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