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Presentation of the first edition of “Killer Advice” has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday, January 24th.  This unfortunate, but short delay is due to some technical trumps with one of our citizen collaborators.  

It’s worth the wait.

Thanks again, and sorry about the trump in the applesauce.

R.

True Believers:

A while ago we sent all of the prisoners we communicate with three requests for advice gathered from various advice columns.  We received advice back from Daniel ‘Prince’ Fortune (M.S.P./serving two life sentences for home invasion,) Michael ‘Dirty’ McQuade (M.S.P./ serving 12 years for murder,) and Arline Lawless (M.C.C./serving 35 years for murder) and we’ll post their responses this Wednesday.

Here are the requests for advice as the prisoners received them:

Problem 1: My Coworker Asked Me To Pose Topless ‘For An Anatomy Textbook’?

I work part-time in a small sales office of about 10 people. About a month ago, one of my coworkers approached me about doing a project for his graduate program at a local university. It was for some sort of anatomy textbook or similar: it would be a photo of my breasts with my face not in the photo for the textbook. I would be compensated for the photos.

There were some red flags in his proposition — the photos would be taken by him, in my home, and he never presented me with official paperwork about it. I called the university and they assured me that whatever “project” he was working on was not through their university, as there would have been extensive paperwork, screening, photos professionally taken, etc., which was what I had figured in the first place, particularly for such a large university and for a master’s program.  My question is this: Is this a matter that I should bring up to my boss? Is this something that she needs to know about?

Sincerely, A.

Problem 2. Do I Have To Tell The Daughter I Abandoned At Birth That I Trash-Talked Her Late Mom For Years?

When I was about 20, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was 23 and wanted the baby whereas I was not ready to be a father, so she broke up with me and had the baby pretty much on her own. Her family helped her and she didn’t ask me for child support until I graduated college and had a steady job. Still, it was a burden on my entry-level salary and I resented both her and my daughter, so I wasn’t an involved father. To explain myself to my family and others who knew I had a daughter I hardly saw, I made up stories about how horrible and crazy my ex was and how it was all her fault…

My ex contacted me last year to let me know she had a terminal illness. As a new father to a year-old son, I saw I couldn’t let my 18-year-old daughter, “Lynn,” go through that alone, so I reconnected with her, made peace with my ex and have been trying to make amends.  Lynn naturally resents and distrusts me, but she is slowly becoming a part of my life. The problem is that my wife, my parents and my friends think the worst of her late mother…

Must I confess, or can I just make it up to Lynn by being the best dad I can now? The truth could really ruin our fragile relationship.

Signed “Bad Dad.”

Problem 3. Should I Tell My Friends I Think Their 5-Year-Old Son Is Going To Be A Rapist When He Grows Up?

My friends have a son, about 5 years old. They enforce little (if any) discipline on him, and he throws a hissy fit if they try to “make” him do anything. They tell him to pick up something he threw; he ignores them. Dad picks it up in a couple of minutes. They tell him to go to bed; he ignores them and keeps doing whatever he is into. My fear is that they are teaching him that he can get away with anything by ignoring the rules. Specifically, I am concerned that he will never learn that no means no, i.e., that they are raising a rapist. Should I say anything to them? If I do, it would only be once, and I wouldn’t harp on it. They are NOT people who would be okay with this outcome, and/but I don’t want to stomp on my relationship with them either.

Signed “Watching”

You’ll be completely surprised by the advice we received back, and the difference sorts of advice applied to the same problem by each inmate.  We’re going to try to get Fuzzy Bear and Sarah to give their non-prison advice, but once we’ve posted the inmate responses, we encourage you to submit your advice as well.

Or a situation that you might like to get killer advice on.

Tune in on Wednesday, and be well!

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[Image: “Killer Advice #2,” by Alyssa Joy Bartlett, 2019]

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True Believers:

A while ago we sent all of the prisoners we communicate with three requests for advice gathered from various advice columns.  We received advice back from Daniel ‘Prince’ Fortune (M.S.P./serving two life sentences for home invasion,) Michael ‘Dirty’ McQuade (M.S.P./ serving 12 years for murder,) and Arline Lawless (M.C.C./serving 35 years for murder) and we’ll post their responses this Wednesday.

