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Matthew Paul CUSHING





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Argument - Killed his mother, stepfather and stepbrother before setting their home on fire
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: February 20, 2008
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: February 2, 1987
Victims profile: His mother, Carol Bolduc, 42; his stepfather, Christopher Bolduc, 42; and his stepbrother, Joshua Bolduc, 15
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Old Orchard Beach, York County, Maine, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to life in prison without parole on March 25, 2009

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Five years after a 'heinous crime' in Old Orchard Beach

By Kate Irish Collins -

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Five years after the brutal murders of Carol, Josh and Christopher Bolduc in Old Orchard Beach, the details are still fresh in the minds of the law enforcement officials involved in the case, as well as the community at large.

By pleading guilty to the killings of his mother, brother and stepfather, Matthew Cushing avoided a trial. But that choice has also left unanswered the question of what could have led him to commit such heinous acts on Feb. 20, 2008.

Cushing, 26, is serving a life sentence at the Maine State Prison in Warren. The family home on Birkdale Circle has been leveled and a memorial placed to the Bolduc family. The Old Orchard Street storefront that housed the family business, Blustery Day Flags, is now occupied by Christina’s Classic Cookies.

The investigation into the triple murder showed that Cushing laid in wait for his family, first killing his younger brother Josh, 15; then killing his mother, Carol, 42; and then his stepfather, Chris, also 42, as each of them successively came home on that tragic day.

Authorities said Cushing used a stun gun to incapacitate his victims. He then stabbed them all to death, including the family dog, and then set the family home on fire. It was smoke from the fire that first brought firefighters and police officers to the scene, Detective Sgt. David Hemingway, the lead investigator in the case for the Old Orchard Beach Police Department, said this week.

He called the murder scene, “one of the worst I’ve seen in my career,” and added that because the Bolducs were so well known in town, the brutality of their deaths hit the first responders hard since many of them knew the victims personally.

“That family was known, they owned a local business, their kids went to the local schools and they were active in the community,” Hemingway said. “Because of that there was widespread grief on scene.”

He said it didn’t take long for authorities to zero in on Cushing as a possible suspect because the local police were able to determine that he had been in town that day, and Carol Bolduc’s car, which contained blood and DNA evidence, was also located near Memorial Park and not in the driveway, as would have been expected.

Hemingway said the Maine State Police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office took the lead in investigating the murders, which is standard practice since most local police departments don’t have the crime scene investigators and other equipment necessary.

Even so, the help of the Old Orchard Beach police was key to the investigation and Cushing’s ultimate arrest, Hemingway said. Cushing pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and one count of arson in late March 2009.

Hemingway said it was local police who first made contact with the parents of Chris and Carol Bolduc, who first canvassed the neighborhood to find out whether anyone had seen anything suspicious and who first learned from Cushing’s friends that he had been in town that day.

While there have been murders in Old Orchard Beach since the Bolduc family were killed – most notably that of Winston George, who was ambushed, strangled with a rope and suffocated with a plastic bag on June 20, 2008 – Hemingway said he’s seen nothing as horrible as the killings of the three Bolducs in his 21-year career.

“In a community like this you don’t see things on this scale that often,” he said. “It was really a wake-up call to the community and to the police department that you never really know what’s truly going on behind closed doors and in families.”

Hemingway said the local police had never responded to the Bolduc home for any type of domestic dispute or other issue.

“They were not on our radar. It was (not a situation) we were trying to triage. It was really out of the blue,” he added. “And because we’re such a close-knit, small community, something like this does have a ripple effect.”

Hemingway said for some people, including the remaining members of the Bolduc family, the fact that Cushing pleaded guilty and avoided a trial might have been a relief. The problem, he said, is that the plea leaves so many questions unanswered.

While he couldn’t say much about the surviving family members, Hemingway did say they were “extraordinary to work with and helped us out in any way they could.” He also said the remaining members of the family were well aware that the whole town shared their shock and their grief.

“There is no doubt that this is one of the most heinous crimes in recent memory,” prosecutor Lisa Marchese, who handled the murder case for the attorney general’s office, said this week.

And that’s one reason why Cushing was sentenced to life in prison by Superior Court Justice Paul Fritzsche. At Cushing’s sentencing hearing, the judge said his crimes met the criteria for the state’s harshest punishment, which includes unusual cruelty, multiple killings and some degree of pre-meditation.

