Today is my son Mike's birthday. He would have been 64 years old today. He was only 24 when Lionel Cormier, Percy Sargent, and Paul Pollard took his life on Feb. 18, 1981, 39 years ago. He wrote letters home and in one of his letters, he asked me not to forget him.


I most certainly have not forgotten my son Mike. I have tried to get justice for him during all the years since his life was so violently taken.  Recently, I have had responses from some important people.

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A Maine Murder by Leola McBreairty Cochran

July 14, 2020 By Alice

The book ‘A Maine Murder’ by Leola “Lee” McBreairty Cochran is dedicated to Michael Craig Cochran (Oct 4, 1956 – Feb 18, 1981), Lee’s beloved son.

The book is a tremendous case encyclopedia detailing every step that Lee had to endure to receive a part of the truth and some justice for her son.

The book is written from the author’s point of view, how she experienced the case, the investigation, and the interactions with all the people involved. It is clearly written from a mother’s point of view as Lee’s protective nature shines through the pages.

I appreciate the details about Michael’s early life and the honesty about his drug addiction. It is very personal; it brings Michael to live on paper. And we need that.

Lee’s journey to discover the truth brings to the surface the mess that is our justice system. The insensitivity when dealing with victims’ family members, the disdain for the civilian, and the disrespect for anyone who dares to ask the authorities a question, must be exposed.

I wish that we had a system where victims’ rights advocates would always accompany family members to meetings with the authorities and to court as an impartial buffer and as a witness to professional and proper handling of cases.

Lee has been immersed in the case from day one and knows it by heart. However, the novice to the case, the reader, needs guidance. In every true crime case, we need to write with the novice reader in mind.


When a true crime book of this volume, over 600 pages, is written in a novel style it is easy to lose the attention of the reader. We cannot let that happen as Michael is too important. His story is too important. The cover-ups must be exposed.


And the book is filled with a lot of pain. Reading how Michael was found, gasoline poured over his body while he was still alive after having been shot, and set on fire, the book is heartbreaking. But despite all this, this biggest release for me came at the end. After reading through all the pain, the moment I broke down, and I cried a good bit, was from page 505 onwards.

Not all Mike’s body parts had been returned to the family. His jawbones were still at the Medical Examiner’s Office. Lee had to sign to receive them 21 years after his murder.

Lee had her other son Derry with her to permanently lay to rest Michael’s body. I quote Lee: “I stayed in the car and watched Derry go to the grave and lift the sod. When he dropped the sod, he remained in his squatted position, looking off in the distance. After a while, he came back to the car and said, “Mom, there is just a paper bag in there on top of the urn.

As everyone would, Lee expected that Mike’s body parts would be in one urn, that the jawbones would be placed in the ashes, and even if you find out then that it doesn’t fit, humanity demands that you find a solution!

Urns come in different shapes and sizes and after all Lee and her family had been through, the least the State of Maine could have done was to properly hand over Michael’s remains. All his remains in one urn for burial. How much more disdain and inhumane treatment must this family endure?

Leola “Lee” McBreairty Cochran has written a encyclopedic research manual about the development of a covered-up true crime story, the investigation, the trials, and the aftermath. She exposes those who railroaded her and those who stood by her. ‘A Maine Murder’ is a mix of a true crime, survival guide, memoir, diary, trial transcript repository, and guidance for other victim families. She has done a tremendous job and I highly recommend you check our this book.

Last, if you are able to help Lee with further editing or, to build an interactive website for her, contact me. I will let Lee know that you are interested.

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My other book reviews are here.

And someone did contact Alice. I got a letter from Dr. Xanthe Mallett on July 20:

Hi Lee

I'm happy to help you, what kind of assistance do you think you need?

With best wishes


Dr Xanthé Mallett
Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Convener of Criminology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Room MCG36
University of Newcastle
Here are Dr. Mallett's credentials:

Truth, justice and cold case TV

Armed with insatiable curiosity, an immense respect for the dead, and much expertise, forensic anthropologist, and criminologist Dr Xanthé Mallett brings to Newcastle her constant quest for truth and justice.

From fresh crime scenes and natural disasters through to ancient cold cases and cyber crime, Xanthé is determined to uncover what occurred and maximize dignity for both deceased victims and those left behind.

Xanthé is internationally renowned for her work across several areas of research related to both forensic anthropology and criminology.

I sent Dr. Mallett one of my books. She is a very busy lady. I am waiting now on her response as how she will help me. Alice's advise was that my book should be written just as a crime story without all my personal interjections and I have my thoughts on where I want to go from there.  So I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DEAR SON MIKE  AND THAT I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN YOU AND NEVER WILL!