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Sheriff DiPaola's Suicide Note Impounded

Sheriff DiPaola's Suicide Note Impounded

Middlesex County Sheriff James V. DiPaola

The Boston Herald via YellowBrix

November 29, 2010

MIDDLESEX – Middlesex Sheriff James V. DiPaola told his wife Friday he was going to his office in Medford to clean his desk and then — bringing only a .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic and a laptop computer — drove 80 miles north, checked into a seacoast resort in Wells, Maine, dead-bolted the door and within the span of an hour shot himself in the head, police and sources told the Herald.

Those partial details of DiPaola’s matter-of-fact execution of his own death were released yesterday by Wells police, but his suicide note was impounded pending completion of the medical examiner’s investigation — leaving few immediate clues for friends who were stunned by the sheriff’s sudden fatal act.

The remains of DiPaola, 57, a father of three daughters who sources said spent his last Thanksgiving with loved ones, were being held at Bibber Memorial Chapel in Wells, where it’s expected they’ll be released today to Spadafora Funeral Home of Malden.

Police said that DiPaola checked into a second-floor room with a view of a parking lot in the Ledgeview Inn at Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort between 5 and 6 p.m. Friday, closing the door for the last time on a career in public service spanning more than three decades.

By 7 p.m. he was dead, Wells police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam said, citing investigators’ estimates. He lay down on the bed, muffled his pistol with a pillow and pulled the trigger.

A multipage note DiPaola wrote on a legal pad and left on a dresser has been taken into evidence by the Maine medical examiner’s office, Putnam said. “I have not read it,” she said. “We try to be considerate to the family.”

Among many friends who said they are mystified by DiPaola’s suicide was Rep. Colleen Garry (D-Dracut). She credits DiPaola with getting her legislative career started, and said she hopes his note has some answers for his family: “Hopefully that will help them deal with it.”

Putnam said no alcohol was found in the room, only a note, laptop and gun. The “Do Not Disturb” sign had not been displayed.

Police have not been able to nail down any history between DiPaola, the resort or the state of Maine to help explain why he chose a hotel in Wells, Putnam said. Real estate records don’t show he owned any property there, although friends have said they believed he may have had a place in Maine at some time.

“He checked in for one night and was due to check out Saturday morning,” Putnam said. “I just find it hard to believe that anything would be so terrible.”

From the DiPaola Family:

The entire DiPaola Family wishes to acknowledge the outpouring of support and condolences they have received from colleagues, friends, and acquaintances regarding the loss of their beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother.

We as a family have decided that all funeral and internment services for the Sheriff will be private.

We request that both the public, as well as the media, respect our decision.

No further communications on this matter will be forthcoming.

We thank you in advance for respecting our decision and our privacy.

The DiPaola Family

  • 6409_1125580353064_1633824502_301095_1138763_s_max50


    over 3 years ago


    when someone becomes an officer of the law, they have so much responsivility thrown on them, thier lives are consummed with the job. My husband is an officer of the law and carries a heavy load all the time and I always hear of depression among them. You know we all need to think The law enforcement officers ARE HUMAN TOO!! They have feelings, emotion, sympathy , love and hurt as anyone else, lets not forget that thought guys. My prayers and best wishes to his family and remember God will help everyone through this terrible ordeal, Bless all of our officers through the world!!

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Well said "cops1521"..!! Well said indeed sir...

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I wonder why people believe that suicide is the only answer. There is this new Fad that's coming out. It's in all the newspapers. I believe it's called "Talking to Friends"

  • Uniphone1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Simply Tragic....Rest in Peace.

    "Stay in the Fight"

  • Img_3413_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    dawnf, we are assuming he committed suicide because of depression not because he was a LEO but because experience has taught us that when a person no matter what their job is completes suicide it is because of depression. Yes some of them have guilt for whatever reason but that in turn causes depression and the depression becomes overwhelming where they can no longer think straight. I have not put him on a pedestal rather I look at him as I do any human being that has issues in their life that overwhelmed them and caused him to take his life. Law Enforcement Officers and even people in my field as a victim assistance counselor see suicides on a regular basis, that is why you see us talking about the depression.

    Some are like me and that we also speak from experience. My friend who completed suicide had many issues going on in his life. Did he have a guilty conscience, maybe, but whether he did or not his depression and not a guilty conscience overcame him and he killed himself. None of us put him on a pedestal. In fact suicide of a LEO reminds us that LEOs are humans and suffers the same issues the everyday citizen suffers and that they react in much the same way.

  • 146067783_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Condolences to family and may God welcome him. I honor his career because it is not an easy one to live.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    everyone here assumes he was depressed. why was he cleaning his desk. layoff? or someother thing. maybe instead of depression it was a guily conscience. i can understand why most here have him on a pedastal. but we really do not know the true circumstances that pushed him into this action. it truly is a sad ordeal for his family. and they are in my prayers.

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago


    "Bump" Robocop33....Words well spoken Sir. And thank you for sharing....God bless You Sir.

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago



    This sort of thing happened at my Dept exactly 1 year ago, when we lost one of ours to a quick fatal act in a similar fasion. And even now it hurts to think about our loss...

    I will pray for this man's soul.., as well as for his family and friends.

  • 386_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I didn't know him but my condolence for the DiPaola family.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    My heart goes out to Sheriff DiPaola's family. I pray that God will hold them in the palm of His hand and give them the comfort that only our Heavenly Father can give. RIP Sheriff. We don't know why and we don't need to know why. I am so sorry you felt it necessary.

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I am all in with Robcop33. It is a problem and we need to have more avenues for those to reach out.

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Thank you cops1521 for your thoughtful remarks. I am rather surprised at the attitude of some of our brothers who are condemning this brother. Depression is a terrible thing and we need to be aware of it and make sure none of our friends and brothers are suffering from it. With LEOs it is often very hard to tell. I knew a FBI Agent that had just retired or was about to retire, it was so long ago I have forgotten, who took his life in his bedroom closet. I believe he and his wife were going to go out that evening. Looking back there were signs. Watch for them and NEVER condemn them. I had serious feeling of suicide after I was crippled by an OTJ injury. Lots going on at that time with my marriage being over and custody of my boys and then to be crippled life came crashing down that I was no longer useful. I wasn't at the time either but I could not do that to my boys so struggled through it. Trust me, it could have gone the other way. As LEOs we see so much pain and tragic incidents we tend to keep it all built up and that is why LEOs have such a high suicide rate. That is why we need to not only watch our own 6, we need to watch our brothers.

  • Mourning_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Without knowing Sheriff James V. DiPaolaam or the detail of his case, I'm sure he regreted the final decision he made at the instant he pulled the trigger. It will be a difficult hill to climb for the Family but they will recover in time.

  • V_curts_clothes_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This is so painfully sad. Many of us make bad decisions and this man must have felt the shame of the choices he made. But everyone can be forgiven and it's so unfortunate that he felt it was worth taking his life. Honor can be restored, not easily, but it can be. I am proud to see that so many of these comments are more supportive and give prayers out to the family rather than criticizing his actions. Of course, they are not actions that we'd condone, but it's so sad this story ended so tragically with so much pain to so many people.

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