I spent last weekend, including Thanksgiving, in Wells, Maine. You can just image my shock when told that Sheriff Jim DiPaola committed suicide in Wells Friday night. When I heard the news I immediately checked the Internet and discovered DiPaola spent his last moments in Lafayette’s Ledgeview Ocean Resort. The Ledgeview is less than 100 hundred yards from where I was staying in Wells last weekend.
Friday night around 4:00PM I took my grand-daughter for a walk on the beach and as we walked by the Ledgeview I remarked to her how the hotel looked a little empty for a Thanksgiving weekend. Little did I know that Sheriff Jim DiPaola would be checking in that very hotel within the next hour with the purpose of ending his life.
Right now, no one knows how or why DiPaola picked Wells or the Ledgeview to kill himself. When I first heard police found DiPaola dead in Wells, I assumed he was in one of the big hotels on Route One. I would expect that…but to me the Ledgeview was an unusual choice. The Ledgeview is located at the end of Mile Road in Wells. There is a small public parking lot that sits between the resort and the Atlantic. The rooms offer fabulous views of the ocean. But in my opinion you don’t stumble on the Ledgeview…rather, you intentionally “go” there.
So I keep thinking…why did Jim DiPaola select Wells, Maine, and especially the Ledgeview Resort as the place to end his life. We’ll probably never know the answer to this question, but my mind will ask it over and over.
I met Jim DiPaola many times, mostly during my days as Producer for Paul Sullivan’s radio show, Morning Magazine on WLLH. Despite his recent “retirement scheme”, which appalled me, I always liked him. I go to Wells often and I walk by the Ledgeview Resort often…but now I’ll never go by it again without thinking of Jim DiPaola and what a tragic waste.