Solved: The Bear Brook Murders/Allenstown Murders (1985-2000)

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The next case takes place in New Hampshire. There is 2 cases in this one, 15 years apart from one another, one in 1985 and the other in 2000.

Four bodies were found in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park. This park was 10,000 acres and contained a mobile home park called, Bear Brook Gardens Mobile Home Park. There was 2 bodies that were found wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed into a 55-gallon drum behind the mobile home park, it contained a woman and a young girl.

The woman found in the barrel, was described as having wavy brown hair and a significant amount of dental work completed, this included 3 pulled teeth and numerous fillings. The young girl that was in the barrel with the woman was between 5-11 years old, she had on earrings and had a gap in her front teeth. She also was sick with pneumonia. Was the woman her mother? Or older sister and why together in one barrel?

The woman and child were determined to have suffered severe blunt force trauma. The Police chief at the time, Norman Connor, had no leads and not information to go on, the investigators could only estimate that the victims had died between 1977 and 1985.

How were the bodies preserved if they did die in 1977? How could they tell that they had hair and a gap in the young girls teeth? From the research I’ve done, there is 5 stages of decomposing of bodies. Stage 1 is Fresh, meaning, immediately after death. Stage 2 is bloating, this means the body starts producing gases with causes the body to bloat, the skin can also turn green and black during this stage. Stage 3 is active decay, this means maggots, bacteria, insects start eating the remains and the tissue starts to liquefy. Stage 4 is advance decay, most soft tissues is gone and if there was any skin remaining at this stage it would be very dry, resembling leather. And Stage 5 is Skeletal Remains, this is the final stage and the bones begin to break down due to numerous . reasons, acidic soil, water or being chewed on by animals.

So with that being said if the investigators were able to see hair and a gap in teeth, the bodies had to have been between stages 1-4 but then you also have to determine weather conditions, was this fall or winter? That could have caused the slowly of decomposition, which is another way they could have been in tact to see these identification markers on the victims.

The 2 bodies of the victims would be in the morgue for 18 months in hoping that somebody would come to identify the bodies, but that never happened, in May of 1987, police chief Norman Conner buried the bodies in the same grave without knowing their names.

So for the next 15 years, police kept sending officers to the crime scene hoping that something would come about and finally, in 2000, a state trooper found another barrel, when the trooper opened the barrel, he found skeletal remains of 2 more female children wrapped in plastic.

Forensics was able to confirm through DNA analysis that the woman and 2 of the children were biologically related, it was looking like a mother and her 2 daughters, unfornately, the third child was not related to the other victims.

Police now had a quadruple murder on their hands, and the murders were now named the Allenstown four. Investigators decided that they needed to focus their investigation to the Garden Mobile Park Home as it was not far from where the bodies were discovered, and to make things even better they found out that many of the residents in this trailer park was ex-convicts from the nearby state prison.

The trailer park was 115 lots and around 475 people who had lived their temporarily during the time of the murders. Investigators began to wonder if finding any leads or evidence would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Some of the locals joined in the on the search as well. One Resident, Ronda Randle became very interested in the case and decided she was going to organize her own investigation. She was so determined that she went as far as documenting her interviews that she conducted and extensive search.

Regardless how much the locals tried and police, the Bear Brook Murders and identities of the victims still remain a mystery after all this time….well that’s what we thought.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also joined in to help try identify the bodies. In 2013, the organization created new facial reconstructions of the victims they were able to do this from additional scientific testing conducted by private labs, the Florida Institute of Forensic Anthropology and the NCMEC, they were able to tell that the woman, the youngest child, and the oldest child were all from the same geographic area, they were thinking possibly the New Hampshire Area; however the middle child was raised farther north.

In 2015, an unknown forensic artist at NCMEC created new sketches of the victims as what they might have looked like if they were still alive then. For the first time in this case, police had actual faces to put to the bodies. What an amazing feeling that must have been for these officers, as they had spent years just wondering what these victims might have actually looked like.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati stated that all four victims had lived together in the New Hampshire Area for up to several months before they were murdered. So does that mean they were held captive by the person or persons who killed them? Agati also noted in his statement that all four victims were killed at the same time, all between 1980 and 1984. So we have a timeline? But who was responsible?