Fritzsche agreed with Marchese that Cushing had planned the murders, especially since he had time between each of the three killings to reconsider his actions and because evidence suggested he had researched the best way to stab someone to death before arriving armed at his family’s home in Old Orchard Beach.

“Most people when they want to have a family conversation do not come armed with a stun gun and knife,” Fritzsche said during the sentencing hearing.

At the time of the murders, Cushing was a student at the University of Maine and he lived in an apartment off the Orono campus.

While Marchese agreed with Hemingway that no one may ever truly know what drove Cushing to kill his family, she said during the plea hearing that he may have been motivated by anger at his stepfather.

In 2009, Marchese said interviews with an employee of Chris Bolduc’s at Blustery Day Flags, William Huntington, revealed that Bolduc was gay and intended to divorce his wife and move to South Carolina to live with another man.

Cushing, she said, was purportedly angry about that revelation, and worried that his mother would have trouble supporting herself if the divorce happened. He was also upset with what he regarded as Chris Bolduc’s treatment of the family as a whole.

Early on in the investigation, another possible motive surfaced, which involved Cushing’s desire to leave school and backpack around Europe, a plan that his parents did not support and which caused ongoing arguments among the three of them.

However, at the time of Cushing’s arrest, Marchese said, “I don’t put much stock in the Europe story. This is clearly a very complex situation and much more was involved.”

Cushing’s attorney, Joel Vincent, advanced even a third possible motive, stating in 2009 that Chris Bolduc’s homosexuality and the breakup of his parents’ marriage was not the only reason Cushing was upset.

At the time, Vincent said his client may have been experiencing abandonment issues from not knowing for much of his childhood that Bolduc was not his biological father.

In terms of Cushing’s actual motive, Marchese this week said:

“It is my experience that we don’t always know, even after a trial, the motive behind a crime. The state does not have to prove motive for good reason – that is, there is rarely direct evidence of the workings of the human mind. There are theories and those were disclosed to the court, but only Matthew Cushing himself knows the motive behind these murders.”

In the end, Marchese said, while Cushing’s decision not to go to trial means the murders of the Bolducs may never be totally solved, she also said, “Any time a defendant accepts responsibility by pleading guilty, it is the right thing for the family and the community. Trials can be very difficult on a family and this trial would have been excruciating for family members.”

Cushing never said much publicly during his various court hearings, but during the sentencing he did read a statement apologizing for his actions and saying the world was a worse place because of his deeds.

When asked about her thoughts on the surviving family members, Marchese said, “It really isn’t my place to discuss my impressions of the victim’s family other than to say that they suffered unimaginable pain and loss with grace and dignity.”

While Cushing once had dreams of hitting the open road, his life is now strictly regulated by jailhouse rules.

Jody Breton, an associate commissioner at the Department of Corrections, said a typical day at the Maine State Prison begins with reveille, followed by breakfast. After breakfast, prisoners return to their respective cells and are then released for either a morning work or a morning recreation period.

Then, there is a recall of prisoners and they are released from their housing unit for lunch. After lunch, prisoners return to their cells and then have either afternoon work or an afternoon recreation period. Each work or recreation period is approximately 2˝ hours, Breton said.

At the end of the day, prisoners have an evening meal and then are allowed to play cards or board games, to use the exercise equipment or take a shower.

Breton said she doesn’t know if Cushing shares his cell with another prisoner, but said that some inmates do. And, although he is in jail for life, she said counseling and rehabilitation services are available to Cushing as part of his individualized treatment program.

Breton also could not say whether Cushing gets any visitors, since visitor records are kept confidential.


Cushing gets life sentence in family slayings

By Jonathan Hunt -

April 2, 2009

Matthew Cushing, the 22-year-old former college student who killed three family members in Old Orchard Beach last year, will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ruled last Thursday.

During an emotional sentencing hearing at York County Superior Court in Alfred, several relatives of Carol, Christopher and Josh Bolduc gave statements about the tragedy's effect on their lives and what they felt should happen to Cushing. The former University of Maine student pleaded guilty last month to stabbing his mother, stepfather and half-brother and setting fire to their house on Feb. 20, 2008.

"No matter how much time passes, our hearts will never be whole," said Kathy Prior, who is Cushing's aunt and was Carol Bolduc's sister.

