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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

  • Police_car_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Awful !! My sympathies to his family, friends, and all his former co-workers. What a tragic ending !

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Prayers are with the Sheriff and his family, you have walked the beat here now it is time to rest.

  • _47_ford_9-11-10_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Sheriff. Our prayers to everyone in your family.
    May your friends and coworkers remember the good times.

  • Picture_067_max50


    over 3 years ago


    My prayers for the family

  • Cookcountystar_max160_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Very Sad- I am sorry Brother that you felt you had no where else to go but to the gun. I will never Judge what you have done because I have never walked in your shoes and do not know the pain you were dealing with,...I pray that Jesus takes you into his Loving Arms and heals the pain that would make you do this.
    I will keep you and your family and co-workers in my prayers.
    Rest In Heavenly Peace...and Thank You for the more than three decades of service you have given us.
    The contents of the note should stay private unless the family decides to release them.

  • Utah_south_salt_lake_police_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This is very sad. My prayers go out to his family

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    My prayers for the family.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • Img_3413_sq90_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    As I have said many times before suicide amonst law enforcement officers is three times higher per year than thise who die in the LOD. That means the average is 150 LEOs LODD every year then we average 450 LEOs to suicide every year.

    As a friend of a LEO who completed suicide, yes there are times I feel he was selfish as I didn't want to lose this friend. Did I forgive him? Absolutely. I understand the pain and struggles he was going through. I understand he felt there was no way out and that even though really deep down he knew the pain and suffering he would bring to his family and friends, at that particular time he could not see this.

    I pray people learn from this LEOs death as some of us did with Eddie's death. When you see a fellow LEO struggling talk with him/her. If you have to talk to others and if necessary go over their heads and don't give up. We work at dropping the number of LODDs as we rightly should, but we also need to work at dropping the statistic of suicides.
    I am glad they are not releasing the note. If it was not a public figure, there would be no talk of releasing the note. In chances are it would not have even be deemed newsworthy. Being under investigation and more than likely inundated by the press only added to whatever else may have been going on in his life.

    I pray for the Sheriff, his family including his family in blue, and his friends. I pray that they find peace as they deal with this tragedy.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest In Peace Sherriff James DiPaola, I hope that you can find the peace of mind that could not be found here. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they try to make sense of this tragedy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    What a shame. Three decades of hard relentless often sleepless nights wasted in the flash of one gunshot! I have to agree with Jakesdad, this was a very selfish and cowardly act to leave his daughters and wife behind like that. I wish many blessings to his family as they make sense of this. God Bless his family and I pray that the Lord place his gentle hands upon all of them from now until eternity when he welcomes them home into his arms.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Tragic. RIP. "The last Enemy that shall be destroyed is death." I Corinthians 15:26. Until we meet again in a better place where there will be no tears or sorrow.

  • Police_mia_weapons_zastavki_com_22517_19_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Very sad...RIP...

  • Image_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest in peace Sheriff DiPaola. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Very tragic and a very hard situation to come to terms with.

  • Avatar_max160_max160_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Suicide? Selfish and unforgivable.

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