Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Houseguest: Man told how he would kill wife
By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A former houseguest said William Major told him two decades ago how he would kill his wife if she tried to leave him.
Former friend Glenn St. Hilaire, who works at a Florence factory, said he was relieved to hear that Mr. Major, a former Boone County resident, was arrested in Massachusetts on charges he murdered his wife, Helen Marleen Major, in 1980.
He (Mr. Major) had said ... on many occasions that he would kill his wife if she ever tried to leave, Mr. St. Hilaire, 49, of Dry Ridge said in an interview. He said if his old lady ever left, he would shoot her, knock her teeth out and cut off her head.
What is believed to be her skull was found in Boone County, not far from the couple's trailer, more than 13 months after her disappearance. The skull had been shot several times and the teeth and jaw were missing, according to authorities at the time.
Mr. Major, 57, formerly of Verona, was arrested Monday at his Fairhaven, Mass., home.
He was released early from a prison in Rhode Island in 1996, after serving most of a 15-year sentence for two counts of first-degree sexual assault.
Mr. Major suffered a stroke in prison and appeared in court in New Bedford, Mass., in a wheelchair.
In connection with his wife's death, Mr. Major is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
He is being held without bond in the Bristol County jail in Dartmouth, Mass.
His next court appearence is Friday before Bristol County District Judge David Turncotte, when Mr. Major must decide if he will fight extradition to Kentucky.
Lt. Jack Banks of the Boone County Criminal Investigations unit said on Tuesday that police had nothing new to add. Results of DNA tests on the skull found in Boone County are expected this week.
Mrs. Major was last seen in October 1980 at the family trailer on Warehouse Road in Verona near the intersection of Ky. 16 and Ky. 14.
Mr. Major told police his former wife left after an argument over a car they had purchased that day. Mr. St. Hilaire was the first person to report Mrs. Major's disappearence.
Mr. St. Hilaire, a native French Canadian, said he befriended Mr. Major after meeting him on the side of the road. Mr. Major fixed Mr. St. Hilaire's van when it blew a head gasket while pulling a trailer to Texas. Mr. St. Hilaire never made it Texas, instead moving in with the Major family.
The couple was fighting the day Mrs. Major disappeared, Mr. St. Hilaire said, and he left to have a cup of coffee at a restaurant. When he returned, the couple was gone, along with their children. Mr. Major eventually returned with his children and said his wife had left him, Mr. St. Hilaire said.
A week after the disappearence, Mr. Major dropped everything and left the state with the children. He put what he could fit in the truck and left, Mr. St. Hilaire said.
Mr. St. Hilaire said a daughter's persistence to have the killer of her mother brought to justice and dogged police work had spurred the investigation. He said Mrs. Major's daughter, now grown and living in Western Kentucky, pressed police to have DNA tests done on the skull and pursue leads.
Authorities said Tuesday the same daughter relayed to police an alleged confession to the murder by her father.
John Daugherty of The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass., contributed.
Alliance looks to doctors for savings
New data lift spirits of school officials
CPS could rise in state categories
Key measure of city's stability is lagging
Restaurants to stay open for fests
Community searches for new direction
Luken may get GOP foe after all
Artists paint the town red
Safety plan formed for road where youths died
Article focuses on local growth
Bank robber held door for customer
2000 census undercounted gays, advocacy groups contend
Court hears expansion foes
Covington agrees on site for jai
Death of boy stumps authorities
Farmers market joins Dry Ridge outlet stores
Ford gives Ali $5 million
Highlands Middle School panel OKs dress code
Houseguest: Man told how he would kill wife
Human services director resigns
Man accused in fatal beating of girlfriend
Man gets 16 years for spraying acid on 4 people during argument
Mason hires contractors for new municipal center
Mound project transfer questioned
Opposition voiced to YMCA in park
Oxy makers sued for woman's death
Panel votes not to require offering uninsured motorist coverage
Senate looks to restore funding vetoed by Taft
Stamps revisit baseball's classic fields
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report