By Carolyn Carlson
For many residents of the village of Los Ranchos, Judge Diane Albert was more than just their municipal judge. In many ways she was a bit of the spirit of Los Ranchos. When the news of the murder-suicide of Albert and her husband Eric Pinkerton made its way across the news and social media, waves of shock and sadness washed over her friends and colleagues.
According to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, a friend of Pinkerton’s called to report that they had received a voice mail from Pinkerton saying he murdered his wife and several animals and was going to shoot himself. When deputies arrived they found Albert, age 65, Pinkerton, 63, and the couple’s dogs and a cat dead in their home on Ranchitos Road near Rio Grande Blvd. in the Village of Los Ranchos.
We reached out to Friends of Los Ranchos president Joe Craig to find out a little more about Albert. Here is what he said.
“Judge Diane Albert grew up on her family’s farm in Ohio. Graduate of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with a PhD in Metallurgy, Diane became a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and served as a Los Alamos County Commissioner. She then obtained a law degree from the University of New Mexico and was a patent attorney in Los Ranchos. She served as a Village of Los Ranchos Planning & Zoning Commissioner and finally the Municipal Judge. Ms. Albert was currently a student at UNM studying to obtain a degree in French. Diane was an avid biker and the clicks from her biking shoes on the Village hardwood floors would always announce her presence in the Warren J. Gray Hall. Diane’s love of animals was always evident and her posts on Facebook showed her pride in her chicken’s last two eggs. Judge Albert led an example for all of us in life and personal achievement that will be hard to surpass. Au revoir Mademoiselle Albert, you will be missed.”
According to his LinkedIn page, Pinkerton was a retired Intel Engineer who volunteered to be a roving mechanic for nonprofit bicycle rides.
Crime scene tape is gone from the front of Albert’s house. (Photo by Carolyn Carlson)
Albert was active in many different areas from bicycling, law, chicken farming and doting on her dogs and cat. Social media exploded with posts from across New Mexico with shock and sadness. Postings such as “Speechless,” “What a loss,” “She was so full of life, learning and love for her animals,” “She will leave a large void,” “Heartbroken,” “A senseless tragedy…When will we say enough,” “This is how I will remember Diane with her silly pugs and all her support for cycling. Such an absolutely horrible crime.”
Los Ranchos Village Administrator Ann Simon said Albert would be greatly missed and had a brilliant mind. Simon also noted that this tragedy happened on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. State Auditor Brian Colón was a friend of Albert’s for decades and wrote on his Facebook page, “She was a kind-hearted soul who always uplifted me and others…she is gone. I’m in shock.”
A celebration of life for the Hon. Diane Albert is set for 6pm Dec. 6 at the Hotel Albuquerque Chapel located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW, just North of Old Town.