Silent night.  We remember.

Thirty-three years ago today (Nov. 10th), the remains of a woman and girl were found in the woods of Allenstown, NH. We remember them, this day and always.

Bear Brook: New NHPR Podcast Dives Deep into NH Cold Cases & Innovations in Forensics Technology

'Bear Brook' Podcast: How Genetic Genealogy Is Transforming Murder Investigations

Update # 2 Eric Rasmussen

We began this blog to tell the story of a baffling New Hampshire mystery in the hopes of identifying the four homicide victims shown above (composite pictures of what they MAY have looked like in life). Although recent months have revealed some astonishing layers to this story, the final chapters have yet to be written.

UPDATES (2017 media)


MEDIA pre-2017 on NH Barrels case



For most people in New Hampshire, the story began in the fall of 1985 in the little town of Allenstown, population 4000ish and best known for being home to Bear Brook State Park.

It was there, on the outskirts of the park, that brothers out hunting discovered the remains of a woman and a girl wrapped in plastic near a 55 gallon barrel.

The bodies were found on private property where a small camp store with an apartment above it had once operated. Bear Brook Store had burned in July of 1983 but the shell of the building remained, along with a mobile home, a camper, and various vehicles, barrels, and appliances scattered across the property.

(Foundation of Bear Brook Store in 2000.) The 1985 barrel was found down the logging path pictured, around the bend, and off to the left.

Allenstown Police Chief Norm Connor and his small department were assisted by the state police in investigating the homicides. 

The hunter, himself the father of a young daughter, who spotted a foot sticking out of the plastic was so traumatized by his discovery that he said it took him ten years to go back into the woods.

As NH did not have its own Medical Examiner's office, the bodies were flown to Maine to be examined. These sketches were released in the media and authorities covered a lot of ground hoping to identify what was assumed to be a mother and daughter.

However, investigative efforts did not lead to answers and eventually, the two bodies were released for burial. Chief Connor organized a graveside service in the parish cemetery that was presided over by the town's Catholic priest and a Methodist minister.

They were buried together in a steel casket so that they could be exhumed easily if someone came forward to claim their bodies. The owner of Epsom Memorials donated a granite stone for their grave and carved a rose and figures of the woman and child holding hands

Over the years, while investigators followed the leads that came in, Allenstown residents experienced a deep unease around the questions that lingered. Who were those girls? Who could have bludgeoned and dismembered and discarded them like trash

 1974 photo shows the clearcutting that had been done on the property. Even by 1985, the forest was NOT heavily wooded around that well-traveled path.

Town officials wanted the Bear Brook Store property cleaned up and there was a Danger Notice attached to the 1997 tax record for map 407, Lot 023 that stated "Posted Unfit." The following year, an assessment card states "mobile home uninhabitable" and "vacant vandalized." It is chilling in hindsight to read the accompanying dump site report which lists: abandoned vehicle Chrysler 4 door sedan (rust), HTG appliance (illegible), enclosure falling down,  with wires and pipes, several  55 gallon drums some with trash in them, construction debris, old machines (axles, lawnmowers) strewn about, approx. 30 feet in from the road.

Fast forward fifteen years and 
State Police Sgt John Cody was assigned to the case. New Hampshire did not yet have a cold case unit and troopers were assigned old cases to work.

2015 Boston Globe photo of Cody

On May 9th of 2000 while examining the area, Cody located another barrel about 100 yards from where the first one was found, and discovered that it, too, contained human remains.

They were found to be the remains of two little girls. This led to the exhumation of the 1985 victims in order to have DNA comparisons done.

The testing found that the woman was related biologically to the oldest child (who was found in the barrel with her) and to the 2-3 yr old girl found in 2000. Authorities came to believe that the four victims were killed at or near the same time in the late 1970s to early 1980s.

The realization that one child was not related to the other three victims was puzzling and led to speculation about the whereabouts and well-being of her mother. Later, isotope testing done on the victims showed that the woman and the two girls related to her may have lived in the areas highlighted in green on the map below (State abbreviations added by me)


The third girl may have lived in the red rectangles in the yellow areas

Over the years, it has been interesting to note the evolution of the facial reconstructions for the oldest victim.

 The latest composite (2015) was done by Joe Mullins, a forensic imaging specialist with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

 The information was released for the first time that the two little girls had also been killed by blunt force trauma to their heads. The jolting images shown in May of 2016 of the caved-in skull of a little girl generated renewed speculation about what kind of individual was capable of this kind of violence against little children.

