LEWISTON — Before she was stabbed to death Sunday, Kimberly Dobbie was days away from moving out of a shelter and into an apartment in Jay, according to her friends.
She was upset because Albert Flick, the man now charged with her murder, would not leave her alone.
In a bedroom of the Hope Haven Gospel Mission on Saturday night, Dobbie’s friend Kathy Cormier offered her encouragement.
“I told her: ‘Just hang in there. You’ll be gone in two or three days.’”
Dobbie was killed the next morning.
“We can’t classify this as domestic, it’s stalking,” Cormier said. “This was never a romance. Never. It’s stalking by a nutso man. There’s a pattern to this. … He was following her everywhere, from morning to night, no matter where she went.”
It was obvious to Flick that Dobbie did not want him near her, Cormier said, “because he followed her at a distance.”
During an interview Monday at the Lewiston Public Library, where the three friends spent much of their time, Cormier and Laura Kirkland said they met Dobbie in May when the three moved into the shelter.
Dobbie was a teacher in Massachusetts who lost her job, then moved to the Farmington area because she wanted to live in a small town, her friends said. Finding herself homeless, she came to the Lewiston shelter, where she thought she would be safe, they said.
They described Dobbie as “over-the-top nice,” a woman who had a string of bad luck, a devoted mother of twins.
“She was bubbly, cheerful, always smiling,” Kirkland said. “A perky redhead even when she was frustrated.”
Cormier said she will remember Dobbie’s smile forever.
“Her boys were her life,” Cormier said through tears. “To this man (Flick), she never would have been rude or mean. It was not in her nature.”
She did tell him to leave her and her boys alone, Cormier said.
Flick did not stay at the shelter, but used to go there to eat, Kirkland and Cormier said.
Dobbie did not have enough money. She lived on limited Social Security for one of her sons, who has autism. Her food stamps had been cut because she was staying at a shelter, her friends said.
The friendship between Dobbie and Flick started when he offered to buy her and her sons lunch. She was friends with him for about a month. The relationship changed after Dobbie’s “Section 8 came through,” Cormier said.
Cormier ran into Dobbie, her sons and Flick at Walmart soon after she had news of getting an apartment. The conversation turned to moving back to the Farmington area, where the twins went to school.
“Albert started talking about getting a truck,” Cormier said.
Puzzled, Cormier said Dobbie’s possessions were already at a church in Farmington. She said to Flick, “All you need is a little U-Haul.”
He insisted his stuff was to be moved, too.
“He said, ‘We have a lot of stuff coming from Lewiston,’” Cormier said. “Kim was looking at me. She wasn’t saying anything.”
That night, Cormier told Kirkland that Flick was planning to move with Dobbie, even though she did not want that.
“Probably a week later, she told him he was not coming with her, she didn’t need his help and she didn’t want that kind of relationship,” Cormier said.
Flick pursued Dobbie even harder, Cormier and Kirkland said. He started buying her clothes. She gave them back.
“Her mother came and said: ‘This man’s creepy. You’ve got to get rid of him,’” Cormier said.
Dobbie tried, her friends said, but Flick followed her from the time she left the shelter in the morning. One day, they were at Victor News, Cormier said.
“Her son said, ‘Look, he’s right around the corner,’” according to Cormier.
The friends noticed Dobbie’s sons were growing uneasy. Dobbie, her friends and Dobbie’s boys spent much of their time each day at the Lewiston Public Library. Typically, the boys were upstairs.
“I noticed they were coming down more looking for her saying, ‘Where’s my mom,’” Kirkland said.
Flick was upsetting the boys, Cormier said.
He said he did not like them.
“He said if she didn’t have the boys, they could have a relationship,” Cormier said.
Dobbie kept telling him no, her friends said.
No one realized Flick had a murder conviction after stabbing his wife in 1979. Because he disliked Dobbie’s sons, her friends were worried he could act out against the twins.
On Sunday morning, Flick was running late, according to Cormier.
“He came right into the shelter to see if she was there,” Cormier said. “They had already left. Somewhere he caught up with them at Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street. He followed them down to Rancourt’s laundry.”
In a video of the street from a store nearby, Flick can be seen walking back and forth in front of the laundry for 10 minutes. At times, he peered into the window.
Cormier said when Dobbie came out of the laundromat, she sat down on the steps and was talking to a friend in Massachusetts on her cellphone when Flick began stabbing her.
“She was sitting down and couldn’t get away from him,” Cormier said. “The man on the phone with her heard her scream. That was it.”