Left for Dead


The Guerrette family of Pittston, Maine – William, Nicole, and Melanie. Photo by Sarah Craig.


The story featured on today’s Saltcast is not easy to take. People listening to the piece at a recent gallery show at Salt shook their heads in disbelief and cringed at the gory details.

In 2008, two thugs broke into the Guerrette family home in Pittston, Maine and attacked William and his daughter Nicole with a machete. Melanie, the mom and wife, escaped out a second story window fleeing for help. She left her husband and daughter behind thinking they were dead.

Eventually, the attackers were caught and sentenced to many decades in jail.

In 2010, Salt radio student Bradley Campbell spent several weeks with the Guerrette’s. He tells the story of the attack and the current day-to-day challenges of family life. The story is called “Left for Dead.”

Most, if not all, of the news reporting on this story focused on the details of the break-in and the court cases. Little information was published about the Guerrette’s struggles to regain stability. Bradley’s story captures that angle and “moves the story forward” in a manner not reported by the local press.

Bradley worries, however, that the tone of the story is too dark, too depressing, too honest for public radio. Let us know what you think. Please post your thoughts.



  1. 5 Responses to “Left for Dead”

  2. By Claire H. on May 31, 2010

    I followed the Guerette’s story in the news, and this piece is the first one that shows who they are. Very nicely done, and as for the public radio question, I’d say yes, if we are talking the tone and quality of the piece, definitely. The story is compelling, but not news, at this point, so I guess approaching the right program is key.
    Claire Holman

  3. By Javier Bonilla on Jun 19, 2011

    Great piece. It reminds us that while millions live happy normal lives, tens of thousands have gone trough a truly terrible story that leaves them struggling for the rest of their lives. Those stories are real; they shouldn’t be obscene (off-scene).

  4. By teresa on Feb 22, 2013

    Hi, I perchance heard this story on sirius radio. I think the first line I heard was Melanie saying she was an at-home mom one day and then the next caring for two brain-injured adults. Many people I know have found themselves in this situation because we are caring for a disabled child and/or one that was one day their happy-neurotypical self and the next day struck with an auto-immune disorder that attacks the brain. The violence that struck this family is unimaginable and surviving that is in and of itself, heroic.
    from my perspective the story needs to be told for explanation of why more community supports are needed for families that have health needs such as this family. Melanie can’t do it all. god bless them.

  5. By robert on Feb 22, 2013

    Thanks for your thoughts and for listening! Best, Rob

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