Raymond Bellavance Jr. will spend 30 years in prison for starting a midnight blaze in June 2009 that forced seven people — including two infants — from their home and eventually destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro.
Hark, ye poets, hither yon, to speak in honeyed present tense, and mark the somber ballad song of Mr. Raymond Bellavance. In three years of bringing you shocking cases of true crime coffee schmuckery, this case is perhaps the most fascinating. Is Raymond Bellavance guilty? Is he mad? Was he railroaded by an unjust court system?
Kennebec Journal staff writer Betty Adams has woven for us tale of woe, dismay, and lust, with surely awful coffee at its very core. For a real life crime saga replete with untrustworthy turncoat snitches, topless coffee motels, syntactically unfortunate text messages, “practice burns,” cocaine, jilted lovers, and a defense attorney who compares his client to Jean Valjean, you just gotta click here.