Dawn Carol Leighton RDH
34 Years Old

August 25, 1963 - May 1, 1998

Our Daughter, Dawn Carol Leighton, born to John E. and Helen G. Leighton on August 25th, 1963. She also has a younger sister Julie and a younger brother John Jr. Dawn was a very energetic, upbeat person, and always willing to lend a hand when needed. She always thought of others before herself. She was a true giver of love and life. The heavens above are blessed with her presents now.

Dawn was the first born of our three children. She always had a special sparkle in her eyes and a beautiful smile. Very early in life, Dawn had a special place in her heart for the love of animals. It started with hamsters and rabbits and expanded to goats and horses. She was the type of person that would do anything to help any kind of animal in distress, or just spend time with them. Animals of all sizes had a special place with Dawn.

Her most beloved were her two Dalmatians, Abby and Murphy. Abby became a champion show dog and after Dawn retired her, Abby blessed the whole family with nine beautiful puppies. Out of the nine, Dawn kept one, naming him Murphy and gave her parents one who was named Katie. Abby and Murphy went everywhere with Dawn. She had birthday parties for them and even took them to work with her when she could. She loved her dogs like they were her children, and to her, they were!

Dawn Graduated from Scarboro High School in 1981. She went on to attend Westbrook College and graduated, class of 1983 with a degree in Dental Hygiene. After college Dawn worked full-time in the field of Dentistry and part-time at a feed store so that she could keep in touch with her love for animals.

Dawn also had many other interests. She loved to take pictures. She took pictures of people, animals, sunsets and flowers. She always had a camera with her wherever she went. Another one of her fondest treasures was her family. She always had a special place in our family that you really can't explain. Maybe it'' because she was the first-born. Whatever the reason, she made our family complete. The holidays were always special at our house but Dawn seemed to add a little something extra. Her smile, her laugh and her witty sense of humor are deeply missed.

Dawn was a lover of life from every aspect, from family, friends, animals and nature.

" In every flower we see, we see her smile
In every bird we hear, we hear her laughter
We see her in every sunset and feel her in every breeze
You are our daughter, you are our sister, and in our hearts you will live forever".


On the night of April 30th, 1998 around 11:45 P.M., Dawn was asleep on her couch, in her new home located in Buxton, Maine. According to police records and evidence, a male acquaintance showed up at Dawn's home highly intoxicated. He apparently spent several minutes walking around outside the house to see if she was alone. He then gained entrance. Based of the police reports, we are unsure how he got into the house. Somehow he made it into the living room where Dawn was. Dawn asked him to leave after he told Dawn that he had feelings for her. After she rejected him, he pulled out a leather men brand tool, with the serrated knife open and began to attack her. Defenseless and not feeling well, Dawn began to fight for her life and he continued wielding the knife stabbing her and carving her. The confrontation went from the living room to the kitchen, down the hall, and on into the bathroom.

Before he left the house, at Dawn's request, he called 911. He told the dispatcher what had just taken place. He did not know the address of the house or for that matter, Dawn's last name. Then he took off in his vehicle. The police began a trace to get the address, that process took 47 minutes. Dawn lay on the bathroom floor of the home she had just purchased six months ago. She was bleeding profusely from the nine stab wounds, three being fatal and many defense wounds she sustained in the fight for her life.

The suspect fled the scene and traveled to Portland, where he placed another 911 call confessing to the crime he had committed. A Portland Police Officer spotted the suspect and took chase through the city, and several surrounding towns. During the chase, Police in Buxton discovered Dawn dead in her home. This information was passed along to the Portland Police. They decide to use deadly force to bring this chase to an end, and they did just that. They drove him off the road into a tree. He sustained only minor injuries.

Two grueling years and one day, on May 2, 2000 the suspect was sentenced to 45 years in the Maine state Prison, for the Murder of Dawn C. Leighton. He was 25 at the time he committed the murder.

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Dawn Leighton