Who killed Mary Tanner?

June 9th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

KENNEBUNK – It was hot that July day in 1978, with temperatures in the 90s across southern Maine.

“Hotter than a firecracker,” recalls Robert Pelletier, who was then a member of the Kennebunk Police Department. It was a Sunday afternoon, July 8, sometime after 3:30 p.m., when Pelletier’s phone rang.

Someone had found a body in Gracie Evans Field, a wooded, isolated area just over the Lyman line from West Kennebunk.

“I only live about a mile and a half or two miles from there,” Pelletier said recently. “I jumped in the truck and went right up.”

When Pelletier got to the scene, he found the body of a partially clad woman, lying in six inches of grass just off the dirt airstrip that was used on weekends by a group of skydivers. The pilot of a plane had seen the body from the air as he was taking off with three jumpers. He had circled around, landed and found someone to call authorities.

“She was laying face down in the field and I didn’t move her,” said Pelletier, who was 32 years old at the time. “I secured the scene and called in the state police.”

Pelletier speaks slowly, deliberately, reluctantly, as he recalls that day.

“It wasn’t a pretty sight, even though I didn’t know who it was at the time.”

No one knew who she was.

For the next 36 hours, authorities scoured the town of Kennebunk, even going so far as to show some people a photograph of the body, in their attempt to identify

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