David William Crook


David William Crook, born April 8, 1946, died on Nov. 11, 2023 at the age of 77. He will be remembered as a hard-nosed prosecutor, an avid fisherman, proud Mainer, loyal Democrat, and a loving husband, father and grandfather.

The son of Harvey and Frances Crook, David was a graduate of Brewer High School (1964), where he was a 4-year varsity football player, member of DeMolay, and earned the rank of Life Scout in Boy Scouting in Maine. A member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, he earned a BS in education from the University of Maine (1968). While at Maine, David worked as waterfront director at Camp Waasokeaq in Dexter, Maine. There, Crook met his future wife, the camp nurse Barbara Linfante. The summer romance resulted in a marriage of 55 years and two children, Kendra and Adam.

Crook started as a teacher and assistant football coach at Madison High School (1968), but he determined he could never support a family on a teacher’s salary. At Barbara’s urging and her financial support, Crook graduated Brooklyn Law School with a Doctorate in Juris Prudence (1972) in the top 10% of his class, earning the Cornelius J. Wickersham Constitutional Law Award. He passed the bar exam in New York and Maine.

Crook was hired by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office as an assistant DA. One of his favorite stories was his first day of work. Because of a personnel error, he was assigned to argue a robbery case before a jury. People always asked if he won and he responded he wouldn’t tell the story if he lost!

For two years, Crook worked in the homicide and night court divisions of the DA’s office. In his third year, Crook was promoted to the Special Narcotics Unit that handled cases for all of New York City.

Crook returned home to Maine as an assistant DA for Kennebec and Somerset Counties (1975) and within a year was promoted to Deputy DA. Crook ran for District Attorney in 1978, winning six consecutive 4-year terms by large margins.

During his 30+ year career, Crook prosecuted more child abuse cases (over 1500) than any other DA. Crook established the Victim Rights program by authoring laws passed by the Maine legislature giving victims the right to be heard at sentencing, restitution and notification of plea bargains. Criminals paid more than $5,000,000 to their victims and repaired Maine Pine Tree Camp and many high schools. Crook was recognized by a joint resolution of the legislature as Maine’s Top Prosecutor of OUIs for eight consecutive years. He was twice selected Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and recipient of the Colonel’s Award from Maine Game Warden Service. Crook was elected as president of the Maine Prosecutor’s Association and served on the board of the National District Attorney Association. Crook was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal District Court and the Court of Appeals.

On the first day of retirement, Crook was diagnosed with cancer. During remission, Crook joined Tom Ferris to form the firm of Ferris and Crook (eventually Ferris Gurney Grant and Crook). Crook often remarked that many people who he prosecuted as DA were quick to hire him as a defense attorney. Crook saw no inconsistency in being a prosecutor and a defense attorney because he always sought the truth and justice before the law.

In his later years, Crook and his wife spent six months in Rome, Maine and six months in Florida.

Crook is survived by his wife, Barbara (Linfante); daughter Kendra Crook and son-in-law Christopher Sariti of Mahwah, NJ, son Adam Crook of Melrose, Mass.; his grandchildren, Charles Sariti, Margaret Sariti and Samuel Crook.

A memorial will be held at a later time.

Donations in his memory can be made to his grandson’s Eagle Scout project: https://gofund.me/4194fcc2

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