Monday, 18 March 2019 18:26

Bangor House Strangling still unsolved 54 years later Featured

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BANGOR - The Queen City's oldest unsolved homicide -- the “Bangor House Strangling” -- happened more than five decades ago and sent shock waves throughout the city.

March 18, 1965 started out as a regular day at the Bangor House, a prestigious hotel at the time.


But things were about to change. There was a killer on the lose, and he was about to strike.


“This picture depicts the strangler's weapon, and the investigating officers examining it,” Elizabeth Stevens, a Bangor Public Library librarian who works in special collections, said of a Bangor Daily News photo from the time. “This was taken the day after Effie was murdered.”


Effie MacDonald, 54, was a Houlton native and chambermaid at the Bangor House for seven years. She was beaten, raped and strangled to death with her nylons in an unoccupied room on the third floor. Her body was found by a coworker at around 2 p.m.


“People at the time thought the Boston Strangler had killed her,” said Stevens.


Two detectives from a special Massachusetts “Strangler Squad” determined her death was not related to the killer in eastern Mass. based on how the Bangor House strangler used the nylons.


After Bangor Police detectives interviewed hundreds of people -- one person stood out, according to media reports.


“The police, they had someone, a candidate in mind, but they were never able to prove it,” Stevens said.


Capt. Clifton Sloan, lead detective in the case, told the BDN in 1971 that he knew who the killer was but didn't think the evidence would stand up in court.


“I was right across the street when that happened. I was loading buses at the time,” said Jerome Hogan. “It was scary. Scary.”


Hogan worked at the nearby Greyhound Bus Station. He remembers seeing Effie walking to work, but never met her.


“It's just really sad that they never found the person that did this,” Stevens said. “They got away with murder.”


“Yep,” Hogan added.


The Bangor Police Department homicide case remains open.

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...

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