US Stamps

Stamps stolen in N.H. homicide case

May 01, 2014 05:30 PM

A New Hampshire stamp collector and his wife were found dead in their burning Manchester home, and a deputy chief medical examiner has concluded that they were the victims of homicide.

State officials identified the victims as Robert “Bob” Dion, 71, and his wife Constance Dion, 67.

The bodies were discovered March 24 following an afternoon explosion and fire at the home.

Mr. Dion was president of the Manchester Stamp Club, and he also bought and sold stamps. He was the retired postmaster of North Salem, N.H., according to several news reports.

A source who knew Mr. Dion told Linn’s Stamp News that stamps were taken from the home, and that Mr. Dion dealt primarily in modern United States stamps. He was also a collector of Manchester postal history, according to the source.

The American Stamp Dealers Association released an alert on May 1 describing material stolen from Mr. Dion. It includes 30 white plastic notebooks measuring 8½ inches by 11 inches with matching names on each cover and spine. The subjects are foreign countries and specialized stamps such as Disney stamps and other topicals including sea shells, whales and covered bridges.

Six to eight black notebooks measuring 5 inches by 9 inches are also missing, with titles such as Better US, Mint US, Used US and Exhibits.

Six additional notebooks were described as containing “mint stamps from #704 to current,” presumably U.S. material beginning with the 1932 Washington Bicentennial issue (Scott 704-715).

Another collection is described as stamps relating to wine, including wine revenues.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported April 1 that the attorney representing the Dion family said the couple had died before the explosion and fire that damaged the home.

“This was not a normal fire,” the paper quoted the attorney as saying. “Something helped move it along.”

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office announced March 25 that police are seeking the public’s help in locating a person of interest in the investigation: Matthew Dion, 38, who also lived at the Manchester home.

An April 4 announcement from the same office identified Matthew Dion as the couple’s son, adding that an arrest warrant on unrelated charges had been issued for him, and warning the public “do not attempt to stop or approach.”

The attorney general’s office urges anyone with information concerning this incident to call the Manchester Police Department at 603-668-8711.

The ASDA release also suggests contacting Det. Michael Lavallee by e-mail at mlavalle@manchesternh.gov.

On May 2, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force announced a $5,000 reward “for information leading to the location and arrest of fugitive, Matthew Thomas Dion. Dion is wanted by the Manchester Police Department on an outstanding arrest warrant for Possession of Child Pornography, as well as for questioning, relating to the arson fire and homicides of Dion’s parents.” The wanted poster can be viewed at http://www.justice.gov/marshals/news/chron/2014/dion.pdf.