Since Linda Dolloff said she saw neither the attack on Jeff nor who had shot her, police were hoping Jeff Dolloff would be their "star witness." But he was unconscious in a medically induced coma for weeks.
Now, Jeff Dolloff said, "They said they had never seen anyone survive injuries like this. I had a nose bone shoved up into my brain.
"What I am left with today is somebody else's teeth in the front and no teeth in the back," he said "I can't smell, I can't taste. Apparently there is no hope for that. The side of my face ... I have feeling but it's almost like it's in Novocaine. My eye waters all the time. ... The guys that worked on me, God bless them, they put Humpty Dumpty back together again."
For police, there was another big problem. Whoever tried to beat Dolloff's brains in had succeeded in killing his memory.
He said he remembers "absolutely nothing about the night of the attack."
And when asked who could have done this, Dolloff told Maine State Police Det. Bill Ross that he had lots of enemies. His job as a corporate consultant involves downsizing, deciding who gets big-dollar contracts and who does not, sometimes costing people their jobs.
"Who would want me hurt?" Dolloff told the grand jury. "I can give you a list of 1,000 people."
But police weren't buying a retaliation attack or burglary gone bad. The house looked too occupied to encourage a home invasion.
"I think with any job, you're going to piss people off, you're going to, people are going to be aggravated with decisions that you make," Ross said. "But at what point does that rise to, 'I'm going to come to your home on a holiday weekend with five cars in the driveway, and commit this crime'?"
Police interviewed his co-workers, without generating a lead.
And then Ross turned his attention inside the house. He began asking questions about their impending divorce, which has yet to be finalized.
"I want to know about your relationship with Linda," Ross asked Dolloff. "Did she want a divorce?
"I don't think so," he replied.
Sitting with Dolloff in his hospital room, Ross had an idea.
"I've got my phone right here, I've got my recorder, let's call Linda right now," Ross said. "Are you willing to do this?"
Ross wanted to get her talking. He had begun to suspect that she had a hand in the crime. He hoped that hearing her husband's voice for the first time since the attack would lure her into making a mistake.
"He asked me if I had a problem calling Linda, and what he was looking for was a story," Dolloff said.
Dolloff placed the call. His wife had no idea she was being recorded, or that police were beginning to look her way.
"I'm hearing rumors that somebody took a baseball bat to me and shot you," Dolloff said to his wife on the phone. "Is that right?"
"I was shot," she replied. "I don't know what happened to you, specifically, I don't know."
She told him what she said she remembered.
"We got in the hot tub and had some wine," she said. "Oh, we made love ... after a while you started snoring, I couldn't sleep. I went back in the other bedroom."
Linda Dolloff said she was heading to the bathroom when "I just heard a loud bang and I fell."
"The way my injuries look ... it looked like someone took a baseball bat to me, not a gun," Jeff said. "Took out both eyesockets. Took out my nose. Took out my throat. Took out my head on both sides."
"Oh my God," she said.