Recap #cclivechat Feb 17, 2012

CCLiveChatThis recap of CCLiveChat is courtesy of Sue Carney.

Today saw a massive turnout of cold case live chat stalwarts, old and new, for a regular-style cold case brainstorming session. Sadly, just as chat began, Alice got the tragic news of the death of her friend Phillip Finch, staunch supporter in the Zeigler case. As Alice quite rightly bowed out to take the time to process this terrible disclosure (and I remind her here, she need make no apology for this — our thoughts are with her), @ColdCaseSquad valiantly led us in our musings.

Joe invited us, at the request of Mark Swett, (@marksme51) to review the 1987 case of Alice Hawkes, violently murdered in Westbrook, Maine. Those speed readers amongst us began discussion of various aspects of the case, and we were later joined by Mark who was anxious to provide further details and answered some of our questions. It seems that a key may comprise a vital piece of evidence (“the key’s the key’!) and the well-preserved crime scene evidence has been under review since 2009, not unexpected according to Alice.

For those of us unfamiliar with the case, Joe set us some ‘homework‘ to review the available information online. More details can be found here and here, and the crew agreed to pass on their thoughts and suggestions to Joe and/or Alice via email. An investigation into which local papers were reporting at the time was also suggested as a good starting point.

Joe reminded us of his recent post on the slow bureaucratic death of cold case units and invited guest posts on cold cases and investigation. Expect further developments later!

Finally @pwmullen popped in to tell us about a another live chat about the Shafia trial. Peter will be joining us next week to discuss postmortem toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

The full transcript of this week’s chat follows below and all of us here at #cclivechat send our thoughts, good wishes and respects to Alice and to the family of Phillip Finch.

The verbatim thread is below.

UPDATE: here are some thoughts about the Alice Hawkes case by Miriam Said:

My thoughts so far on the Alice Hawkes case we have been asked to look at:

Keys: Who had a dead bolt key?

Unidentified person

Possible motives:

lovers quarrel
argument with friend/other resident
debt owing

Landlord lives 10 min away

Other residents/Mr & Mrs Friend may have heard something

Who was resident that helped Alice with laundry

Who was the friend Alice was supposed to go for a day out with

Access to apartment is by stairs from porch

Was the apartment ransacked

what errands did boyfriend run

why boyfriend not concerned on that day for Alice & that he couldn’t get in or get her on the phone

Why didn’t boyfriend ring her friends to ask if they knew where Alice was

Why did 1st key landlord gave boyfriend not work on dead lock

why did landlord agree to come to the apartment with key instead of just giving boyfriend another one

where was Alice’s deadlock key

Was a razor blade used to cut Alice’s throat

Why blood drips from mat to bathroom/was Alice still alive with throat cut

Any signs of a struggle/defensive wounds

Did Alice leave front door open while she carried laundry into apartment to put it down on a table thus giving access to perp

What time did boyfriend get back from doing errands

No struggle
No forced entry
No property missing
No sexual assault

Alice worked for a savings bank/could be motive to rob bank

why did boyfriend break off contact with Alice’s family days after she died and then refused to co operate with authorities ever since….Probably because he’s getting blamed for murder whether innocent or not.

Cut throat razor as murder weapon????

Why only blood on rug & trail leading to Alice in bathroom…why no blood splatters??

Killer would have had blood on them.

Did police forensically check boyfriends car to see if he’d gotten changed out of bloodstained clothes in the car.

Did police forensically check any of the other residents apartments for blood stained clothing.

Did police do a forensic search of the immediate area for any blood stained clothing or any blood traces on the stair walls/bannister/porch rail or door locks??

Did the landlord have an alibi for Saturday?

Was Alice up for promotion at the bank??

Friend at bank who’d made plans to go out with Alice…possible motives??

Had Alice gone out with her workmates on the day before her death, (Friday) and what happened? Was there any arguments/incidents?

“Theresa” Who is she & does she have an alibi for Saturday??

Sanphy says pieces of door in hallway & inside apartment….why when the landlord is supposed to have gained entry with deadlock key??

Any fingerprints on the door locks???

Why is Alice’s body in the bathroom, why not near front door or near telephone for getting help??

Did killer change clothes & wash blood off himself in bathroom & Alice crawled in there & if so, did police check in the bathtub/shower for forensic evidence of perp???

The landlord was, I presume, left alone with Alice’s body while her boyfriend ran to shop for help…so what did the landlord do while alone in the apartment because he seems very laid back about it in the newspaper article interview??

It also seems that the landlord gave the boyfriend the wrong deadlock key deliberately then volunteered to go to the apartment with the right key after previously just leaving a key on his porch. This seems strange??

