The impact that murder has on a family, and even the larger community, is profound and far-reaching. When a murder goes unsolved, the grief is partnered with lasting fear. In a small town like Masardis, Maine, the shock and disbelief that came after the killing of Lila Drew still reverberates these 45 years later.
Who chose to end the life of a 78-year old woman for seemingly no reason? How could this person pass through a town as small as Masardis unnoticed, and carry out a brutal attack without detection? Or maybe, they weren’t passing through. Maybe Lila Drew’s killer was one of their own.
Lila Drew’s unsolved homicide in the tiny town of Masardis, Maine will reach a somber 45 year anniversary this March of 2022. The details are limited, but it’s all the more reason to say her name and share her story right now. This is the unsolved homicide of Lila Drew. Listen now wherever you get your podcasts.
Meet Lila Drew
Born on the Fourth of July in 1898, Lila Drew was a stand-out resident of the small town of Masardis, Maine. Lila was a member of the Masardis Congregational Church, the Retired Teachers Association and the American Legion Auxiliary, volunteering to host meetings and gathering at her home whenever needed.
You’d never guess her age, and Lila wouldn’t want you to either. Her fellow Masardis residents said she didn’t want to be called a senior citizen and was fiercely independent. She had her own home, her own income, and her own car. One local described Lila as, “A vital woman, very energetic…She did everything for herself.”
Lila had and raised two children with her late husband, a daughter named Marjorie and a son named Maxwell. She was also a grandmother to seven and a great-grandmother to seven more.
Though she was active in town, people said that Lila Drew minded her business and didn’t care for town gossip. She was a nice woman, a lady, and, “never did anything to anybody.” That’s why the discovery on March 18, 1977 was even more shocking for the town of Masardis and all who knew the quiet, nice lady named Lila Drew.
March 18, 1977
It was March 18, 1977 and the town was preparing for the annual Fireman’s Ball. It was a big social event, one that brought many of Masardis’ 300-something residents together, and Lila Drew was certainly planning to attend.
Just a few hours before the ball was set to begin, Lila’s son Maxwell walked next door to his mother’s home, a one-and-a-half story stick built house just over the bridge off Main Street. It was 4:45 p.m. when he stepped inside, expecting to find his mother preparing for the evening’s festivities. Instead, he was met with a scene no son should ever have to witness. 78-year old Lila Drew was dead.
Lila’s story continues on Dark Downeast. Press play right now.
Episode Source Material
- Widow’s death probed by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 19 Mar 1977
- Lila Drew, Obituary
- Masardis widow beaten to death with chair by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 21 Mar 1977
- Murder, Biddeford-Saco Journal, 21 Mar 1977
- No arrest imminent, says investigator, Bangor Daily News, 22 Mar 1977
- Widow’s murder leaves Masardis in state of shock by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 28 Mar 1977
- Masardis death still unsolved by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 11 May 1977
- Unsolved murder haunts Masardis by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 18 Mar 1983, page 2
- Small town murder as old as hills by Dean Rhodes, Bangor Daily News, 22 Mar 1983
- Lila Drew, In Memoriam
- 42-year-old homicide of Masardis retired teacher still unsolved, Fox Bangor, 15 Mar 2019
- Lila Drew, Maine Unsolved Homicide Listing
- Masardis, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce