Trial and Error

The Outcry for Justice in the Dennis Dechaine Case

Books About the Case

Jim Moore retired from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as ATF’s agent-in-charge for Maine and New Hampshire. His career included two years with the Federal Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force and two years with INTERPOL where he directed international investigations of robbery, rape, murder and terrorism.

Moore had developed a high regard for Maine law enforcement, so when charges surfaced that Dennis Dechaine had been wrongfully convicted for the 1988 murder of Sarah Cherry, he decided to see for himself. At that time, Moore regarded Dechaine’s supporters “as a bunch of bird brains out to trash law enforcement.” However, while conducting an independent investigation at his own expense, he concluded that Dechaine indeed had been wrongfully convicted.

In 2002, Moore wrote a book about the case entitled Human Sacrifice. The following year, under orders from the Maine legislature, the Attorney General’s Office finally opened public files it had kept secret, revealing even more vital evidence.

In 2006 Moore published State Secrets: What the Jury Never heard in the Dechaine Case. He then released a revised edition of the first book with the title Human Sacrifice: On the Altar of Injustice, which included the information contained in State Secrets. If you happen across the first edition (green cover with drawing of a red truck), it will not have as much information as the edition pictured here.

Also in 2006, four years after the first edition of Human Sacrifice was published, Moore offered $1,000 to anyone who could find “any false statement by the author concerning the evidence or the official misconduct.” He made the offer because, as he says, “I got tired of half-baked public servants saying that the book is full of lies. It was time for them to put up or shut up.” No one has yet stepped forward to claim the money.

Human Sacrifice: On the Altar of Injustice can be purchased at and is available on Kindle. State Secrets can be downloaded for free right here.

Moore donates all proceeds from the books to the effort to secure a retrial for Dennis Dechaine.

“This book’s importance lies in its questioning of assumptions that all of us take for granted on a daily basis. The presumption of innocence, Moore shows, never existed for Dechaine. Time after time, Moore exposes biases and subtle betrayals of the objectivity that all of us have sworn to uphold. This book is a ‘must read’ for every attorney in this state.”

—Peter Clifford, Esq., Maine Lawyers Review

Read the Book


Human Sacrifice: On the Altar of Injustice

High-quality soft-cover edition, 418 pages, 

is exclusively available from Trial & Error for $15, with free shipping.

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