When most people think of Maine and mysteries, Stephen King's horror stories come to mind. Those take place in fictional locations across the state, but there are a number of real and disturbing unsolved Maine mysteries. While Maine certainly isn't the only state with an eerie history of crime - the unsolved mysteries in Texas alone are staggering - it certainly does have it's fair share of mystifying atrocities.
One of the earliest publicized mysteries is the 1927 crash of a plane flown by Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli - people heard it and found pieces of the wreckage, but no one saw it happen, and its pilots remain missing. In another tale, four men claimed aliens abducted them from a canoe in 1976 before returning them to Earth. The state also has its share of odd disappearances, possible kidnappings, and murders with no leads. Perhaps the eeriest of the unsolved crimes in Maine involves the theory that an active serial killer targets young men in the state, but law enforcement has not announced any connection between their murders.
Someone May Have Murdered 13-Year-Old Mary Olenchuk To Exact Revenge Against Her Father
Mary Olenchuk was the daughter of Brigadier General Peter George Olenchuk. Some speculate that her death may have been connected to her father's role in Operation CHASE, an unpopular program disposing of unused chemical weapon rockets in the ocean off the Florida coast. Family members of those who participated in Operation CHASE were subject to kidnapping threats in the months leading up to Mary's abduction.
Witnesses last saw Mary interacting with the driver, reportedly a white male in his mid-30s, of a maroon car near her home in Ogunquit, Maine. Mary's disappearance on August 9, 1970 prompted a search that eventually led authorities to her body on August 22. The killer placed her in a barn in Kennebunk, Maine. Her body yielded no clues or leads about her killer.
The case remains open and is sometimes referred to as the oldest cold case in Maine.
James Cassidy Burned To Death In His Car
After they received a tip from an anonymous caller, police found Massachusetts native James Cassidy burned to death inside his 1971 Chrysler station wagon on April 7, 1976. The 43-year-old banking executive had recently been indicted for embezzling close to $20,000 from Brookline Trust Company bank, but the visit to Maine that ended in his death is mystery.
An empty gas container found at the scene led investigators to conclude the vehicle was purposely set ablaze with Cassidy inside. But many continue to question whether Cassidy took his own life or if his death was a homicide.
Four-Year-Old Kurt Newton Disappeared From A Campground
Kurt Newton went missing from Natanis Point Campground on September 1, 1975 while visiting with his family. One the day of his disappearance, his mother Jill Newton took the family's dirty shoes to wash them while Kurt's father Ron Newton took his truck to chop firewood in the forest. Kurt's sister Kimberly Newton was riding her bike around the campgrounds, and Kurt stayed at the family's campsite just 50 yards from his mother. Friends camping in the area heard Kurt call out to his father before hopping onto his tricycle to follow the Bronco. Lou Ellen Hanson was the last person to see the young boy alive. She called out to Kurt but didn't receive an answer.
Lou Ellen's father encountered Kurt's trike off the side of the road. He mistook it for discarded trash and threw it in the nearby dump. Jill returned to the family campsite to find Kurt gone but believed he was chopping wood with his father. Hours later, Ron came back to their campsite and revealed Kurt wasn't with him. Other campers, as well as state and local officials, joined the Newton family in searching the expanse of wilderness for the little boy.
They discovered no trace of Kurt in the forest, and the massive search effort ended after 11 days.
A Redditor Believes The State Has An Active Serial Killer
Redditor /u/Sentient-Haze posted a detailed theory in /r/TrueCrime about the possibility of an active serial killer in Maine. The user compiled a list of men who have been murdered since 2016, connecting them by age - all were between 21 and 30 - and by the location of their bodies. Authorities discovered the men in or near bodies of water. Many of the victims went missing on their way to or from a bar. For instance, David Breunig went missing on his way to meet friends at an Orono bar.
Two months later, in April of 2016, Breunig's body surfaced in the Penobscot River. James Dyer, partied in Portland, Maine, on New Year's Eve 2015 and then vanished without a trace. Authorities found his body over a month later in Casco Bay. Law enforcement also pulled the body of Matthew Foster from the water between Union and Widgery Wharfs. Foster also vanished after leaving a bar.
Tanner Smith of Portland allegedly committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge in September 2017, but Sentient-Haze saw a connection to the other victims since water figured into his death. After Sebastian Kelley disappeared, an anonymous call to the police urged them to check Presumpscot River in Westbrook.
They have not yet found his body, and law enforcement hasn't announced any public connection between the deaths.