December 3, 2013

Maine man who shot ex-boyfriend wrote of his despair

But Patrick Milliner did not threaten violence before police say he killed Matthew Rairdon, 22, of Westbrook in an ambush.

By David Hench
Staff Writer

and Gillian Graham
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Matthew Rairdon, left, and Patrick Milliner pose together in January.

Facebook photo

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Milliner also described meeting Rairdon, their first dates and his decision to move from Colorado to Maine to be closer to Rairdon. He said their relationship included several breakups and reunions.

“I am in a dark place again, and this is the last time,” Milliner wrote. “I will not spend another holiday alone like I did yesterday.”

Milliner said he grew suspicious that Rairdon could be seeing other people and confronted him, leading to another breakup.

The most recent breakup came last month, as Milliner started his training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. He said Rairdon deleted pictures of the two of them from his Facebook page and removed Milliner as a “friend.”

Milliner said he was tired of looking for “the man of my dreams” and being disappointed.

His letter did not indicate any plans for violence against anyone else, but did suggest that he was contemplating suicide: “I pray that if there is another life after death that it will be free of pain. ... I love you all. ... I will see you on the other side.”

Shortly after midnight Saturday morning, Milliner surprised Rairdon and shot him, police said.


Milliner, whose hometown is Hesperia, Calif., worked on the 2008 campaign to defeat Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

He visited 49 high school gay-straight alliance groups to talk about Proposition 8 and encourage them to talk to their parents about the issue, according to a biography that Milliner posted on the online fundraising website ActBlue.

Milliner posted the description of his experience while raising money to travel to Maine in 2009 to campaign against a ballot initiative to repeal a same-sex marriage law that the Legislature had passed.

Before moving to Maine, Milliner lived in Colorado, where he played in the Colorado Rush Rugby Football Club, which says it provides “an opportunity for men in the LGBT community and their straight allies to play rugby on a competitive level.”

He did not indicate in his Facebook posting when or how he met Rairdon, but wrote that he moved to Maine in June.

Rairdon, a 2009 graduate of Westbrook High School and a graduate of Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, started work recently as a nurse at Mercy Hospital.

Greg Brooks of Gorham said Rairdon was instrumental in saving the life of his 91-year-old mother-in-law last week, when her heart stopped in Mercy Hospital’s emergency room. Brooks called for help from Rairdon, who had just left the room.

“He immediately jumped in there and started giving her CPR and brought her back right before the doctors got there,” Brooks said. “If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if she’d still be here.”

Brooks said he and his mother-in-law were impressed by Rairdon’s “cool as a cucumber” response to the emergency and how he made his patient feel comfortable.

Rairdon’s father, Gary Rairdon, won election in November to the Westbrook City Council. He was scheduled to be sworn in Monday night but did not attend, said Mayor Colleen Hilton.

Hilton said he will be sworn in as soon as possible after his son’s funeral.

“He needs to focus on his family now,” she said.


David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

Twitter: @grahamgillian

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