Joel Bill Caulk

Questions re. Caulk:
"Caulk was arrested by North Carolina's authorities about nine months later in Atlantic Beach on an unrelated fugitive warrant issued by New Hampshire." 

a) Where in NH did Caulk live and who did he kidnap?  
 





  State v. Caulk

543 A.2d 1366 (1988)
STATE of Maine v. Joel B. CAULK a/k/a William John Meskis.
Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.
Argued March 17, 1988.
Decided May 20, 1988.


Joel B. Caulk a/k/a William John Meskis (Caulk) appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court, York County, entered on the jury's verdict finding him guilty of murder...We affirm the judgment.

The jury would have been warranted in finding, inter alia, the following facts. Mrs. Nikki Cleveland had been murdered on July 13, 1981. She was a part-time real estate agent. Prior to July 13, 1981 she had listed for sale a secluded camp in North Yarmouth off Sligo Road. Mrs. Cleveland advertised the listed property in several local papers, giving her name and home and office telephone numbers.

During the Fourth of July weekend in 1981 Mrs. Cleveland's husband received a call at their home about the property from a person identifying himself as "a writer ... just passing through town," and who refused to give his name. On the morning of July 12 while Mrs. Cleveland was out, Mr. Cleveland received a call from a male who stated he had called the previous week about the property and asking for Mrs. Cleveland. Again he refused to give his name. Also on that morning, an unidentified man called Mrs. Cleveland's office about the listed property. Several hours later Mrs. Cleveland was at home when she received a telephone call and made an appointment to show the property at 1:30 on Monday the 13th. According to the telephone company records, toll calls were made on the morning of July 12 to Mrs. Cleveland's residence and to her office from the East Boothbay residence of Caulk, where he lived alone.

To reach the listed property one must walk or drive along a dirt road across the property of Gay Hoyt. Mrs. Hoyt had erected a gate across the road to prevent the road from becoming a public right of way, and both Hoyt and the owner of the listed property typically kept the gate closed. Hoyt was in the habit of checking to make sure only "authorized" people went down the road.

On Monday, the 13th, Mrs. Hoyt was talking on the telephone when she heard her dogs barking, but she did not investigate the cause. Approximately one hour later, at 1:30 p.m., she again heard the dogs barking and, though still on the telephone, walked over to the window of her kitchen to see a woman in a blue rain slicker, later identified as Mrs. Cleveland, walking down the dirt road toward the camp. Hoyt then went outside to request identification from the woman, but decided not to follow her down to the listed property because the road was too muddy. She was startled that the woman had chosen to walk down the road because, atypically, the gate was already open and she saw a gray car parked by the gate. Mrs. Cleveland was wearing a blue rain slicker on that day and *1368 driving a gray Peugeot station wagon that was found parked by the gate of the driveway to the Sligo Road property.

After "a very long time compared to all of the other people that had come down to look at the cottage," Mrs. Hoyt heard the dogs barking again, and she was determined this time to request identification. Instead of seeing a woman in a blue rain slicker walking up the road, Hoyt was surprised to see a blue-green car being driven quickly up the road. She ran outside, yelling for the driver to stop. He did not. The sole occupant seen by her in the car was a male driver, who turned toward her, waved and smiled.

Hoyt later helped police prepare a composite sketch of the driver, describing him as in his late twenties or early thirties with a full mustache, no glasses and prominent white teeth; she could not remember hair color. Hoyt could not, however, positively identify Caulk from a photo array. In 1981 Caulk was living in Boothbay Harbor under the name of William John Meskis. He worked at a boatyard in East Boothbay Harbor from May of 1981 to June 1982. He drove a blue-green Ford Maverick. He was then 34 and had a mustache and did not wear glasses. On Monday, the day of the murder, he left work at 11:30 a.m. and did not return to work until Thursday, the 16th. He offered no explanation to his employer for his absence.

On Monday, July 30, Mrs. Cleveland's body was found in South Berwick. She had been bound, gagged, and shot twice in the head. The State Deputy Medical Examiner testified that Mrs. Cleveland could have been dead for approximately two and one-half weeks and the cause of death was the gunshot wounds. The spent bullet and other bullet fragments recovered from the body were identified as being fired from a revolver stolen by Caulk while in California prior to 1981. On August 8, 1986, an indictment was returned against Caulk charging him with "intentionally and knowingly causing the death of Nikki Cleveland" on or about July 13, 1981. From a judgment entered on the jury's finding of his guilt, Caulk appeals.

Caulk a/k/a William John Meskis apparently stole the identity of a young child who had died:

 Mass. inmate charged after DNA reverses 1980s verdict    Associated Press  |  August 18, 2005


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- 
Prosecutors have charged a Massachusetts prison inmate in a 1981 rape case that led to the wrongful imprisonment of another man for more than two decades. Joel Bill Caulk, 58, was indicted Tuesday in North Carolina on charges of rape, sexual offense, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Caulk is serving time in the maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., for rape and robbery, and also has been convicted of violent crimes in Maine, New Hampshire, and California.

The announcement of his indictment came on the same day North Carolina Governor Mike Easley formally pardoned Leo Waters, who was cleared of the crime by a DNA test in 2003. The charges against Waters were dismissed more than a year ago, after he had served 21 years in prison.

Waters had been convicted in a March 31, 1981, attack on a Jacksonville woman. The rapist answered the victim's classified ad to sell a water bed, then tied her up and raped her.

Caulk was arrested by North Carolina's authorities about nine months later in Atlantic Beach on an unrelated fugitive warrant issued by New Hampshire.

DNA testing wasn't available at the time of Waters's conviction, when authorities determined that his blood type matched that of the rapist, and the victim identified him as her attacker. He was given two consecutive life sentences.

But in January 2003, a DNA screening of Waters's blood found that it did not match swab samples taken from the victim or semen stains on a bedspread at the crime scene. The DNA then was compared with samples in a national registry and matched Caulk's, investigators said.

Caulk's criminal record dates to 1970, when he was convicted in three sexual assaults in San Diego. He was known in California as the ''want-ad rapist" for choosing victims through newspaper ads.

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