The landlord had a key to access the apartment at any time.

Was the friend who the boyfriend played golf with then stopped over at, questioned by the police to verify Alice’s boyfriend didn’t have a deadlock key on him whilst in his company?

Did the landlord have an account at the bank where Alice worked??

Did the landlord suggest that the boyfriend go to the shop to call police & did he also tell the boyfriend to wait outside for the ambulance & police…if so why???

The landlord seems to have been alone in the apartment for a long time between entering with the boyfriend & the ambulance & police arriving….Why & what did he do…plenty of time to mess with anything.

Did the landlord know that boyfriend didn’t have deadlock key or lost it?

Did Alice crawl to the bathroom or was she carried….did the blood drops indicate this. If she was carried there would be forensic evidence on her clothing as well as someone getting close enough to cut her throat this would also leave forensic evidence on her clothing.

Were any knives missing from the apartment & if not, were they tested forensically??

What I feel happened:

The killer was known to Alice and was in the apartment with her & had already deadlocked the door so she couldn’t get out without her own key. The killer was stood between Alice & the telephone so she couldn’t ring for help. Alice in desperation ran to the door only to find it deadlocked. After being grabbed around the waist & hauled back onto the rug & the killer cut her throat from behind so she couldn’t scream for help. Alice collapsed forward onto the rug facing the door with the killer possibly lowering her down onto her knees. The killer thought she was dead and went into the bathroom to clean & replace the razor & possibly clean themselves & wash the blood off their hands & didn’t realise Alice was still alive. Alice crawled into the bathroom and tried to grab the killer by the legs, possibly covering the killer in the blood that was on her hands. The killer could have easily avoided contact with Alice and just stepped around her as she fell forward and died.

The killer may have been disturbed by Alice’s boyfriend trying to get into the apartment, but may have known the boyfriend didn’t have a deadlock key with him to get entry. Nothing else is disturbed in the apartment and no major struggle signs are evident as it all took place in this small area. The killer left at their leisure, confident in knowing they wouldn’t be pointed at and they had a deadlock key to lock the door with when they left. There was very little blood on the killer when they left the apartment but I think they may have left their fingerprints on the faucets in the bathroom. Alice’s boyfriend may have been trying to get into the apartment just as Alice had her throat cut as she thought she’d been saved and made a dash towards the door until the blade silenced her from shouting out for her boyfriend to help her.

These are my initial thoughts. I find myself leaning heavily towards the Landlord as being the major suspect at this time.

Thanks guys, Miriam.