Here are the requests for advice as the prisoners received them:

Problem 1: My Coworker Asked Me To Pose Topless ‘For An Anatomy Textbook’?

I work part-time in a small sales office of about 10 people. About a month ago, one of my coworkers approached me about doing a project for his graduate program at a local university. It was for some sort of anatomy textbook or similar: it would be a photo of my breasts with my face not in the photo for the textbook. I would be compensated for the photos.

There were some red flags in his proposition — the photos would be taken by him, in my home, and he never presented me with official paperwork about it. I called the university and they assured me that whatever “project” he was working on was not through their university, as there would have been extensive paperwork, screening, photos professionally taken, etc., which was what I had figured in the first place, particularly for such a large university and for a master’s program.  My question is this: Is this a matter that I should bring up to my boss? Is this something that she needs to know about?

Sincerely, A.

Problem 2. Do I Have To Tell The Daughter I Abandoned At Birth That I Trash-Talked Her Late Mom For Years?

When I was about 20, I got my girlfriend pregnant. She was 23 and wanted the baby whereas I was not ready to be a father, so she broke up with me and had the baby pretty much on her own. Her family helped her and she didn’t ask me for child support until I graduated college and had a steady job. Still, it was a burden on my entry-level salary and I resented both her and my daughter, so I wasn’t an involved father. To explain myself to my family and others who knew I had a daughter I hardly saw, I made up stories about how horrible and crazy my ex was and how it was all her fault…

My ex contacted me last year to let me know she had a terminal illness. As a new father to a year-old son, I saw I couldn’t let my 18-year-old daughter, “Lynn,” go through that alone, so I reconnected with her, made peace with my ex and have been trying to make amends.  Lynn naturally resents and distrusts me, but she is slowly becoming a part of my life. The problem is that my wife, my parents and my friends think the worst of her late mother…

Must I confess, or can I just make it up to Lynn by being the best dad I can now? The truth could really ruin our fragile relationship.

Signed “Bad Dad.”

Problem 3. Should I Tell My Friends I Think Their 5-Year-Old Son Is Going To Be A Rapist When He Grows Up?

My friends have a son, about 5 years old. They enforce little (if any) discipline on him, and he throws a hissy fit if they try to “make” him do anything. They tell him to pick up something he threw; he ignores them. Dad picks it up in a couple of minutes. They tell him to go to bed; he ignores them and keeps doing whatever he is into. My fear is that they are teaching him that he can get away with anything by ignoring the rules. Specifically, I am concerned that he will never learn that no means no, i.e., that they are raising a rapist. Should I say anything to them? If I do, it would only be once, and I wouldn’t harp on it. They are NOT people who would be okay with this outcome, and/but I don’t want to stomp on my relationship with them either.

Signed “Watching”

You’ll be completely surprised by the advice we received back, and the difference sorts of advice applied to the same problem by each inmate.  We’re going to try to get Fuzzy Bear and Sarah to give their non-prison advice, but once we’ve posted the inmate responses, we encourage you to submit your advice as well.

Or a situation that you might like to get killer advice on.

Tune in on Wednesday, and be well!

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[Image: “Killer Advice #2,” by Alyssa Joy Bartlett, 2019]

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Write to  Arline via:

Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless – MDOC #60057

17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

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Write Arline Via:

Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless, MDOC #60057

17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

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Write to Arline via:

Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless – MDOC #60057

17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

Waldoboro woman pleads guilty to killing boyfriend over impending break-up

Arline Lawless, also known as Arline Seavey, made her first court appearance for the charge murder in the death of her boyfriend, Norman Benner, Friday, August 17, 2012, in Lincoln County Superior Court in Wiscasset.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Arline Lawless chewed gum steadily and spoke in monosyllables as she pleaded guilty Wednesday morning at Knox County Superior Court to last summer’s shooting death of her boyfriend, 34-year-old Norman Benner of Waldoboro.

She killed him while he was sleeping because she was afraid he was leaving her for another woman then shot herself in the face, according to evidence presented Wednesday during the plea hearing held in a nearly empty Rockland courthouse. She stayed in the bedroom with Benner’s body for at least a day until they were discovered by family members.

Lawless, 25, also of Waldoboro, stood in shackles and listened impassively as Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman outlined the case the state of Maine would have presented if the matter had gone to trial.