Justice Paul Fritzsche said he had never previously administered a life sentence, which in Maine carries no chance for parole, and that Cushing on the surface appeared to be a quiet and unimposing figure dissimilar to other violent defendants.

"There's no swagger, there's no bravado, there's no history of other crimes," said Fritzsche.

But Cushing's crimes, the judge determined, met the criteria for three concurrent life sentences under state guidelines that have been developed from precedent cases. Aggravating factors including unusual cruelty, multiple killings and some degree of premeditation meant that Cushing might always be dangerous if released back into society, Fritzsche said.

Cushing expected a confrontation with his stepfather, came armed and had researched how to stab people to death when he drove from his home in Old Town to Old Orchard Beach, said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese at the February plea hearing. Cushing first encountered his half-brother Joshua Bolduc at the Birkdale Circle home and stabbed him following an argument, said Marchese. Later, Carol Bolduc arrived and was murdered before Christopher Bolduc came home and met the same fate, meaning that Cushing had intervals of time between the killings to reconsider his actions, noted Marchese and the judge.

"Most people when they want to have a family conversation do not come armed with a stun gun and a knife," Fritzsche assessed.

Jon Bolduc said the family members he had lost were nice people whose lives had been wasted. His brother Christopher was "very protective and caring," said Bolduc, and his nephew Joshua was a favorite cousin of his children.

"Josh and my kids were very close," Bolduc recalled. "My kids idolized him."

Carol Bolduc was a great mom, he said.

Sandy Miller, Christopher Bolduc's mother, said he had been a "wonderful, giving and responsible man," and that she missed hearing his voice and watching Joshua grow up.

"My life sentence is never seeing my grandson grow to adulthood," said Miller.

Miller, Prior and Jon Bolduc asked for a life sentence for Cushing, but not all of the relatives felt that way.

"The Matthew that went to Old Orchard Beach that day is not the Matthew I knew," said Dick Bolduc, Christopher Bolduc's father. "As part of my healing process, I will forgive him, and hopefully others will follow."

"I was taught to hate the sin and not the sinner," said Cheryl Bolduc, Chistopher Bolduc's stepmother. Dick and Cheryl Bolduc each said mercy would be appropriate in Cushing's sentencing and he should receive less than a life sentence.

A common thread throughout the proceedings was that Cushing's deadly actions were uncharacteristic and unexplainable, and that the best philosophy would be to follow life's gentler instincts.

Carol Bolduc's mother, Sandra Griffin, said she would never understand why Cushing had caused her daughter's death. "I know she wasn't perfect, but in my eyes she was," Griffin said. "But I don't hate Matthew, I love Matthew."

"Matthew grew up in a family that loved him," said Mary Farrar, a victim witness advocate with the Maine Attorney General's Office, while reading a statement from Paul Cushing, his biological father. "I don't know why he acted as he did to bring us here today."

Although Cushing's mental evaluation remains sealed, Marchese reported that the defendant had told a psychologist about "recurrent intent, thoughts and images of killing people."

While Cushing appeared contrite about the murders, said Marchese, those impulses might never go away. "He's had homicidal thoughts for years," said the prosecutor. "We don't know why he he killed his family, and that makes him all the more dangerous."

Cheryl Bolduc, in her statement, said Cushing had depressive and obsessive tendencies.

In February, Marchese said an investigation indicated that Cushing had been deeply concerned about an impending breakup between his mother and stepfather and the possibility that Carol Bolduc would have trouble supporting herself if that happened.

But, whether or not Cushing acted in response to legitimate family tensions, emphasized the judge, the victims certainly did not deserve any of what happened.

Cushing read a statement at the sentencing hearing in which he apologized and said the world was a worse place because of his deeds, and that he sympathized with the grieving relatives. "They've been robbed of the one thing they cannot replace," he said. "That I stole so much love from my family is horrific and inexcusable."

Fritzsche acknowledged that the crimes were irrational, and he said Cushing still had redeeming qualities. But, he said, the presence of aggravating factors such as premeditation and cruelty meant anything other than a life sentence would ignore "the enormity of the wrong."

The judge encouraged anyone with knowledge that a family member is troubled to intervene and try to get help for them. In response to a question from Fritzsche, Cushing acknowledged that his family would have provided that support if they had the chance when his mental condition deteriorated while he was living in Old Town.


