Collections of Maine Historical Society. Order a copy at, item #103776.

James B. Morrill, age 10, appeared on the cover of the Portland Evening Express on June 15, 1935. James’s father, Herbert Morrill, was missing for approximately a week before he was found in the basement of the family home in West Falmouth, in an improvised grave.

Mary E. Morrill, the 53-year-old wife of the victim, was arrested on the charge of murdering her husband. James admitted to police that his mother had told him that she killed his father with an ax, and told them where the body could be found.

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, The Forecaster is featuring historical highlights and artifacts from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.