Friday, February 16, 2007

Connecticut, the new butt of jokes, replacing West Virginia?

Tortured tale continues
By: Alex Wood, Journal Inquirer
02/09/2007

State police are investigating the disappearance last fall of a man named Mark Johnson, who was living in a Tolland home at the time, Lt. Alaric J. Fox, the commander of the Troop C barracks in Tolland, says.

"We do have a missing-person case about Mark Johnson," Fox said Friday. "It's an active, ongoing investigation."

The lieutenant said Johnson was living with Donna Lee Maheu, who has been in the news several times in recent years.

In a long telephone interview Friday afternoon, Maheu, 49, who lives at 31 Cider Mill Road in Tolland, maintained vigorously that Johnson, 42, is alive. She said he has been in touch with her six to eight times since his disappearance, which she said was in early November.

Before Christmas, she said, Johnson called a radio station and had it play her favorite song, "You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker.

She suggested that Johnson is probably out of state, saying he may believe that he will face three years in prison if he returns.

Maheu explained that Johnson was arrested in July or August 2004 on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia - and subsequently was charged with skipping three required court appearances in that case. She said he was put on some form of probation in February 2006 in New London Superior Court, although he didn't have to report to a probation officer, and that he may not have complied with the probation conditions.

Maheu said she and Johnson were married in August in Brattleboro, Vt.

No divorce

Vernon Superior Court records show that her previous husband, William R. Senk, sued her for divorce in November and that she filed an answer and cross complaint last month. The records don't show that a judge has granted the divorce.

Asked about the apparent overlap of the two marriages, Maheu said Senk's father had told her that Senk had divorced her in Reno, Nev. She said she never saw any paperwork on that divorce.

"I ran out and married Mark because we wanted to be a family," she said.

It wasn't the first time that Maheu had faced suggestions that she was married to two men at the same time.

She was charged with bigamy in 2003 based on the accusation that she had married Senk before completing her divorce from her previous husband, Timothy Maheu.

But that charge was ultimately dropped on grounds that the marriage between Donna Lee and Timothy Maheu had never been legal.

The reason, Timothy Maheu said at the time, was that he was the one who had committed bigamy, having married Donna Lee in 1992 while he was still married to a woman he had met in Panama.

Despite never having been legally married, Donna Lee Maheu said, she and Timothy Maheu completed the divorce procedure because they had three children together. She said she and Senk subsequently were married a second time, on Feb. 7, 2003, also in Brattleboro, Vt.

She had first married Senk in Virginia on July 1, 2002.
4 out-of-state marriages

Donna Lee Maheu has thus gone out of state to be married at least three times, twice to Senk and once to Johnson.
Asked why she does that, she replied, "Because you can walk in and walk out in 10 minutes and it costs $35." She added that the trips double as vacations.

For at least some time while the Maheu divorce and the bigamy case were in progress, Donna Lee, William Senk, and Timothy Maheu all shared the house at 31 Cider Mill Road in Tolland. She has explained that living arrangement on the basis of various health problems the three of them had, saying they all took care of each other.

Timothy Maheu died in November 2005. Donna Lee said he had serious heart problems.

Donna Lee Maheu was back in the news this week when Bethany lawyer Norman A. Pattis accused her of fabricating a story that he was having a sexual affair with New London Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy, who was presiding over one of Pattis' cases.

Pattis and Handy publicly denied the existence of such a relationship.

But, in the interview Friday, Maheu denied that she had ever told anyone that such a relationship existed. "I didn't say it, imply it, or nothing," she said.

She said Handy strikes her as an honest woman and praised Pattis as "a class-act genius."

Pattis' client in the court case is Curt Rivard Jr., 17, the son of an ex-wife of Mark Johnson's. Rivard is charged with arson in connection with a fire at the old Jewett City Town Hall in Griswold.

Maternal role

In the interview Friday, Maheu repeatedly stressed her dedication to Rivard, for whom she indicates she has taken on a maternal role.

She said she and Johnson were instrumental in persuading a probate judge to allocate $60,000 to hire Pattis from about $160,000 that was being held in trust for Rivard. She suggested that certain members of Rivard's family may oppose that move because they have designs on the money.
Maheu has been in the news at least three times before, including the bigamy case.

In the summer of 2000, she said she had been denied cancer treatment and received widespread sympathy and support during a fundraising campaign.

Questions were subsequently raised about whether she had had cancer, but she continues to maintain that she had at least a pre-cancerous condition. During the controversy, she said her money-raising efforts weren't designed principally for her own treatment but to start a health advice service for women.

In January 2006, Maheu was charged with first-degree larceny and making a false statement based on the accusation that she had claimed more than $6,400 in federal Supplemental Security Income payments to which she wasn't entitled. That case is pending in Vernon Superior Court.

This story includes New London Day reporting.


©Journal Inquirer 2007

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This women needs to be put in jail for all the time she tied up the courts time. And then she gets a slap on the wrist. What is going on with our courts. This people need more punishment.

Mon Jun 08, 12:25:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this woman still victimizes people and the fact that she married an ex state cop,john garrity, is why she gets away with murder!It's all in who you know

Thu Jan 20, 01:04:00 PM 2011  

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