Maine man who killed family gets life sentence

By David Sharp - Associated Press Writer

March 26, 2009

ALFRED, Maine — A man who killed his mother, stepfather and stepbrother before setting their southern Maine home on fire apologized for his actions but shed little light on his motives before he was handed three life prison terms on Thursday.

Matthew Cushing, 22, described the three victims in loving terms and told the judge that he "hates himself" because of what he did.

"The world today is a worse place because (the three victims) are not in it," he said. "From the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry," he added.

York County Superior Court Justice Paul Fritzsche said it was the first time he had sentenced someone to life in prison, which carries no chance of parole in Maine. "Any other sentence than life in prison ignores the enormity of the wrong," he said.

Prosecutors said Cushing went to the Old Orchard Beach home with a stun gun and a knife on Feb. 20, 2008, to confront his stepfather about his disintegrating marriage to his mother. In the process, they said he stabbed all three family members and set the fire to cover his tracks.

The family dog, which was trapped in a kennel, also died.

Cushing pleaded guilty last month to three counts of murder and one count of arson in the deaths of Christopher Bolduc, his wife Carol Bolduc, and 15-year-old Joshua Bolduc.

He told state police detectives he was upset that his mother and stepfather were separating and feared his mother could not support herself. Detectives also indicated they found some of Cushing's writings that indicated he had issues with homosexuality, and a prosecutor said his stepfather was involved in a gay relationship.

On the day of the killings, Cushing drove from his apartment in Old Town to the family's home and first tried to talk with Joshua Bolduc.

Under questioning by the judge, Cushing said he became enraged when Joshua compared him to his father's gay lover and then began stabbing the boy.

Cushing choked and stabbed his mother after she returned home and threatened to call police. Later, he used his stun gun to disable his stepfather before stabbing him to death.

The judge cited several aggravating factors including the fact that Cushing stabbed his victims repeatedly in the face and eyes and that there was some level of premeditation. Cushing had used the Internet to research the most damaging places to stab someone.

"Most people who want to have a family discussion do not come armed with a stun gun and a knife," Fritzsche said.

Family members described Cushing as goodhearted and conscientious and said it was difficult to understand what could have driven him into a homicidal rage.

"The Matthew we know and love was not the Matthew in that house that day," said Cheryl Bolduc, Christopher Bolduc's stepmother.

Dick Bolduc, Christopher's father, pleaded for mercy from the judge, saying a life sentence "may fit the crime but it doesn't fit the individual."

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese, who sought the life sentence, and defense lawyer Joel Vincent both said after the hearing that Cushing himself has psychological problems and doesn't understand what motivated him to kill.

"I don't think he knows," Vincent said. Added Marchese: "I've said from the beginning that we're never going to know."


Friends: Murders not consistent with family dynamics

By Kate Irish Collins -

February 28, 2008

People who knew the victims well cannot understand how Matthew Cushing, 21, could have killed his mother, brother and stepfather - family members he outwardly loved dearly.

Carol and Christopher Bolduc, both 42, and their son Joshua Bolduc, 14 - all of Old Orchard Beach - were stabbed to death and their 15 Birkdale Circle home set on fire on Feb. 20, according to authorities. Cushing has been charged with their murders and with arson.

"There is no comprehending how this could have happened," said Tracy Buck, a good friend and neighbor of the Bolduc family.

Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese finds it just as hard to accept the only publicly acknowledged motive so far, an ongoing argument between Cushing and his parents about Cushing's decision to drop out of the University of Maine, travel to London to visit a friend and then backpack around Europe.

Although family friends were aware of Cushing's desire to travel and his parents' opposition to it, Marchese said this week, "I don't put much stock in the Europe story. This is clearly a very complex situation and much more was involved."

However, Marchese, who is prosecuting the case against Cushing, would not speculate as to any other motive, nor offer any clearer understanding of the events of last Wednesday.

Since his arrest for the murders last Friday at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Cushing has been at the York County Jail. He made his first court appearance on Monday at the York County Superior Court with his attorney Joel Vincent by his side.

That hearing was specifically held, according to presiding Superior Court Justice Paul A. Fritzsche, to inform Cushing that he is now facing three counts of intentionally and knowingly murdering his family, along with one count of arson for setting the Bolduc family home on fire.

The three murder charges all carry the possibility of 25 years to life. The arson charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, Fritzsche said during Monday's hearing.

After the hearing, Marchese said Cushing will likely remain in jail "for the foreseeable future."

