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Crime News Murders

Convicted Rapist Who'd Posed As His Dead Police Chief Dad for Sex is Now Charged with Different Woman's Murder

Gary Mariner, who used his dead police chief dad's badge to coerce a sex worker into having free sex with him, is now charged with murdering a woman found dead in South Portland, Maine.


By Elisabeth Ford
A personal photo of Danielle Goodwin

A convicted rapist in Maine has now been charged with the murder of a Freeport woman who was found dead near a Home Depot in September.

Investigators with the Maine State Police Department arrested Gary Mariner, 65, on November 2 in connection to the murder of 52-year-old Danielle Goodwin, whose body was found near a Home Depot in South Portland more than two months ago, authorities said in a statement.

On September 5, officials were dispatched to Clark’s Pond Parkway where they found a woman’s body in an embankment next to the sidewalk near the hardware store, according to the South Portland Police Department.

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The Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta determined her manner of death to be homicide. Maine State Police said  the cause of Goodwin’s death was not being released at this time.

“Over the course of the last eight weeks investigators from the Maine State Police, Portland Police Department, South Portland Police Department, Saco Police Department and the ATF conducted interviews, collected video evidence, and executed search warrants within the greater Portland area,” Maine State Police said.

Police said evidence found while executing a search warrant linked them to Mariner, of West Newfield.

A police handout of Gary Mariner

What was Gary Mariner previously convicted of? 

In 2015, Mariner was charged with gross sexual assault while impersonating a police officer. According to court records obtained by the Portland Press Herald, Mariner used his dead father’s police badge to coerce a sex worker into having sex with him for free. His father, Herbert Mariner, was a former police chief of Cape Elizabeth. At the time of the assault, Mariner reportedly told the sex worker that he was working with a special prostitution unit of Maine State Police. He then pulled a gun on her and forced her to perform a sex act on him, a Portland police detective wrote in a 2015 report, according to the Press Herald. Two years later, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison with all but four years suspended, the newspaper reported, citing criminal records.

The Maine Sex Offender Registry lists Mariner as a lifetime registrant, meaning he will remain on the list as an offender for the rest of his life.

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Mariner made his initial appearance in court virtually Monday, where it was determined he would be held without bail, Portland station WGME reported.

Who is Danielle Goodwin?

Goodwin was known in the community for her role as a drugs and alcohol recovery counselor and is described by friends for her influential role in their road to sobriety. "She was strong and brave," Stephanie Doyle, a good friend of Goodwin’s, told WGME. "Probably one of the bravest women that I know." Friend Zoe Campbell said: "I met her at one of the hardest points in my life and she was instrumental in saving it."

Kris Dow said he always saw a smile on her face throughout the time he knew her. While remembering Goodwin’s time as a recovery coach at a treatment center he attended, Dow told the station: "Being there, she was giving me that hope of, 'This is what life can look like again. My life can be like this.’”

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