PRECINCT 444 Podcast

A Podcast of The National Law Enforcement Museum

Law & Disorder | A Conversation About “A Fallen Star”


Law and Disorder features true crime stories, investigative techniques, forensics, and the people responsible for solving difficult crimes. On this special episode, Anna Muckenfuss sits down with Lori-Suzanne Dell, the author of “A Fallen Star”, and Sheriff Kevin Joyce, of the Cumberland County (ME) Sheriff’s Office, to discuss the case of Deputy Ebenezer Parker.

Deputy Parker served with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in the early 19th century and performed many of the same duties that sheriffs do today. On the evening of January 11, 1808, Deputy Parker was tasked with enforcing an outstanding debt to a person who publicly refused to go quietly. As a result of doing his duty, he was brutally assaulted and remained in a coma for a week before succumbing to his injuries on January 18th.

From “A Fallen Star”:
“On April 25th of 2002, Maine Department of Public Safety Deputy Commissioner John Rogers wrote a memorandum to then Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion requesting that his department locate the graves of any of the department’s fallen officers for recognition in the Maine Law Enforcement Memorial annual remembrance, as required by Maine law. This seemingly simple request unwittingly sparked a nearly two-decades-long search for the final resting place of Maine’s first fallen law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, Cumberland County Deputy Sheriff Ebenezer Parker.”

The significance of this case is that Deputy Parker is known to be the first officer to die in the line of duty in the New England area, yet his final resting place has not been determined. In addition to telling his life story and family genealogy, Lori-Suzanne and Sheriff Joyce discuss the difficulties of this 200-year-old case and all the nuances involved.

We hope in addition to listening to the results of all their hard work, that you’ll consider purchasing “A Fallen Star” to learn even more about all the fascinating results Lori-Suzanne discovered over many years of research.

“A Fallen Star” by Lori-Suzanne Dell is available for purchase at most major bookstores and online retailers.

An update from Sheriff Joyce:

“Last fall we received information that in the area described by Lori-Suzanne Dell as the “lost Parker lot” of the cemetery, there is indication of items that resemble buried headstones about 6 inches underground. In fact, there are several pieces of artifact, which yield credibility to the fact that Lori-Suzanne Dell could not account for 9 members of the Parker family for that era.

I am now working with a retired Maine Game Warden, who is now an archaeologist, to possibly probe and excavate the potential headstones in hopes of finding the inscription of Ebenezers name and date of birth on the stones. We hope to do that in early spring. That will give us 100% certainty of Deputy Parker being buried in the cemetery. If we don’t find an inscribed headstone in that area, then we will be back to not being 100% sure of the area being Ebenezer’s gravesite.”

Stay tuned for a follow-up of this episode, as Sheriff Joyce awaits the results of ground penetrating radar in spring 2024!

  • Lori-Suzanne Dell, Historian and Author, “A Fallen Star”
  • Sheriff Kevin Joyce, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office