bischofield@ColdCaseSquad Well, I'm here, where is everybody? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:02:27 +0000
LilacLoungeAfternoon #cclivechat! Who's here?Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:02:39 +0000
ColdCaseSquadHello @Miriamsaid @bischofield @LilacLounge
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:03:23 +0000
miriamsaid@ColdCaseSquad Hi Joe...Hi guys...:) #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:04:07 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@Vidocq_cc will be here shortly - just got off the phone-some stuff to discuss today
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:04:08 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@miriamsaid good to see you #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:04:43 +0000
Vidocq_CCI just now heard that a friend and partner in the fight for justice for Zeigler, passed away. Phillip Finch died. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:04:44 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad @Miriamsaid @bischofield Hi everyone! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:05:05 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC That's very sad news. Sorry to hear that Vidster. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:05:47 +0000
miriamsaid@Vidocq_CC That's really sad news... #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:05:47 +0000
miriamsaidCome and join us on #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:06:47 +0000
ColdCaseSquadGood afternoon team we have a project that @Vidocq_CC and I need your assistance in #AliceHawkes @marksme51 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:07:48 +0000
ColdCaseSquadFirst follow @marksme51 and I give you the links to his website dedicated to #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:09:41 +0000
iowa_cardafternoon folks #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:10:49 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad @marksme51 followed! How can we help? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:10:59 +0000
ColdCaseSquadWe have been asked by @marksme51 to look into the cold case of Alice Hawkes @bdnpolice @bangordailynews #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:11:25 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@Vidocq_CC and I need you guys to read the case and e-mail us your thoughts. We will put them all together and e-mail @marksme51 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:12:50 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@IowaCard welcome back #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:13:06 +0000
iowa_cardhas this case been on a show that may have a recap or other information on it? like cold case files, ectc ? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:16:09 +0000
ColdCaseSquadDoes it sound like a plan? Thoughts and questions are what we need on #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:16:09 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Sounds like a good plan. Bookmarked for reading this evening! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:18:21 +0000
McVladieAfternoon #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:19:17 +0000
iowa_cardodd to me that "carl" has not been to the grave, ever, according to the blog. #alicehawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:19:20 +0000
iowa_card@ColdCaseSquad alright, will be reading/researching #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:20:14 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@iowa_card those of the kind of thoughts we are looking for-so see what else you can come up with-Hi @McVladie #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:20:46 +0000
LilacLounge@McVladie Good afternoon Carlota 🙂 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:20:52 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@McVladie check out the link to a new case we would like to discuss on #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:22:08 +0000
firstforensic3afternoon all. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:25:42 +0000
WardBlawgRT @ColdCaseSquad: @McVladie check out the link to a new case we would like to discuss on #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:25:57 +0000
ColdCaseSquadThe case is in Westbrook Maine so we need to find out what newspapers that were in business back then #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:25:58 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@firstforensic3 welcome to the #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:26:33 +0000
McVladie@iowa_card I don't find that odd maybe other actions suspect. I don't remember those I loved in that manner. They are not there #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:27:03 +0000
LilacLounge@firstforensic3 Hi Andrew! Welcome back! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:27:22 +0000
McVladie@LilacLounge Greetings " ) #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:27:28 +0000
ColdCaseSquadFor those that just joined us we have some homework on #AliceHawkes to discuss next Friday? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:28:43 +0000
iowa_card@McVladie it comes across odd to me, since he says one day he will. something is keeping him away #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:30:07 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@iowa_card make notes of anything you find-we have just started to look into it too-e-mail me or @Vidocq_cc your comments #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:30:48 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad I think it might be Peter Mullen's post mortem tox chat next Friday? @Vidocq_CC #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:31:54 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge I meant just to e-mail us your thoughts by next Friday if possible-don't want to mess up @Vidocq_CC schedule hehee
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:33:53 +0000
Vidocq_CCThe themed schedule is on DCC's homepage. Sorry, folks, not in the mood. Vid out. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:34:52 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@marksme51 mark retweet ur posts using the #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:35:08 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Heaven forbid! In that case, excellent plan 🙂 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:35:12 +0000
miriamsaid@Vidocq_CC *Hugs Vidster*.... #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:36:10 +0000
bischofield@ColdCaseSquad Don't feel I can contribute today until I have read up on case, know nothing about it #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:36:21 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge especially when the Vidster hasn't had coffee, wine, etc. 😉
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:36:30 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@marksme51 all comments will come directly to you-via me or @Vidocq_CC so not to worry #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:37:17 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@bischofield don't worry-we are all in the same position #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:37:45 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC No apology necessary. I'm not surprised given what's happened. Take care. x #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:38:06 +0000
bischofield@Vidocq_CC {{{Vidster}}} #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:38:26 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRemember team on #AliceHawkes e-mail me or @Vidocq_cc your thoughts and comments-we will put together one e-mail to @marksme51 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:38:37 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@bischofield @Vidocq_cc is Vidster #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:39:40 +0000
ColdCaseSquadIs there to make a group function on Twitter yet? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:40:24 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Any other current cases we can discuss in today's chat or does anyone have any news for the last 20mins? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:40:47 +0000
McVladie@ColdCaseSquad Will do. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:41:14 +0000
pwmullen#cclivechat Hi All - just checking in. BTW, FYI, there's a concurrent "livechat" re the Shafia case here in Can. See:, 17 Feb 2012 17:41:54 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge @Vidocq_cc is out of commission for the rest of the chat-so I am up for suggestions