Marchese said the next steps in the case would be to continue to investigate the events of Feb. 20 and to find out more about what Cushing was doing and thinking in the days and hours leading up to the murders.

In the meantime, the court has also ordered that Cushing get a psychological evaluation the results of which will remain sealed unless Cushing makes a claim that he was not responsible for the murders due to "a mental disease or defect."

Marchese said the state would present its case to a grand jury in either March or April. The grand jury will make the decision at that time whether to indict Cushing for the murders and arson, she said.

Cushing's next scheduled court date, at which he may be required to enter a plea, is scheduled for May 16.

In support of Cushing's arrest for the murders of his family, Maine State Police have said there was tension between Cushing and his parents regarding his wish to go abroad.

In addition, according to State Police Lt. Brian McDonough, Cushing has taken responsibility for the murders.

William Huntington, an employee at Chris Bolduc's Blustery Day Flags store in Old Orchard Beach and a family friend, was apparently the first to inform police of the family dispute regarding the trip to Europe.

However, he was not the only one who knew about the conflict. Carol Bolduc's good friend and neighbor, Grace Endean, said she was also aware of Cushing's desire to travel.

Endean said Carol Bolduc had spoken to her about the situation, but also said there was no outward indication that the argument was causing any kind of rift in the family.

"I knew he wanted to go to Europe and I thought the plan was for him to go in the fall and complete his degree over there," she said.

In trying to understand Cushing's recent state of mind, Endean said she was also aware that he had been despondent over the death of his dog, a husky named Nanook.

Nanook was living with Cushing in Old Town and one day just after Christmas was hit by a car and subsequently died.

"I know it was very hard thing for Matthew to lose his dog," Endean said.

Cushing was arrested and charged with killing his family after a search of his Old Town apartment turned up a bloodied backpack containing a bloody knife and a stun gun.

Old Town police also reported that Cushing had cuts on both hands, which Cushing claimed he received while attempting to cut up a thick piece of steak.

McDonough said the cuts on Cushing's hands and the fact that he was the only surviving family member immediately put suspicion on him.

Buck, who watched both Cushing and his brother grow up, described Cushing as "caring and compassionate" and someone who loved his mother and brother very much. Although Chris Bolduc was his stepfather, Buck said, there was no doubt that he was a true father to Cushing.

"That's one thing that has really bothered me about all the press coverage of this situation," Buck said. "Describing Chris as Matt's stepfather and Josh as his half brother. Chris was truly Matty's dad and Josh was truly a beloved brother."

According to the University of Maine records, until the end of this past fall semester, Cushing was a European history major at the school.

Friends and neighbors said that while he lived in an apartment in Old Town near the campus, Cushing often visited his family in Old Orchard Beach.

Endean remembered that when Cushing was a senior in high school, he was an exchange student to Ghana, Africa. The trip was sponsored by the local Rotary Club and, according to Endean, it made a lasting impression on the teenager.

"I know he really enjoyed his time there and wanted to go back someday," she said.

According to Cushing's page on MySpace, an online forum and networking space, he had a self-described "fixation with getting back to Africa." Also on the MySpace page, Cushing said that Nelson Mandela, a black leader who opposed apartheid in South Africa, was one of his heroes.

Buck said the Bolducs would want those who knew and loved the family to rally around Cushing now.

"One thing we want to make clear is that we love Matthew and support him no matter what," Buck said.


Man admits he killed family, set house afire

The Associated Press

February 25, 2009

ALFRED, Maine — A former University of Maine student pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing his mother, stepfather and stepbrother, then setting fire to their home, and a prosecutor for the first time revealed the motive: He was upset his mother’s marriage was breaking up.

Matthew Cushing, 21, thought his mother, Carol Bolduc, would not be able to support herself on her own, said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese. He planned the killings by researching on the Internet the best places to stab people, she said.

The prosecutor said she will seek the maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

“This is just so difficult. An entire family has been wiped out by the son, and now he’s facing life imprisonment,” Marchese said after the hearing. “It’s just devastating.”

Cushing pleaded guilty in York County Superior Court to three counts of murder and one count of arson. Prosecutors say he repeatedly stabbed his 15-year-old stepbrother, his mother and his stepfather, Christopher Bolduc, before setting fire to their Old Orchard Beach home in February 2008.

Court documents previously indicated Cushing, who was taking time off from the University of Maine, was angry at his parents for not funding a backpacking trip to Europe.

