Ever since the relationship collapsed on a warm Friday night last summer, Norman J. Strobel seemed interested in a single goal – finding and hurting the woman who spurned him.

With only a small bag of clothes and a determination to never return, Sandra Goulet walked away from her home on State Park Road in Casco on July 1, and out of her relationship with Strobel, a chronic alcoholic.

But instead of sealing off a terrifying chapter of her life, the breakup was the beginning of months filled with threats of violence.

Through the summer and fall, Strobel, 59, repeatedly violated a court order to stop contacting and abusing Goulet, 64. Whenever he was not in jail, he relentlessly searched her out. Despite being a convicted felon, she knew he had bought a handgun. And when Goulet asked him to stop threatening to shoot her or burn her alive in their home, he responded that it was not idle talk. They were promises.

“My nerves are shot, I feel like I’m walking on eggshells, waiting for a bomb to explode,” Goulet wrote in a letter included in a court file in September, before Strobel was to be released from a stint in jail. “I can no longer live in this type of situation. I will either have some type of medical event or he will carry out his ‘promises.’ ”

This weekend, in a flurry of violence that authorities are working to untangle, Goulet’s prediction proved true when Strobel shot and killed one man and seriously wounded another in an apparent attempt to find her. Although police have said little about the circumstances that led to the shootings, court records and interviews show a startling escalation of violence by a man who seemed bent on doing his ex-girlfriend harm.



Norman Strobel

Norman Strobel

Late Saturday night, exactly one week after he was released from Cumberland County Jail for violating his probation, Strobel and an accomplice went to Goulet’s cottage on Winifred Lane in Casco shortly before 11 p.m., police say.

One of the men pounded on the door, pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy, WCSH-TV reported.

But instead of Goulet, Strobel found Goulet’s daughter, Alyssa, 28, and her boyfriend, Jason Almeida, 32, inside.

When the couple from Middletown, Rhode Island, looked out from the cottage window to see who it was, Strobel opened fire, hitting Almeida with four rounds. Almeida was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he underwent surgery. On Monday, Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Almeida was in critical condition.

“(Goulet) believed he was looking for her,” said Duncan Fowler, 29, a neighbor and friend of Sandra Goulet’s from State Park Road who said he spoke with her Monday. “She called me (Saturday night) and said, ‘Keep your doors locked and your shades down, because he just shot at my daughter.’ ”


After leaving the scene, Strobel called his ex, who was with a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy, police said. Strobel already had stolen her two beloved dogs after being released, and Goulet had remained in close contact with officers since the summer when the abuse and stalking escalated.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce addresses the media about shootings in Casco and Naples.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce addresses the media about shootings in Casco and Naples. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

In that last conversation, Strobel admitted to the Winifred Lane shooting, Joyce said.

Sheriff’s deputies used Strobel’s cellphone to track his location, police said, and at 4 a.m. Sunday, six deputies went to a mobile home on Songo School Road in Naples where they believed Strobel was staying. As the deputies approached the home, inside they could see a man seated in a chair with blood on his face.

When the officers entered, Strobel confronted them, shooting. Sgt. Andrew Feeney and Deputy Derek Brill fired back, killing Strobel, Joyce said. They found a Glock handgun by his side. Both officers are on paid leave pending an investigation, which is standard protocol in police-involved shootings.


Police later determined that the bloodied man was the homeowner, Richard Diekema, 55, who was dead when they arrived. Diekema had allowed Strobel to stay with him.


Investigators suspect that Diekema also was involved in the Casco shooting, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. The vehicle used to flee the scene was a red pickup truck, the same type of vehicle owned by Diekema, and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the crimes.

“One man apparently drove the vehicle, the other man did the shooting,” McCausland said Sunday night. “What we don’t know at this point is if he was forced to go there or went willingly. We may never have that answer.”

The relationship between Goulet and Strobel reached a breaking point this summer when Strobel’s drinking increased dramatically, and with it, his penchant for erratic, violent behavior.

In the letter dated Sept. 9, Goulet, a home care nurse, said she came home that Friday in July to find Strobel already drunk.

“He was intoxicated and followed me into the bathroom,” Goulet wrote. “He made a few sexual demands to me and said, ‘Well, you are my wife.’ I stated, ‘NO, Norm, I am not your wife.”

Strobel erupted in anger and threatened her. Goulet remained silent, she wrote, because “the look on his face told me not to utter a word.”


He threatened to duct tape her hands and feet, set the house on fire and shoot himself, she wrote.

Four days later, Goulet was granted a temporary protection from abuse order, forbidding Strobel from having any contact with her. He also was ordered to surrender any firearms, but according to Goulet’s letter, the 9 mm handgun that he bought privately two years before was hidden somewhere on the property, and Strobel lied about it when she asked if he still had it.

The first shooting happened at this house on Winifred Lane in Casco. Photo courtesy of WCSH

The first shooting happened at this house on Winifred Lane in Casco. Photo courtesy of WCSH


Although Goulet noted that he owned a gun in her original application for the protection order, it was unknown Monday whether sheriff’s deputies ever confiscated a firearm from Strobel. It was illegal for him to possess one because of convictions in Rhode Island between 1985 and 2001 for assault, sexual assault and attempted breaking and entering. Goulet also wrote that Strobel was jailed in Rhode Island in 2001 and 2002 for domestic abuse.

In the six months leading up to their breakup, Strobel made a near-daily habit of threatening to shoot her, Goulet’s letter to the judge said.

His ability to consume vodka also increased, she wrote. He could regularly finish half of a 1.75-liter bottle, but had increased to two-thirds or three-quarters of a bottle on some occasions. Since January 2013, Strobel had been admitted to the Maine Medical Center Emergency Department three times for alcoholic ketoacidosis, a metabolic disorder caused by consuming large amounts of alcohol without eating, she wrote.


Despite the granting of the temporary protection from abuse order July 5, Goulet wrote that Strobel contacted her five times before they were both due to appear in court July 20.

And on the morning of their court date, instead of turning up before a judge, Strobel went to Goulet’s door.

Police found him there, intoxicated, and arrested him for violating the order. He eventually served five days in jail for it. But every time he was set free, Strobel kept going back home, kept looking for Goulet.

Neighbors reported that he next showed up July 28, when she was at work. Strobel, who was on probation and ordered to stay away from the State Park Road home, was again picked up by police. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced Sept. 9 to 120 days in jail, with all but 40 days suspended.


It is unclear whether at the date of his pleading Strobel already had served the time and was released; the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office provided only a partial time line of his incarceration.


What is known is that Strobel was free again in September, but not for long. On Sept. 16 he was arrested on a temporary warrant of protection from abuse, and for a probation hold, which means the court had reason to believe he had violated his probation, the sheriff’s office said.

On Sept. 19, Strobel pleaded guilty to both. He was sentenced to serve the remaining 80 days of his 120-day sentence, and received a suspended 364-day sentence for violating the protection order, the sheriff’s office said.

Strobel was released 60 days later, after receiving reductions in his sentence for work and good behavior, and after serving an extra day for an unresolved criminal trespassing charge.

He walked out of the Cumberland County Jail on Nov. 19 as a free man.

Seven days and four hours later, he was dead.

Staff writers Noel Gallagher and Kate McCormick contributed to this report.

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