The decades long mystery of the Quadruple Bear Brook Murders appeared on the edge of a breakthrough, but then…in 2017, investigators announced to the media and public that they had possibly found their suspected killer; a man known as Robert “Bob” Evans. The suspect had died in a California prison in 2010 where he was serving time for a murder that happened in 2002 and the dismemberment of his then wife, Eunsoon Jun. Police revealed that Robert Evans was a fake name and that the suspects true identity was unknown.

Evan’s link to the Bear Brook Murders came through another New Hampshire cold case the disappreance and murder of Denise Beaudin in 1981. At the time Beaudin and Evans was dating, an interest of Beaudins whereabouts led authorities back to Evans and his DNA profile, where they learned and this was shocking to me, that he was the biological farther of the third child genetically unrelated to the other Bear Brook Murder victims! What in the world! So if this guy really did do it, he killed his own daughter?!

In 2017 police was able to reveal Evan’s real identity his name was Terry Rasmussen.

This is what I found when I was doing research on Terry Rasmussen, Robert Evans was not his own alias. He head many.

Time as Terry Rasmussen:

  • July 1958-April 1961–Lived in Phoenix, AZ.
  • April 1961-July 1967–Was enlisted in the US Army.
  • 1967-1968-Lived in Hawaii.
  • 1969-Moved to Phoenix with new wife. Began working as an electrician.
  • 1970-1973-The Rasmussen family lived in Redwood City, CA.
  • December 1974-After his wife and children leave him, he relocates to Ingleside, TX living in the Casa Del Rey Apartments.
  • June 1978-He begins working at the Brown and Root Company in Houston, TX.

Time as “Bob Evans”:

  • Late 1978-1979-Rasmussen begins going by Robert “Bob” T. Evans. He relocates to New Hampshire and begins working at the Waumbec Mills as an electrician.
  • February, May, and October 1980-He is arrested three different times in Manchester, New Hampshire. The first was for writing bad checks in. The second and third were for stealing electricity.
  • November 1981-Denise Beaudin disappears shortly after Thanksgiving with her 6 month old daughter and boyfriend Bob Evans.

Time as “Curtis Mayo Kimball”:

  • March 1984-Rasmussen begins going by the name Curtis Mayo Kimball. He relocates to Los Alamitos, California.
  • May 1985-He is arrested for DUI in Cypress, California.

Time as “Gordon Jenson”:

  • January 1986-Rasmussen now goes by the name Gordon Jenson. He begins working at Holiday Host RV Park in Scotts Valley, California.
  • June 1986-Rasmussen abandons “little Lisa” at the RV Park and flees. 3 months later authorities match Curtis Kimball’s fingerprints to Gordon Jenson.
  • November 1988-Rasmussen is pulled over in San Luis Obispo, California driving a stolen vehicle from Preston, Idaho.
  • March 1989-Rasmussen is arrested and charged with child abandonment. He is sentenced to three years.
  • October 1990-He is paroled and absconds the very next day.

Time as “Lawrence ‘Larry’ Vanner”:

  • June 1998-Rasmussen is now going by Lawrence “Larry” William Vanner.
  • June 2002-Rasmussen’s girlfriend Eunsoon Jun disappears from Richmond, California.
  • November 2002-Rasmussen is arrested for Eunsoon Jun’s death.
  • June 2003-Rasmussen is convicted of Jun’s murder and sentenced to 15 years.
  • December 2010-Rasmussen dies in prison.

Police also believed that Rasmussen killed the four victims in this case, as well as his wife, Eunsoon Jun and they are thinking he might have murdered others.

June 6, 2019 came to the media and public with information that made everybody a little bit more relieved. The office of Attorney General in New Hampshire had successfully identified 3 of the 4 victims. The adult woman was Marlyse Elizabeth Honeychurch, and her 2 biological daughters, Marie Elizabeth Vaughn and Sarah Lynn McWaters.

CNN reported that Marlyse was dating Rasmussen at the time that she disappeared and just like with his first wife nobody had seen her or her children since Thanksgiving 1978. So he killed her and her kids too, but why? What happened to make him kill his girlfriend and her kids?

With 3 of the 4 victims identified police are hoping they will be able to have a name to the face for the little girl that is still unidentified so her family can finally get closure. Anyone with information is asked to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or email at coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov.

Sources:

Bear Brook murders – Wikipedia

The Bear Brook Murders | Crime Scene Database (crimescenedb.com)

Allenstown Four: The Decades-Long Mystery of the Bear Brook Murders (the-line-up.com)

The Murder Squad: Jensen & Holes