We have received word that Melvin J. Reine, suspected in the murders, attempted murder and disappearances of at least four Falmouth residents, died this past weekend and was laid to rest this morning at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church cemetery in East Falmouth.
The 74-year-old Mr. Reine, who lived on East Falmouth Highway, had spent the past 12 years of his life at Taunton State Hospital, suffering from dementia.
He was considered one of Falmouth’s most notorious criminals, first making headlines in 1968 when he was convicted of arson along with two other men for several fires he set in town.
Mr. Reine’s notoriety in town only grew following the 1971 disappearance of his first wife, Wanda Reine; the murder of teenager Jeffrey Flanagan in 1972; the disappearance of teenager Paul Alwardt in 1977; and the attempted murder of Falmouth Police Officer John Busby in 1979, all crimes he was suspected of committing. He was never charged with any of these crimes.
A full obituary will appear in Friday's Falmouth Enterprise.