DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Who Killed Theresa?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Unsolved no more…

The words written by the daughter of a Maine murder victim resonated with me. I suspect that many volunteers involved in the cold case of Theresa Allore share Myava Escamilla’s feelings. (See text I’ve placed in blue below.)

Congratulations to the Portland Police Department for getting a grand jury indictment in this 22-year-old cold case. Thank you to Myava for giving a voice to “this community affected by violence”.

New Hampshire man charged with 1986 murder

July 17, 2008
Kevin Burnham
Boothbay Register

The last man to see Mary Kelley alive in 1986 has been charged with her murder. Roger R. Bernier, who was living in Manchester at the time of the arrest on Friday,
July 11, was scheduled to be charge with Kelley's death on Wednesday, July 16 in

Kelley, who lived in Boothbay Harbor with her mother, Hazel Kelley, now deceased, and her daughter, Myava Escamilla, was found strangled in her Portland apartment in 1986. Kelley commuted to Portland during the week to work as a veterinarian's assistant and came home to Boothbay Harbor on the weekends.

In 2005, Escamilla, who graduated from Boothbay Region High School in 1995, returned to Maine from her home in California to offer a $5,000 reward for any information leading to a conviction in her mother's unsolved murder. The reward, offered through the Carol Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, expired after six months after no information came forward.

Escamilla, who was seven at the time of her mother's murder, learned of Friday's arrest over the weekend, according to family friend, Chip Griffin. According to a Portland Press Herald report on the arrest, on Monday, she sent a bouquet of white roses to the lead Portland detective on the case, Karl Rybeck.

In an e-mail correspondence with Escamilla Tuesday night, she had this to say: "I am blessed and grateful for the recent grand jury indictment and arrest of Roger Bernier, who murdered my mother Mary Kelley over 22 years ago. I am incredibly grateful to the work of the Portland Police Dept., especially Detectives Karl Rybeck, Joe Fagone and Mark Gibbons and Evidence Technician John Halpin and the Carol Sund Carrington Foundation. I have seen many detectives come and go on this case, and if it were not for the efforts of Detective Rybeck and his team, I do not believe this event would have happened.

"I do not know what will happen from this point, but I hope that the District Attorney will proceed to trial on murder charges and not accept a plea bargain. However, most importantly, I will have the opportunity to look Mr. Bernier in his face and tell him, the judge and/or jury the effects that violence has on a person, a family and a community. I stand not only for myself, but for my mother herself, and for my grandmother who did not have the opportunity to see this come to a conclusion.

For all those who still hold out for justice for their loved ones, especially those living with cold cases, please consider this a victory for you too. Just as your loss is our loss, this victory is yours, too. I dedicate this to you and extend my support. Once one enters this community affected by violence, one does not leave and I shall not forget you, your loved ones or your continued struggle as mine comes to an end.

"The only other comment that I can think to include at this time is regarding the references in various media to Mom's alleged substance abuse and/or mental health issues. This is untrue and irrelevant. It clouds the issue -- that she was taking a bath in her own home and was brutally murdered.

"Unfortunately, when violent crimes occur sometimes we tend to look to characteristics of the victim which may differentiate and distinguish us -- somehow making "us" safer in the juxtaposition. This re-victimizes the victim and the family. In addition, this creates a false sense of security in that violence sadly affects all groups of mainstream folks going about the daily business of their lives, including children, the elderly, even a woman taking a bath in her own apartment."
You can read more about Roger Bernier here:


Maritime Missy


At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this story, MM.


At 9:04 PM, Blogger Bill Widman said...

Yeah Missy!
Ditto for me.
Awesome Story!

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand how exciting it might be for everyone involved when a cold case file, such as the one involving Roger Bernier, is finally solved. Whether or not it brings closure for relatives of the victims is debatable. However, considering the fact that Mr. Bernier has never tried to hide from authorities, even though he knew that they saw him as a prime suspect, and given the fact that he has pled “Not Guilty”, isn’t it possible that he is in fact not guilty and the real murderer is still out there? I don’t know one way or another about Roger Bernier’s guilt or innocence, but I do know that he must be proven guilty before he is pronounced guilty. It would be a shame to convict an innocent man of such a crime, but what would be worse is that the guilty remain free and the case closed. We should be careful to reserve our judgments until all of the evidence is presented.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your comments are well taken, especially about having the right person convicted.

when the evidence is presented, it will clearly be shown the Roger is indeed the murderer. DNA evidence is helpful to many of these cold cases, such as this one. That, and a few confessions.

You can debate all you want about the criminal justice system bringing closure for a family and how it "might" be exciting to have a murderer whose gone unpunished for 22 years to finally be dragged into court. let me tell you, it does bring closure, as this article points out. it is "exciting"

Also, by way of background, Mr. Bernier did move out of the state of Maine immediately after the murder. He moved twice during the investigation. At this stage, he had to enter a plea of not guilty as a matter of course.

that he choses now to hide behind a guise of "disabled vet" shames every other veteran who served their county without committing a heinous murder afterward. his disability comes and goes when convenient. the demon in him is cunning and puts on a nice show.

I just hope that, reserved as our judgments might be, the truth will be seen by everyone involved.

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it is true that Roger Bernier moved out of Maine, but over the years (especially the last 3) he had been interviewed many times by the police, even in New Hampshire. If he wanted to hide, it would not have been difficult given his transient lifestyle. Here are a few interesting facts about his case:

• The police had several suspects from the begining.
• Mary Kelley told friends in the days before she died that her former boyfriend was going to be released from jail and she was worried. – (Why was her former boyfriend in jail – what was his conviction?)
• The night before she died, Mary Kelley went to her apartment with two men, who were seen leaving later. - (Isn’t it possible that one or both of them returned after Roger Bernier left?)
• Her current boyfriend was not with them. He told police that he'd tried to join them but could not get into the building. He was able to enter the building the next morning, and found her body. (Why was he not able to get into the building when he first wanted to; and why and how was he able to get in the next morning? – Isn’t it possible that he was jealous and he is the last person to see her alive?)
• All four men had alibis, but none was airtight, according to police officers who were interviewed at the time. – (No airtight alibis from any of the prime suspects means that there is plenty of room for doubt about Mr. Bernier's guilt.)

Reports make no mention of DNA evidence, only that new technologies and good old fashioned police work is what they are going on. If Roger Bernier is guilty I hope it is proven conclusively. But without seeing the evidence, there is plenty of doubt in my mind.

In America, we are innocent until proven guilty. The press continues to say that Roger was the last person to see Mary Kelley alive. This statement has not been proven. If Mr. Bernier is in fact not guilty, then the true killer is the last person to see her alive, not Roger Bernier.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who jumped to defend Roger's constitutional presumptions, and somehow knew so much about the case - he just accepted a plea bargain for manslaughter. The state will recommend a 20 year sentence.


Post a Comment

<< Home