Supermarket Chain Sued for Customer’s Murder

PORTLAND, Maine (CN) – The husband of a woman stabbed to death in a Shaw’s Supermarket is suing the chain for failing to protect against what he describes as a “pattern of violent crimes against customers.”

Wendy Boudreau, a 59-year-old woman from Saco, Maine, was in the ice cream aisle of her local Shaw’s Supermarket when Connor MacCalister crept up behind her and slit her throat.

The victim’s widower, Jeffrey Boudreau, claims that the grocery store chain has an established history of allowing violent crimes to be committed against customers.

His 8-page lawsuit, which was filed Monday with a federal judge in Maine, includes a list of 28 incidents from across the company’s locations that range from the bizarre – such as a 2002 case where a convicted sex offender followed a woman through the store then licked her feet – to the more expected, such as robberies and carjackings.

Shaw’s Supermarket operates 153 grocery stores throughout New England.

“In the past 25 years, multiple locations of Shaw’s Supermarkets throughout New England have been the scene of various types of crimes against customers,” the complaint claims. “As such, the stabbing death of Wendy Boudreau on August 19, 2015 in the Saco, Maine Shaw’s Supermarket was entirely foreseeable to Shaw’s based on a pattern of violent crimes against customers.”

Boudreau also argues that the store contains security personnel and a closed circuit camera system that should have made it possible for someone to notice that his wife was being followed through the store by her eventual murderer.

MacCalister later admitted to police that he chose his victim randomly in the store’s parking lot and followed her from there. MacCalister pleaded guilty to the murder and received a life sentence.

“It has been nearly two years since this tragic event at our Saco, Maine store and we still reflect on that day with much sadness,” wrote Shaw’s spokeswoman Teresa Edington in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, because this is a pending litigation, we cannot provide specific information regarding this matter. That said, at Shaw’s, we pride ourselves on providing a safe environment for our customers to shop, and this tragic incident isn’t reflective of the overall safety of our stores,” she added.

The plaintiff is represented by Laura White of Bergen & Parkinson LLC.

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