But Marchese said the real reason for the killings was that the family was breaking up. The stepfather was preparing to leave Cushing’s mother, and Cushing “just didn’t think that divorce was the appropriate answer,” the prosecutor said.

Some other details of the motive, however, remained murky.

Writings from Cushing’s apartment in Old Town, near the University of Maine, indicated he had problems with homosexuality, and a witness indicated his stepfather was involved in a homosexual relationship, Marchese said. But Cushing never mentioned the relationship in interviews with detectives.

The prosecutor also quoted Cushing as saying he was troubled by the way his stepfather treated him and his mother.

Outlining the state’s case, Marchese said the killings were premeditated, as shown by Cushing’s Internet research on how to stab people.

Armed with a knife and stun gun, Cushing attempted to talk to his stepbrother, Joshua Bolduc, about the family and tried to enlist his help in talking to the boy’s father, Marchese said. When Joshua said he was reluctant to confront his father, Matthew Cushing stabbed him to death, Marchese said.

Cushing’s mother came home and threatened to call police, so Cushing stabbed and choked her, she said. He used a stun gun to subdue his stepfather before stabbing him, she said.

Family members who attended the hearing declined to speak to reporters. A court official said they intended to save their remarks for the sentencing, scheduled for March 26.

Defense lawyer Joel Vincent said his client wanted to take responsibility for his actions. There was no plea agreement with prosecutors, Vincent said.

Cushing was not required to address the judge on Wednesday except to answer routine questions about his plea.


Police: Son admits killings slayings

By Kelley Bouchard - Portland Press Herald

March 17, 2010

OLD ORCHARD BEACH - Matthew Cushing claimed to be depressed and may have been angry at his parents in the hours before he stabbed his mother, stepfather and half brother and set their house on fire, Maine State Police said Friday.

Cushing, 21, was arrested around noon Friday after he told police that he killed Carol and Christopher Bolduc, both 42, and 15-year-old Joshua Bolduc in their large Cape-style home at 15 Birkdale Circle on Wednesday afternoon, said state police Lt. Brian McDonough. Cushing is charged with arson and three counts of murder.

Cushing, who was living in Old Town and had been a student at the University of Maine, is being held in the York County Jail pending his arraignment at 1 p.m. Monday in York County Superior Court.

McDonough said it's too early to identify a motive for the crimes.

In an affidavit outlining details of their two-day investigation, state police said Cushing told them he was upset about his history with his biological father, Paul Cushing, who lives in Lincoln County, as well as his mother's and stepfather's refusal to pay for him to take a backpacking trip through Europe.

Police focused on Cushing early in their investigation. ''He was the missing family member,'' McDonough said at a news conference.

He said Cushing has no significant criminal history, and police don't know of any mental health issues on his part. Cushing probably will undergo a psychological evaluation in the days ahead, McDonough said.

The affidavit says Carol Bolduc left the family's store, Blustery Day Flags on Old Orchard Street, the strip that leads to the beach's famous pier, around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday to go home and be with her son Joshua. She was driving a silver 2003 Toyota 4Runner.

She later telephoned the store and told her husband that she had seen Cushing's blue 1995 Ford Taurus parked at the dog park off Heath Street, according to William Huntington, an employee at the store.

When Christopher Bolduc was unable to contact his wife or son around 3:30 p.m., he told Huntington that he was going home to check on them.

''Huntington told Christopher Bolduc that if he did not hear from him in an hour he was going to call the police,'' the affidavit said.

Huntington told police that Cushing had been angry at his mother and stepfather recently because they refused to finance the European trip and wanted him to resume taking college courses.

A neighbor reported a fire at the Bolducs' house around 5:40 p.m. Firefighters found that the three family members inside were already dead.

''It was a horrific scene and very traumatic for everyone involved,'' said Dana Kelley, the town's police chief.

Christopher Bolduc's green Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was in the driveway. Police later found Carol Bolduc's 4Runner, with bloodstains on its steering wheel and gearshift, parked near the dog park.

Dr. Meg DeWitt of the state Medical Examiner's Office reported late Wednesday that Carol, Christopher and Joshua Bolduc had been stabbed to death, according to the affidavit. Police declined to provide details about the weapon or the stabbings.

