April 2, 2013

Fugitive rapist returns to Mass. as 'surreal' story starts next chapter

Police recall being upset when Gary Irving disappeared, only to spend 34 years hiding in plain sight in Gorham.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Gary Irving, convicted rapist, leaves the Cumberland County Courthouse to get on the bus to head back to jail after his extradition hearing Monday morning.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Massachusetts State Troopers lead convicted rapist Gary Irving into the Norfolk District Courthouse in Dedham on Monday for his first court appearance in Massachusetts since his capture last week in Gorham, Maine.

Massachusetts State Police photo

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At the time Irving disappeared and settled into a new life in Maine, "it was pre-computer and all of that stuff," said Gorham Police Chief Ron Shepard.

"It's just one of those things," he said. "If you move into the community and you lay low, it's not that difficult, I guess."

By the time police found him, Irving was a mild-mannered grandfather who was baking a cake and watching TV when police arrived at his home at 151 South St.

"The person who lived in Gorham, Maine, that most people knew, he's loved by his family, loved by his friends," said his attorney Christopher Leddy. "He didn't live the life one might expect if the Massachusetts convictions are accurate. That would be a very strange thing both psychologically and sociologically."

Even Leddy seemed surprised that Irving had managed to avoid detection. 

"He wasn't a master sleuth," Leddy said. Irving had a job and paid taxes, and even sat for jury duty, although he wasn't chosen.

Irving's main concern in the past few days has been for his family, Leddy said. They had no idea about Irving's past and are still trying to cope, he said.

"I think you can only imagine the person they thought of as husband and father for 30-plus years is somebody else, and people have a completely different version ... it's surreal," Leddy said.

In Maine, Irving was a typical father, attending Gorham High School football games when his son played. He did the same job for a private telephone company for 20 years. He now has a 3-year-old granddaughter.

"She misses her grandfather very much," Leddy said. "I say those things with all due respect to what happened in Massachusetts. You have to understand, the story that is Maine's has to do with Gregg Irving."

Irving's wife and children attended Monday's hearing but have declined comment. They put up a no-trespassing sign in the front yard of their home.

A man who answered the telephone at National Telephone & Technology said nobody there would speak about Irving. 

Maine State Police Trooper Jeremy Forbes arrested Irving on Wednesday night. 

"He still denied he was Gary Irving. He said he was Gregory," said Forbes. "He actually made a statement in the police car that he had lived a carefree life and wanted to know how they found him at this point."

Maine State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will work to determine where the guns came from, Forbes said, and determine who modified the shotguns. The 10 weapons included the two modified shotguns and a handgun. 

Forbes said troopers also plan to begin working to develop a timeline of Irving's movements for the past 34 years.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


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Gary Irving will return to Massachusetts where he will face up to life in prison on three rape convictions and could face new charges of fleeing while out on bail.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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The Gorham house where Gary Alan Irving was arrested last week.



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