Instead, in exchange for her guilty plea to the charge of intentional or knowing murder, the Maine attorney general’s office and Lawless’s court-appointed defense attorneys are jointly recommending to Justice Jeffrey Hjelm that she be sentenced to 35 years in prison. She has been incarcerated at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

“Have you decided to enter a guilty plea to this charge because in your judgement, you are in fact actually guilty of this crime?” Hjelm asked her at the end of the hearing.

“Yes,” she responded in a clear voice.

Lawless and Benner had been dating for about four months when the lobster sternman told his mother, Dawn Benner, that Lawless was “so clingy, she’d wake up in the middle of the night and ask him if he was going to leave her,” Cashman told the judge during the hearing.

Benner, who lived with his family, tried to break up with Lawless on Friday, July 20, but that led to a big fight, Cashman said. The next day, he went to the house on Friendship Road in Waldoboro where Lawless was staying with Jeremy McPhee, to try again to break up with her.

He told his mother he’d be done in about an hour. But when Benner did not come home that night or the next day, his mother, father and sister began to worry. They drove to McPhee’s house on Monday and found Benner shot to death in Lawless’s room, Cashman said.

His mother and his sister, Kimberly Simmons, saw Lawless lying still and injured in the same bedroom.

“Arline raised her head, which frightened them,” Cashman said. “They believed she was deceased. They ran from the bedroom.”

His mother, sister and McPhee, who was home but said he did not know about the shootings, sought help from officials. Later that day, they received a phone call from Lawless and Dawn Benner spoke briefly to the woman.

“Arline said she did kill her son … because he was going to leave her,” Cashman said. “Dawn asked if she understood she had destroyed their lives. She said yes.”

In the courtroom, Dawn Benner, Norman Benner, Sr., and Simmons wore pins with photos of Norman Benner and tried to comfort each other while Cashman described his death, and its aftermath.

They listened as Cashman said that in a trial, McPhee would have been called to the stand to talk about how he had not given Lawless permission to use his guns, one of which was the murder weapon. They shook their heads in disbelief when they heard how Lawless initially told police investigators that she knew that Norman Benner had died but she did not know how, and that Lawless had wanted to kill herself because she was so angry.

They heard how the wounded Lawless walked around the bedroom at times between midnight Saturday, when the couple had returned home from a party at a campground and gone to bed, and Monday morning when his body was discovered.

“She told detectives that at some point she felt panic after she shot Norman, and that is why she shot herself,” Cashman said. “She made no efforts to call 911.”

After the plea hearing was finished, Benner’s family members said that justice had not been served. His mother, Dawn, said that the words that rang in the courtroom — including faith, justice and equality — were all lies.

“There’s no satisfaction at all. That’s not justice, to let murderers out walking the streets in 32 years,” she said, figuring her son’s girlfriend will get time off for good behavior.

“What about Normy? What did he face when he had a gun to his head? We as families and victims, we have no rights at all. It’s not justice at all. It makes you so angry.”

They described their son as a good man, who was quick to laugh, who loved life and who would do anything for anyone. He enjoyed camping, fishing, being outside and loved his mother’s macaroni salad.

“He tried to leave,” Dawn Benner said of her son’s relationship with Lawless. “I know he just wanted to get out of there.”

Lawless, who last September entered a plea of not criminally responsible by reason of insanity in Lincoln County Superior Court, was evaluated and found capable of standing trial, according to Hjelm. Lead defense attorney Philip Cohen said that there was no question in his mind of his client’s capacity, and Hjelm said that he was satisfied she is of sound mind and “entirely lucid.”

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Write Arline via:

  Maine Correctional Center

– Arline Lawless, MDOC #60057

– 17 Mallison Falls Road

– Windham, Maine 04062

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LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Write Arline via:

Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless – MDOC #60057

– 17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

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LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Write to Arline via:

Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless – MDOC #60057

– 17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image: Arline Lawless, Halloween 2018

Write Arline via: Maine Correctional Center – Arline Lawless, MDOC #60057 – 17 Mallison Falls Road – Windham, Maine 04062

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

In collaboration with the Holistic Recovery Project, the Political Prisoners Blog provides a prisoner's view into what's happening at Maine's correctional facilities.

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