Man Who Killed Wife and Three Children in Joliet Dies in Prison

A man convicted of murdering his wife and three children 53 years ago in Joliet has died in a Maine Prison while serving a life sentence for another murder. Albert P. Cochran, 79, died Tuesday of natural causes at a hospital near a Maine State Prison. In 1964 Cochran strangled his 19 year old wife in their Campbell St. apartment before stabbing his three children, aged 3-years, 2-years, and 10-months old, to death. Cochran pleaded guilty to his wife’s murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison. He was released on parole after serving 12-years of his term and was allowed to live with his parents in Maine. Five months after Cochran’s release, the body of a 30-year old female nurse, Janet Baxter, was found in the trunk of a car in Norridgewock, Maine. Nearly three weeks after that, Cochran’s girlfriend Pauline Rourke went missing from a trailer in Fairfield, Maine, where she and her young daughter were living with Cochran. Cochran was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1999.

Editor’s Note: Cal Placher Contributed to this Story


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