BANGOR, Maine — To most of their neighbors, Richard and Roxanne Jeskey seemed like ordinary people — until Monday, June 13.
That’s when Bangor police arrived about 8:30 a.m. and found Richard Jeskey’s bloody and beaten body in the bathtub of Apartment 24 at 682 Ohio St., the Ledgewood I apartment complex. Roxanne Jeskey has been charged with murder in connection with his death.
A retired couple living on the opposite side of the Jeskeys’ complex who preferred not to be identified said Thursday the Jeskeys appeared to be decent, regular people.
“They seemed to get along real well. That’s why I’m surprised,” said the husband, a U.S. Army veteran who talked to Richard Jeskey occasionally. “We never heard anything loud like an argument. She’d say hi as she was walking by, and he got a motorcycle, and [as] he was working on it one day he said we ought to go for a ride someday because I’ve got one too.”
All of the neighbors interviewed Thursday said they were shocked by the slaying.
“I didn’t know anything about it until the next day when it was in the Bangor Daily [News],” said a woman living three apartments over from the Jeskeys. “I had the window open and I heard car doors slamming, but that’s not unusual here. Then I heard a bunch of men talking and when I looked out there were police cars and ambulances. I thought it was her [Roxanne Jeskey] because she told me she’d had stents put in for a bad heart.”
Many neighbors didn’t even realize what had happened until police and the coroner’s office showed up.
At least two women who live in the complex reported hearing the sound of fighting the night of June 12.
“I did hear yelling that night, but thought nothing of it. It was around 11:30,” Joan Gardner, who has lived in Apartment 19 for the last 2 ½ years, said Thursday. “It was somebody outside and if it had continued, I probably would’ve gotten up, but that was it.”
Kasey Gentle, the woman who lives in Apartment 23, which adjoins the Jeskeys’ apartment, heard banging and slamming coming from the Jeskeys’ apartment through the adjoining wall, according to a Bangor police affidavit filed Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Gentle said she spoke to Roxanne Jeskey about 8 p.m. and again about 9 p.m. Both times Jeskey told Gentle that things were OK.
But at 11 p.m., Gentle heard a loud bang coming from the apartment next door. She sent her boyfriend, Matthew Ramisch, to see if everything was OK, according to the affidavit.
“Matthew told Kasey that Roxanne answered the door but only opened it enough to stick her head outside,” Bangor police Detective David Bushey wrote in the affidavit. “She insisted that everything was okay and closed the door.”
Gentle told police that the Jeskeys had lived in the complex for about a year.
Gardner said Thursday that she had a visit from Roxanne Jeskey last March or April.
None of the neighbors interviewed Thursday had a bad word to say about either of the Jeskeys.
“I know they had just come back from a camping trip a month ago, and not that I know them well, but they certainly seemed like a couple getting along fine,” said a woman living two apartments over who didn’t want to be identified. “They were always together and there was never any trouble at all.”
Nicki LaPointe, her husband and two children have lived in the complex just in front of the Jeskeys’ unit for the last two years.
“I’ve talked to her a few times,” said LaPointe. “Her granddaughter was 6 and used to play with my little girl because she was here almost every weekend. Her grandson was 3, but he didn’t come over as much.”
“That impressed me. I was like, ‘I wish someone would take my kids on the weekends,’” LaPointe said with a laugh.
Several neighbors said Roxanne Jeskey was the more talkative half of the married couple.
“I’d see him at night sometimes and he’d stop over with her, but it was always her talking,” LaPointe recalled. “I think he worked during the day for [a package delivery company] so he wasn’t around very often.”
LaPointe and other neighbors recalled Roxanne Jeskey inquiring about other apartments because she was dissatisfied with her current unit.
Carol Urquhart, who moved into Apartment 47 three months ago with her daughter, said she could see the Jeskeys’ place from her back deck, where she spent a lot of time, but never heard anything the weekend that Richard Jeskey died.
“I haven’t really heard anything,” Urquhart said. “I usually go out on my back porch all day and all night long, and I’ve never even really noticed them before. I never heard them fighting or arguing.”
Urquhart said the whole situation was scary.
“This is a quiet neighborhood. I’m still very nervous and my windows and doors are always locked at night now,” Urquhart said.