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Small Town, Unheard Mystery: Lorne J. Acquin Murder

Fond of our favorite Netflix true crime specials? Did you ever think one of them would be close to home? Before the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Prospect held the violent title: Biggest Mass Murder in CT. A calm summer night turned into a burning crime scene with nine casualties. Headlines peaked within The New York Times and The Hartford Courant after the case was taken to court. Some wish to forget the twisted small town tale, other’s flourish in the unknown history of Prospect, CT; however, one was ready to revisit it.

On a warm July evening of 1977, a mother was preparing her seven children and her niece for bed in her home on One Cedar Hill Drive. As what seemed like a normal night, an unexpected dispatch was sent to Prospect Police at 4:15 a.m. July 22nd. Bill McCaseland, was the responding officer to the scene that fatal night.

“The first thought that came to mind was that the dispatch call was a fatal house fire,” McCaseland explained. “Upon investigation, that’s when we found the stab wounds on the victims, telling us that this wasn’t anything close to an accidental house fire.”

A troublemaker in the neighborhood, Lorne J. Acquin was known to many in the town. Acquin was later interrogated and arrested for the murder of his foster brother’s wife and their seven children and niece.

“Before I started on the force, I worked over in Cheshire. I knew of Acquin because he would stroll through the town and take tires off of cars,” said McCaseland.

When detectives started to investigate the scene, they found no signs of struggle of the mother, devastatingly murdered in her sleep, with no ability to protect her children and family. Acquin was very familiar with this household, living there for a few years, Acquin knew all the entrances and exits to execute this dreadful crime.

The investigation uncovered that Acquin found a tire iron and a wrench on the scene and then used them as part of his crime. The gasoline used to set the scene on fire was also found on the property of its origin in the garage. The most devastating part of this all, is the children who were unarmed, unprotected, and unsafe from a simple sleepover.

“The moment we started the interrogation with detectives and lawyers, Acquin admitted to the murders. He was sent away for fifty years,” mentioned McCaseland.

Originally born in Canada in 1950, Acquin passed away in 2015 due to a brain bleed, most likely caused by conflict in prison. Acquin was 65 years old when he died at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut. He only served 38 years of his sentence.

The peace in Prospect has stood still since that fatal night at One Cedar Hill Drive, and will forever hold that terrible piece of history.

Maddy Harte

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