Depiction by artist Carl Koppelman of what the victims may have looked like

Little did we realize then that we were less than a year from getting our first glimpses into a back story that would bring together investigators on both coasts and yield a whole slew of new questions.
~ ~ ~

The first hints came on December 28th, 2016, when a story broke in New Hampshire about a woman named Denise Beaudin who moved away from Manchester with her infant daughter and her boyfriend Bob Evans in 1981 and was never heard from again. The article was entitled "35 years later, authorities call Manchester woman’s disappearance suspicious."

Denise Beaudin in 1976 Goffstown High School graduation photo

Although the story didn't mention anything about the Allenstown cold case, the name "Bob Evans" set off alarm bells for a number of Allenstown area folks. This was the same name that we (Oakhill Research) had been asking about for several years. In fact, ever since July 28th, 2014 when Ed Gallagher, the owner of the Allenstown property where the barrels were found, told us that he thought that one 'Bobby Evans' left the barrels on his property. More about this at the bottom of this page

We went to the January 26, 2017 press conference in Concord NH with a a multitude of questions. Also attending were former Allenstown residents Paul Chevrette and Ron Sayles. Speaking that day were Michael Kokoski (Supervisor in the NH Cold Case Unit), Jeffery Strelzin (Senior Assistant Attorney General Chief, Homicide Unit), and Ryan Grant (Detective Captain in the Manchester Police Department).

To assist in relating the story, the presenters  distributed an informative summary of events that recounts how these cases on the east and west coasts were finally connected in the story of the man once known in NH as Bob Evans.

                                                       Evans' 1985 booking photo

The authorities presented a succinct timeline to help the public navigate what was known about Evans as well as a handout that listed aliases/characteristics/unconfirmed travels etc that might have shed light on his true identity. They released  pictures at the press conference as well as maps of Evans' travels and made the Power Point of the presentation available.

 It wasn't long into the press conference before the anticipation of answers gave way to the disappointing realization that we wouldn't be writing the girls' names on any stones that day. The ending of this story was still some distance in the future. 

In brief, we learned the following:

The name 'Bob Evans' appeared to be an alias and his identity was still unknown. DNA testing revealed that he was the biological father of one of the little girls found in 2000 in a barrel, the child who was unrelated to the others. Her actual identity was still unknown and police were concerned that her mother might have been another victim.

The daughter

 The identities of the woman and the other two children were still unknown but DNA testing showed that Evans was not related to these two children, nor was Denise the woman in the barrel. Authorities now believed that it was likely that the victims found in Allenstown were all killed prior to December of 1981 when Evans disappeared from Manchester with Denise. A possible clue to the adult victim's identity might lie in the story shared about a mystery woman named Elizabeth.

 Police feared that Evans likely killed Denise at some point and although he had also killed his own daughter, he spared the life of Denise's baby daughter Dawn. In a story that seemed surreal, we learned that Evans changed Dawn's name to Lisa and later gave her away to strangers. In an ironic twist, it was Lisa's own search for her identity that proved to be the catalyst for unraveling Evans' legacy of lies. She was recently reunited with her relatives in Manchester NH. Her survival was a happy note in a sordid story, although her mother's whereabouts are unknown.

The Lisa Project 

More on how Lisa was identified 
(starting at the line "Max introduced Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D...."

The beginning of the end came for Evans when he was arrested in California in 2002 for the murder of his partner, Eunsoon Jun. He was living under one of his many aliases, when authorities, investigating Jun's disappearance, found her bludgeoned and partially dismembered body under a pile of cat litter in their home. A home he continued living in after he killed her. 

Eunsoon Jun
'Bob Evans' died of natural causes in High Desert Prison in California in 2010. He left many mysteries in his wake, perhaps none more puzzling than that of his own identity. Who was this man who behaved so savagely to the women and children in his life? Where did he come from?  How many other victims did he leave scattered across the continent?

Scott at the Manchester NH Library following the press conference. More questions, more research.

To have pictures and video, new victims, and a string of aliases now attached to the Allenstown killer was an odd turn of events when his identity was still unknown. All over the country, investigators, genealogists, and websleuths began trying to figure out the real identity of the bogeyman who now had a face.

2002 booking photo

Seven months later, the NH State Police issued a press release. 'Bob Evans' was in fact one Terry Peder Rasmussen. DNA had confirmed a match with a son of his. 
 The reaction from the people of Allenstown was poignant. Learning that Rasmussen had four adult children, siblings to the little girl in the 2000 barrel, they had a message for them. They wanted to say that they had never forgotten the little girls in the barrels and had never stopped praying that they would be identified. To say that they had visited the grave over the years until the day family could come forward. To say that their hearts went out to Rasmussen's children for the difficult spot they found themselves in and that the people of Allenstown would now say prayers for their peace and comfort as they had for the other victims.

And even with all of this new information, the identities of the victims remain just out of reach.