Also Wednesday night, investigators with the state Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire had been started in three places: the kitchen, the first-floor hallway and the basement stairway. A melted, red plastic fuel container, a cigarette lighter and two cellular telephones were on the kitchen floor, and a digital camera was on the kitchen counter, the affidavit said.

Police wouldn't say whether they think Cushing set the fires to cover up the murders. ''Obviously, arson is a crime-concealment tool,'' said Sgt. Joel Davis, state fire investigator.

Fire investigators hoped to finish their work Friday. They were at the house all day and into the night, Davis said. Laboratory tests will determine what type of fuel was used to start the blaze.

State police contacted Old Town police at 10 p.m. Wednesday and asked them to try to find Cushing at his apartment at 368 Brunswick St., according to the affidavit.

McDonough said Cushing went willingly to the Old Town police station, dressed in pajama pants, socks, sneakers and a coat. McDonough described the young man as subdued and cooperative.

Police noted several cuts on Cushing's hands. He told police that he had received them ''while cutting a thick piece of steak,'' the affidavit said. Cushing said he had been wearing the same clothes all day, ''except for a gray T-shirt that was in his bedroom.''

Cushing told police he was walking around the UMaine campus in nearby Orono between 11 a.m. and noon Wednesday, according to the affidavit. Cushing said he was depressed and emotional, and decided to confront his biological father about his past.

He said he drove as far south as Damariscotta, where he pulled over and cried, then headed north and was back in Old Town by 7:15 p.m., the affidavit said.

Cushing told police that he hadn't been in Old Orchard Beach on Wednesday, hadn't seen his family since mid-January and had last driven his mother's 4Runner a year ago, the affidavit said.

Friday morning, DNA tests at the state police crime lab matched the blood found in Carol Bolduc's car to Cushing. Police also found a bloody backpack containing a knife with blood on it and a stun gun in Cushing's apartment in Old Town.

Police then contacted Cushing, who was staying with family members in Lincoln County, McDonough said. They interviewed him again, at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Wiscasset. They say he admitted then to murdering his family and setting their home on fire.


Police Release Affidavit Detailing Old Orchard Beach Case

February 23, 2008

With minor editing for clarity, the following is the affidavit filed by Sgt. Christopher Harriman:

On 2-20-08 at 5:42 P.M., Old Orchard Beach Dispatch was advised of a possible fire at 15 Birkdale Circle. Old Orchard Beach Police Department arrived and saw smoke coming from 15 Birkdale Circle.

They called for the Old Orchard Beach Fire Department to respond. Fire Department personnel responded and entered the residence. Upon entering the residence, they found three deceased people. The residents of 15 Birkdale Circle were known to be Christopher Bolduc, Carol Bolduc and Joshua Bolduc. Carol Bolduc's biological son, Matthew Cushing lives at the Birkdale Circle residence when not attending college at the University of Maine at Orono.

On 2-20-08 at approximately 8:23 P.M., Fire Marshal Sr. Investigator Daniel Young interviewed a William Huntington. Mr. Huntington stated he was working at Blustery Day Flags store located at 39A and B Old Orchard Street, OOB, on the afternoon of 2-20-08 with Christopher and Carol Bolduc. Carol Bolduc left the store for the day at approximately 2:15 P.M.

According to Mr. Huntington, Christopher Bolduc told him that between 2:35 and 2:40 Carol called Christopher on the telephone at the store and told him that she noticed Matthew Cushing's vehicle parked at the dog park, which is located off Heath Street in Old Orchard Beach. Mr. Huntington was told by Carol prior to leaving the store that she was going home to be with her younger son Joshua.

At approximately 3:30 P.M., Christopher Bolduc tried to make contact with his wife Carol and their son Joshua by telephone but was unable to make contact with them. Christopher Bolduc then told Mr. Huntington he was going home to check on Carol and Joshua.

Mr. Huntington told Christopher Bolduc that if he did not hear from him in an hour he was going to call the police. Mr. Huntington stayed at the store. Mr. Huntington told Young that he not only works for the Bolducs but is a personal friend of theirs.

He stated that Matthew Cushing has recently been angry at his parents because he wanted to visit a friend in London and then backpack through Europe instead of going to school. Matthew's parents refused to finance his trip and they felt he should be taking classes and attending college. There was tension between Matthew and his parents over this issue. Mr. Huntington stated this is why he told Mr. Bolduc he was going to call the police if he did not hear from Bolduc.

