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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Maine coffee tragedy continues

Nearly six years after tainted coffee killed one person and sickened 15 others in New Sweden, Maine, another parishioner has died.

Frances “Fran” Ruggles, 67, died April 4, ending her battle against the effects of the arsenic poisoning that occurred at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church.

A member confessed to the crime in a suicide note (June 2003, "Faith over fear").

Margaret G. Payne, bishop of the New England Synod, said the nature of the crime makes it difficult for members to heal.


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