letter he called the prison (Percy was in state prison for rape) and asked to speak to Sargent. Percy called back collect and spoke with Derry. He said that Pollard shot Mike. October 27, 1988, I received a letter from Percy Sargent's brother, Richard Sargent, who also was in Maine State Prison, and in his letter he said as you know "Percy sent that call." In another letter from Richard on November 4, 1988 he said his brother, Percy, Lionel Cormier and Paul Pollard came to his residence shortly after they killed Mike in 1981 asking if Pollard could hide out at his place. He said he refused them. He said Cormier said that Cochran had been taken care of. During a taped conversation I had with Pollard he told me that he told the State of Maine that Cormier killed Mike. But the State of Maine didn't want to hear it. The state covered for the murderers to cover for themselves. They did something criminal the night Mike was murdered and the murderers knew it. Cormier made a couple of comments to Richard Sargent during Richard's taped conversations concerning Det. Shuman's corrupt investigation of Mike's murder. In their conversation Cormier said to Richard "Now you tell me he is not in on it."
Feb. 20, 1986Crumb told Shawn and I that the blood near the woods wasn’t tested and that it could have been from someone else.
David Dupray, co-owner of the cottage, told me that there was blood outside the cottage near the wooded area. The sleazebags involved in Mike's murder talked about Mike being shot. Richard Sargent (not involved) brother to Percy Sargent (man who sent call to have Mike taken care of) gave me tape recording of his conversations with Lionel Cormier (man Det. Ralph Pinkham told me killed Mike). Richard knew Cormier was guilty and he recorded their conversations. The first conversation was recorded on Feb. 20, 1986. During this conversation Cormier told Richard "[Pollard] Grabs a gun and comes out and wastes him. Flips out that he did it, goes out gets the gas, comes in burns the place down, then splits, waits until the place is burned so bad before he leaves." Mike's brother, Derry, recorded a conversation he had with Percy while Percy was in prison for rape. He asked Percy if Mike was shot and Percy said he believed so.
Richard also recorded a conversation with his brother, Percy, on April 14, 2086, six days after Percy wrote his April 8, 1986 letter to me. Percy told his brother that Cormier was at the cottage before Mike's death. "What I understood [is] that Cormier had been there and talked to Cochran and Cochran was trying to get him to take him down out of the camp too and he wouldn’t say too much about it. But he was down there I guess, before the fire. … but someone went down there cause Cormier was down there. … It was just that Lionel had come down there to pick him [Pollard] up and Cochran wanted to go with them. Cochran went no place with nobody."
Crumb told Shawn and I that Mike was on drugs.
Mike was in bed when Cormier arrived at the cottage shortly after Percy Sargent's drug arrest in the early morning of Feb. 18, 1981. The chemist report reports Mike's alcohol level at .01 gms/100 ml and 46 % carbon monoxide but doesn’t give a level of drugs in Mike's blood. Arson Investigator Bryan Crumb said Mike was on drugs. What did Mike being on drugs have to do with Crumb's accidental fire? Crumb doesn't mention the men who were named in nearly all the material I sent to CCF Uncovered. Mike lost his life. Why did he find it necessary to denigrate him?
Crumb told Shawn and I that the fire was an accident and all hearsay with no proof.
Paul Pollard was seen fleeing into the woods away from the arson scene when thirty-two year veteran Fire Chief Norman Herrin and his crew arrived at the murder scene. He said he was on the scene perhaps two minutes when he “caught a view of an individual departing from the rear of the fire structure...” And at “very nearly the same time that I saw this individual, I recall seeing two 5-gallon gasoline cans that were visible at the scene. Combining the two gas cans, the individual leaving the scene, and the record extent of the burn of the structure, I immediately arrived at the decision that this was an arson fire.”
Herrin called headquarters on his radio and asked them to get in touch with (Forty-two-year veteran Fire Marshal) Wilbur Ricker "to proceed to the incident scene as soon as possible.
Herrin's Assistant Chief Elmer Alto, who was also a Hancock county deputy sheriff, arrived. He called him to where he was and explained to him that he had “seen this individual leaving the scene.” He asked him to go and determine where that individual had gone. “He went out in the direction I indicated by pointing, and he picked up footprints of an individual leaving and then he disappeared from view.” Cormier picked up Pollard when he came out of the woods.
He described the fire as a “heavy fire because the roof would have been collapsing under the fuel load that was inside the structure.”
Herrin said he was called back to the radio to be advised that Inspector Ricker was on his way to the fire but had been asked to bypass it and go directly to the city of Bangor where there was a fire involving fatalities.
Herrin said he had never responded to a fire that so completely involved a structure as this one and if it began with a vapor explosion it would be less likely that someone could have gotten out or into the building after the explosion.
The Maine Attorney General's office knew Pinkham took a statement from an inmate who told him that he overheard Percy Sargent say he sent a call to have Mike taken care of. This was shortly after Percy was jailed for drug trafficking and approximaetely 3 hours before Fire Chief Norman Herrin was called to the arson/murder scene. Det. Pinkham told me about Percy's call the first time I met him but during my second meeting with him he denied he told it to me.
During Derry's April 1986 conversation with Percy Sargent Percy asked Derry to contact the Attorney General's Office and tell them that no one had ever spoken with him about Mike's murder. Derry told Assistant AG Thomas Goodwin that Percy wanted to speak with him but no one from the state police or the AG's office ever contacted Percy. Richard Sargent was willing to turn his brother in to the authorities but they weren't interested. Pollard told Det. Barry Shuman that he, Lionel Cormier and Percy Sargent drove back to the arson/murder scene before Mike's body was found. He said they wondered why the cops hadn't found Mike's body yet and that Cormier and Sargent kicked around in the rubble trying to uncover Mike's body.
I also have an affidavit by Lionel Cormier. He gave Richard Sargent a copy and Richard gave me a copy. Cormier gives a run down of Mike's murder, fleeing the state.
Crumb said it was an accident and all hearsay with no proof. That is far from the truth. I don't know why Crumb made up the story he told tell me. Did he think he could make up a story and I would believe it?
Crumb told Shawn and I that the arson investigators (Maine State Police Cpl. Allen Jamison and forty-two-year veteran Bill Ricker) didn’t do a good job of investigating the arson.
What kind of an organization is Cold Case Foundation that they would make up stories about Mike's murder and tell it to an 86-year-old mother? They were thinking that they could feed this crazy old woman anything and she would believe it.
Now Arson Investigator Bryan Crumb tells me that the fire was an accident and that the roof fell in and crushed Mike's head. What had Crumb uncovered that caused him to say that to me? The Cold Case foundation website states "Our investigative services team strives to provide our law enforcement partners with resources for their investigation and for the victims they work with."
Crumb told me that I need to move on and find something else to do with my life.
After Crumb was finished telling Shawn and I what his investigation revealed, Cathie then demonstrated by reaching out to the right with both arms and then reaching to the left with both arms while saying “we tried to put it all together but it didn’t fit.”
The last one to speak before they signed off was Deputy Executor Director Dean Jackson. He also told me that Mike's death was an accident that I need to move on and find something else to do with my life.