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:42:02 +0000
ColdCaseSquadI did post a new article on how Cold Case Squads seem to be dying a slow bureaucratic death #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:43:14 +0000
miriamsaidWas Alice's security lock key in the apartment or was it missing too? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:43:31 +0000
iowa_card@ColdCaseSquad wife and I are going to research and send our thoughts your way next week. thanks! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:44:19 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@miriamsaid those are the kinds of thoughts we are looking for-gather them up and shoot us an e-mail #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:44:36 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRT @pwmullen: #cclivechat Hi All - just checking in. BTW, FYI, there's a concurrent "livechat" re the Shafia case here in Can. See:, 17 Feb 2012 17:45:31 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@iowa_card thanks for the assistance #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:45:51 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Yes saw that. Upheaval in the forensic market and police cuts might affect us in the UK too... #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:46:54 +0000
marksme51RT @miriamsaid: Was Alice's security lock key in the apartment or was it missing too? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:47:10 +0000
ColdCaseSquadThrowing this out there-would like to have some guest posts on the #ColdCaseBlog from each of you on cold cases/investigations #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:48:11 +0000
iowa_card@ColdCaseSquad for those interested: #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:50:13 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge unfortunately the same everywhere #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:51:37 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat Authorities believes they know who assailant is. Family and I also know and have known for years.Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:51:42 +0000
LilacLounge@ColdCaseSquad Would love to do that Joe! Can I have a think about that and get back to you? *idea forming* #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:51:43 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRT @iowa_card: @ColdCaseSquad for those interested: #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:51:59 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge great Sue thanks for the help #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:52:26 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat Want to be careful to not step on State Police toesFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:52:45 +0000
miriamsaidWhat did Mr & Mrs Friend hear/see in the 24 hours before alice was found? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:52:49 +0000
LilacLounge@marksme51 So it is a case of finding some evidence against this person then? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:53:32 +0000
iowa_cardNH/VT/ME Unsolved Homicides: NH/VT/ME UNSOLVED HOMICIDES #cclivechat another site mentioning aliceFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:53:40 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat tate Police Detective assigned in 2008. Boyfriend still refuses to assist - defers to lawyer.Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:53:58 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat Crime scene evidence carefully preserved. Now in MSP crime lab for forensics. Family frustrated in length of time.Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:54:29 +0000
ColdCaseSquad@LilacLounge evidence, ideas or whatever we can pass along to @marksme51 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:54:49 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRT @marksme51 Crime scene evidence carefully preserved. Now in MSP crime lab for forensics. Family frustrated in length of time. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:55:16 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat mportant - dead bolt locked boyfriend sya he does did not carry key - in house waits 24 hrs.Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:55:34 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat We have a saying - the key is the keyFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:56:24 +0000
LilacLounge@marksme51 How long have the crime lab been reviewing the crime scene evidence for this time around? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:56:41 +0000
iowa_cardWho Killed Alice Hawkes? #cclivechat aliceFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:58:23 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat - reviewing evidence we believe for almost three yearsFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:58:24 +0000
ColdCaseSquadRT @LilacLounge: @marksme51 How long have the crime lab been reviewing the crime scene evidence? May be we can push it along! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 17:59:09 +0000
ColdCaseSquadCold Case Team I will be signing off-when you get a chance forward me & @Vidocq_CC your thoughts on #AliceHawkes #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:01:01 +0000
iowa_cardCan You Help With This Unsolved Westbrook Homicide? #cclivechat aliceFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:02:04 +0000
Vidocq_CC@marksme51 According to article boyfriend went to a friend's house so why do you tweet "in house?" #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:02:17 +0000
Vidocq_CC@ColdCaseSquad Thanks, Joe. I needed a moment. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:03:04 +0000
ColdCaseSquad#FF @Vidocq_CC @LilacLounge @iowa_card @evie_G_L @McVladie @bischofield @miriamsaid @wardblawg @Katcop13 @bluedog89 #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:04:17 +0000
miriamsaidWho was this supposed "friend" her boyfriend thought Alice had gone out for the day with when he found door security locked? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:04:18 +0000
Vidocq_CC@marksme51 3yrs for checking cold case evidence is not long at all since all open & active cases get priority. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:04:38 +0000
Vidocq_CCAnyone willing to write a recap? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:04:52 +0000
LilacLounge@marksme51 @ColdCaseSquad this seems too long! I will read more details and give this case some thought. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:04:56 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC I was going to ask if you might need that! Can your tech guy produce the verbatim thread after the recap? #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:06:21 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge It seems long but not out of the ordinary. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:06:54 +0000
marksme51#cclivechat understand measured in years - increasing violent crimes - staffing - budgets - need to do what I can to push.Fri, 17 Feb 2012 18:07:56 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge I do that! Can you write a short summary then I'll get the verbatim thread. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:08:19 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Yes maybe so. Perhaps I have my forensic blinkers on... having said that will depend on the evidence types. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:08:35 +0000
Vidocq_CC@marksme51 Not much, I would not push the authorities unless there is clear evidence that they are not even making an effort. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:08:55 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Consider it done! I will email you in due course. (Just have to drive home first. Couple of hours ok?) #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:09:38 +0000
Vidocq_CC@LilacLounge No problem at all! Thanks, Sue. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:10:24 +0000
Vidocq_CCSorry for missing the chat, folks. Big THANK YOU to Joe for handling this and to Sue for helping with the recap. Will post later #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:11:19 +0000
LilacLounge@Vidocq_CC Very welcome 🙂 Signing off & be in touch later. #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:11:44 +0000
Vidocq_CCNext week a themed chat with @pwmullen on postmortem toxicology! See you then! #cclivechatFri, 17 Feb 2012 18:11:53 +0000