March 18, 2010

Man charged in grisly killings


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Nancy White, proprietor of the Sudbury Inn where Nielsen worked as a cook, was stunned to hear about the allegations.

''He was a reliable employee, a competent cook and a soft- spoken individual,'' she said. ''I'm shocked and stunned and appalled. It's horrible.''

Hoffman, Nielsen's attorney, said he had not discussed the details of the case with Nielsen and knew little about the man. Hoffman is working on the case with Margot Joly, a former prosecutor in Androscoggin County who was retained by Nielsen's father.

Little is known about Whitehurst, the man whose killing set off the violent spree on Friday. Police said his last known address is Batesville, Ark., and that he had come to Maine on ''family business.'' They did not know what relationship he had with Nielsen.

Julie and Selby Bullard had lived in San Francisco, where the mother ran the Church Street Bed and Breakfast. They moved to Maine to buy the Black Bear about two years ago, friends said. The Black Bear has had a ''for sale'' sign out front since February. Bullard had cut back on her business and began renting rooms.

Selby Bullard began selling real estate in Bethel a year ago and met Beatson, who was also a new broker at Apple Tree Realty, run by Bonita Sessions. The two women were best friends and did a lot together, she said.

On Monday, Bullard became concerned when she couldn't reach her mother by cell phone. She drove to Newry with Beatson, Sessions said.

The four-victim homicide is believed to be Maine's deadliest crime since December 1992, when four people were killed in an apartment fire in Portland, set by Virgil Smith.

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