Nine years ago, a judge said Albert Flick was too old to be dangerous. He was then in his late 60s and had served more than 25 years in prison for violent crimes against women.
“At some point Mr. Flick is going to age out of his capacity to engage in this conduct,” Maine Superior Court Justice Robert E. Crowley stated at the time, according to the Portland Press Herald.
But on Wednesday, the now 77-year-old was convicted of stabbing a woman in front of her twin sons 11 times in broad daylight.
This was not his first murder — the first occurred 40 years ago, after Flick’s wife served him with divorce papers.
The First Murder
Flick was an Army Veteran who had spent 19 years working at the same doughnut shop in Westbrook, Maine.
In January 1979, his wife, 35-year-old Sandra Flick, served him with divorce papers and asked police to escort him from their apartment. Three weeks later, on January 31, 1979, she asked him to come and pick up his belongings, News Center Maine reports.
Sandra’s 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship was hiding in the back bedroom. Through a crack in the door, the girl watched Flick bend her mother’s arm behind her back and push her into a chair while saying he loved her and didn’t want to hurt her.
After hearing her mother scream, the girl ran downstairs and asked a neighbor to call the police. The neighbor passed Flick in the stairs, covered in blood.
Inside the apartment, Sandra Flick had been stabbed 14 times. She lived just long enough to tell the neighbor her husband did it. Police found Flick’s 3 ½ inch jackknife in the living room.
Conviction and Early Release
Flick, then 36, was convicted of his wife’s 1979 murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison. At the time of sentencing, his family testified that he was a good man, but had grown up in “an atmosphere of violence,” the Press Herald reported.
Flick was released nine years early for good behavior, according to WCSH.
After serving time for killing his wife, Flick continued assaulting women — he’d entered a pattern of committing violent attacks, returning to prison, and getting released again.
In 2007, Flick was arrested after punching a woman he was dating and stabbing her with a fork, the New York Times reports.
Three years later, in 2010, a woman told authorities she and Flick argued, he put her in a headlock and repeatedly hit her with the butt of his knife, then chased her with a screwdriver before she escaped, the Washington Post reports. Police found Flick trying to hang himself on a fire escape.
“I think there’s a huge safety risk to women and society when it comes to Mr. Flick,” prosecutor Katherine Tierney said, the Press Herald reported.
Trailing His Next Victim
In 2014, Flick ran into the woman he had last assaulted and told her, “you’ll get yours.” He pled guilty to violating his probation and was sent back to prison until 2016, the Washington Post reports.
After being released, he moved to Lewiston, Maine, where he lived with his nephew, the New York Times reported.
That’s where he met 48-year-old Kimberly Dobbie at the library. Dobbie and her boys lived at a shelter, but were about to move into their own apartment. Flick, the New York Times reports, offered to buy her sons nutritious meals.
Soon, he was regularly seen following Dobbie around, from the bus stop to the library.
Two days before Dobbie died, he went to Wal-Mart and bought two pink-handled paring knives for $2.24 each, The Press Herald reports.
The Second Murder
The morning of July 15, 2018, Flick trailed Dobbie and her kids from Dunkin Donuts to the laundromat, the Press Herald reports. Dobbie had just put a load of laundry in when she stepped outside to make a phone call. She was sitting on the steps talking on her cell phone while her boys played on the sidewalk, when Flick stabbed her at least 11 times.
Dennis Fisher, who was in town on business and happened to be in the laundromat, heard Dobbie scream. He ran outside and drop-kicked Flick, holding the elderly man to the ground with his foot until police arrived.
“She had a terrified look on her face,” Fisher testified at Flick’s trial, the Press Herald reports.
Another witness, Eric Drake, said he ran to Dobbie when he heard her scream.
“It was really bad,” Drake testified, the Press Herald reports. “She was bleeding everywhere.” He held her and called 911.
The jury deliberated for only 40 minutes before convicting Flick of Dobbie’s murder, the Sun Journal reported. He is expected to spend the remainder of his life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for August 9. Flick faces 25 years.
“I firmly believe this could have been prevented,” Elsie Clement, the daughter of Sandra Flick, told the Press Herald. “There is no reason this man should have been on the streets.”