On 2-20-08 at 5:40, Bill Huntington received a telephone call from Christopher Bolduc's neighbor stating that there was some sort of alarm going off at the Bolduc residence. At 5:42 P.M., Mr. Huntington called Old Orchard Beach 911 concerned that there might be something wrong at the Bolduc residence.

Fire Marshal Investigator Christopher Stanford was one of several investigators at the scene. He observed two separate and distinct points of fire origin. One being in the kitchen area where Christopher Bolduc's body was originally found and the second was in the first floor hallway and basement stairs area. Both points of origin appear to be set with an ignitable liquid and are indicative of an intentional human element fire. On the kitchen floor, Stanford observed a melted red plastic gas can, a cigarette lighter and two cellular telephones. On the kitchen counter he observed a digital camera.

On 2-20-08 at approximately 10 P.M., Sgt. Christopher Harriman called the Old Town Police Department and asked them to go to Matthew Cushing's residence to see if he was there. If located, Old Town P.D. was requested to ask Matthew Cushing if he would be willing to go to the police department and meet with Maine State Police detectives.

At approximately 10:40 P.M., Old Town P.D. located Matthew Cushing at his residence. He agreed to meet with Maine State Police detectives. Sgt. Harriman was informed by Old Town P.D. that Matthew Cushing had cuts on his hands and was dressed in a pair of pajama pants and socks. Matthew Cushing put on a coat and dressed his feet in a pair of sneakers to accompany Old Town Police Officers to their department.

At approximately 10:40 P.M., Dr. Meg DeWitt from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner arrived on scene. She viewed the three decedents and advised me that they were victims of homicide. I viewed video of the decedents taken by the medical examiner's office. The decedents had wounds that appeared to be consistent with those made by a sharp instrument.

At approximately 1:55 A.M., Detectives Jeffrey Linscott and Scott Harakles interviewed Matthew Cushing at the Old Town Police Department. Det. Linscott observed several cuts on the hands of Matthew Cushing. Matthew Cushing told Det. Linscott that the cuts on his bands occurred while cutting a thick piece of steak. He also told Det. Linscott that the clothing he had on was the same clothing he had worn all day, except for a gray t-shirt that was in his bedroom.

Matthew Cushing stated that on 2-20-08 he had been at the University of Maine at Orono campus walking around between the hours of 1100 and 1200. He stated he was depressed and emotionally charged thinking about his past with his biological father, Paul Cushing. Matthew Cushing told Det. Linscott he decided to drive to his father's house in either New Harbor or Bristol to confront him about the past. He drove as far south as Damariscotta to confront Paul Cushing, but pulled over onto the side of the road and cried. He then drove back Northbound to Old Town arriving at his residence between 7 and 7:15 P.M. He stated the drive took approximately two and a half hours. Matthew Cushing stated he was not in Old Orchard Beach at all on 2-20-08.

Matthew Cushing told Det. Linscott the last time he saw any of his family members in person was over the semester break in mid-January 2008. Matthew Cushing was asked about driving his mother's Toyota 4Runner. He stated he only drove his mother's Toyota once and that was approximately one year ago. Carol Bolduc's Toyota 4Runner was found on 2-20-08 by Officer Jeff Regan of the Old Orchard Beach Police Department parked on Staples Street in Old Orchard Beach just prior to the library. The Toyota was parked approximately 300 feet away from the location where Carol Bolduc had seen Matthew Cushing's Ford Taurus parked at the dog park earlier on 2-20-08. Mrs. Bolduc's Toyota was towed to the Old Orchard Beach police department and secured.

Det. Armand Lucier examined the Toyota and noticed red and brown stains that are consistent with blood both on the steering wheel and shifter. Det. Michael Zabarsky swabbed the red brown stains and they were sent to the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory for DNA comparison.

On Friday morning, February 22, 2008, I learned from the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory that the blood swabbed from the Toyota 4Runner belonging to Carol Bolduc matched the DNA of Matthew Cushing. I also learned during a search of Matthew Cushing's apartment in Old Town that a back pack was found. The backpack was bloodied and contained a knife with blood on it as well as a stun gun.

Matthew Cushing was re-interviewed on Friday, February 22, 2008 at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and admitted killing his half-brother Joshua Bolduc, his mother, Carol Bolduc and his step-father, Christopher Bolduc on Wednesday February 20, 2008 and then setting the house on fire at 15 Birkdale Circle in Old Orchard Beach.


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