In the minutes before his arrest this month, an Alfred man charged with murder in his wife’s death told friends he planned on taking his own life.

James Crow’s first appearance in York County Superior Court via Zoom on April 12.

Emergency call transcripts obtained by the Press Herald detail the frantic response from James Crow’s loved ones within minutes of him posting what appeared to be a suicide note on Facebook. Only later did many of them learn that Kristan Crow was dead.

“I talk to him every day and this – I had a bad feeling,” one worried family member or friend told dispatchers while racing to the family’s home on Waterboro Road. “Had a real bad feeling about this one.”

Crow, a veteran with a long history of mental health conditions and post-traumatic stress disorder, told officers that he did not mean to shoot his wife in the head shortly before 3 p.m. on April 10, according to court documents.

Immediately after the fatal shooting, he called several friends and family members and admitted what he had done, calls show. Separately, he posted a message to social media that raised the alarms of those who had long been concerned for his mental health.

“I couldn’t do it anymore,” the post reads. “I’m so sorry everyone. I really am. I wish none of this happened. I snapped. My brain is broken and there’s no coming back now. I love my children so much and I only hope that someone good takes care of them. I’m sorry.”


As Crow fled his home, dispatchers received more than a dozen calls from friends and colleagues who feared he would attempt suicide, and from Crow’s closest confidants who knew he had not turned the gun on himself, but on his wife.


Shortly before 3 p.m. on April 10, a man who identified himself as James Crow called police dispatchers and told them he had shot his wife at the couple’s home on Waterboro Road and then left. Soon after, York County Sheriff’s deputies and a Maine state trooper who happened to be in the vicinity entered the home and found the couple’s 18-year-old son and Kristan Crow’s body on a bed with “a significant amount of blood around her face,” according to a police affidavit.

A Maine State Police evidence van sits outside of a house at 81 Waterboro Road in Alfred on April 11, where Kristan Crow was found dead. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Minutes later, call transcripts record a family friend telling dispatchers that Crow had called him to make the same confession.

The caller, who said he had been in “pretty constant contact” with Crow, said the Crows both had been struggling with mental illnesses that had put a strain on their relationship.

“A lot of things … that had happened in the recent past just kind of came to light in the past … six months or so,” he said.


In October, Kristan Crow was charged with four counts of wire fraud. Federal prosecutors say she stole more than $423,000 from a former employer between April 2018 and September 2021.

The charges blindsided James Crow, who he said never saw the stolen money and struggled to keep the family afloat financially, according to his brother Justin Crow. Kristan Crow faced a maximum fine of nearly $850,000.

James Crow filed for an apparently amicable divorce in March. But he told one friend on the day of the shooting that “he couldn’t deal with it anymore – the way that she is.”

But after shooting his wife, Crow, a former caseworker in the Office of Child and Family Services, knew that he would likely lose custody of his three children. The caller said Crow told him, “there was no point for him to be alive anymore.”

“I don’t think we’re gonna be able to talk him off the ledge this time,” he said.



In the hour after Crow posted his cryptic message to Facebook, several people who knew him warned dispatchers that he might take his own life.

A combat veteran, Crow had never been the same since returning from Afghanistan, Justin Crow told the Press Herald. He said Crow was largely antisocial, suffered from PTSD and was on numerous medications.

Several of Crow’s co-workers knew he was going through a difficult period in his life and feared the post was a suicide note, one caller told dispatchers.

Multiple callers referenced an incident on Sept. 9, 2021, when Crow had shared a similarly worrying message. Friends and family had feared that he would shoot himself before a state trooper, also a veteran, located Crow near a favorite fishing spot and “talked him off the cliff.”

After that close call, Crow, who had a “passion” for guns, had promised his wife he wouldn’t touch the weapons again, said one caller, who was aware Crow had shot his wife. He feared that Crow still had a gun and would turn it on himself.

One family member asked dispatchers to try to send a veteran to reason with Crow.


“This ain’t the first time,” the caller said. We were able to help him get off this last time. He will talk to veterans.”

Crow surrendered to police in the parking lot of Harry’s Convenience Store in Lyman around 4:30 p.m. on April 10, about an hour and a half after fleeing his house. An officer found a green SIG Sauer automatic pistol in Crow’s truck. State police said he surrendered without incident.

Crow remains at York County Jail, where he is being held without bail after making his first court appearance on April 12. He is expected to be back in court for a status conference on July 7, but could likely return to court earlier for an arraignment if a grand jury brings an indictment.

“We’re just addressing his mental health right now,” Justin Crow said Friday. “Personally, I think he’s safer where he’s at right now.”

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