The Bear Brook Murders are still unsolved – and totally terrifying
“Here lies the mortal remains known only to God of a woman aged 23-33 and a girl child aged 8-10. Their slain bodies were found on November 10th, 1985, in Bear Brook State Park. May their souls find peace in God’s loving care.”
That’s what was written on a tombstone in an Allenstown, New Hampshire cemetery. A deceased adult female and young girl around the age of nine had been found in Bear Brook State Park. Their bodies were wrapped in plastic and stuffed into a 55-gallon metal drum. No one knew who they were or who had killed them.
Fifteen years later, pretty near to the first dump site, two more young girls were found stuffed into a metal drum, just as with the first two victims. It became clear to authorities that they had some sort of serial killer on their hands.
The 4,000 person population of Allenstown was shaken. It would take decades for the authorities to uncover answers to the questions that plagued citizens. Some answers in the case remain a mystery to this day.
Discovering the Bear Brook Murders
On November 10, 1985, the first two victims were found by a passing hunter. Their bodies had been dismembered and wrapped in what might have been a trash bag. The corpses were skeletonized, which made it harder to identify them. Because the state of decomposition was so advanced, professionals concluded the two had probably died between 1977 and 1985. Both had died from blunt force trauma.
The case went cold until 2000 when it was reassigned to a new team. A search was performed on the area once again and yet another metal drum was found. It wasn’t far from the first dump site. Authorities postulated that the drum might have been pushed further away by children who had played in the area, a chilling thought.
In the 55-gallon drum were two more bodies. This time it was two female children who were even younger than the first child. Because they had been killed, dismembered, and disposed of in the same way as the bodies found in 1985, investigators concluded that they were part of the same case.
Working backwards in the Bear Brook Murders
Forensic imaging specialists constructed likenesses of the victims, but they remained nameless for a long time. Surprisingly, what brought a breakthrough in the case was not the names of the victims, but the name of the killer. Investigators were working backwards to piece together the victims’ stories.
Authorities didn’t immediately tie the killer to the case. They found connections to him from another case in which a child had been abandoned in an RV park. This little girl grew up wondering where exactly she had come from and why her father had abandoned her. Later, when the child had become a grown woman, she submitted herself for DNA testing in order to uncover some of her genealogy.
It turned out she was the daughter of a woman named Denise Beaudin and not at all related to the man who had abandoned her. Beaudin had been missing for years. She had moved in 1981 with her daughter and a boyfriend named Bob Evans. Beaudin had become a missing person and her whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
What was important about this discovery was the fact that Beaudin’s family identified Bob Evans as the same person as a man who had named himself Gorden Jenson and Curtis Kimball. In fact, this man went by many aliases. Gorden Jenson, Curtis Kimball, Gerry Mockerman, Larry Vanner, and Bob Evans were just some of the names he went by. It wasn’t until later that authorities made the full connection.
In 2002, Bob Evans was being questioned for the case of his missing wife, Eunsoon Jun. Jun had gone missing pretty soon after marrying Evans that year. After several months, police found Jun buried in cat litter in the basement of Evans’ home. Evans pleaded guilty and was sentenced to fifteen years to life in 2004.
Evans died in prison in 2010, and investigators were still on the case of the Bear Brook Murders. They had a forensic breakthrough when they realized that Evans was the father of the middle child victim in the Bear Brook Murders. Unfortunately, since Evans was already dead, he couldn’t give more information about his crimes in a confession.
One of Evans’ living children had offered up their DNA to aid investigators with the case and they realized something important: Evans’ real name was Terry Peder Rasmussen.
Heroine librarian makes a break in the Bear Brook Murders case
A librarian and researcher named Rebekah Heath had been doing her own research on the identities of the nameless victims after hearing about the Bear Brook Murders on a podcast. Heath cross-referenced the timeline of the Bob Evans case with missing women & children and stumbled across a post about a woman named Marlyse Honeychurch. Honeychurch had also gone missing after leaving with a boyfriend.
After questioning the living relatives for a while, Heath discovered that the boyfriend’s name was Rasmussen. She felt in her gut that this was no coincidence. This lead given by Heath led investigators to being able to identify three of the bodies.
They knew Rasmussen to be an alcoholic drifter and figured out that the adult female was actually Marlyse Honeychurch, former girlfriend to Terry Rasmussen. Two of the children, the youngest and oldest child victims, were Honeychurch’s daughters: Mary Vaughn & Sarah McWaters.
Many questions in the Bear Brook Murders case have been answered, but some still remain. Denise Beaudin has not been found and police fear the worst for her fate. Investigators also still don’t know the identity of the middle child who was verified to be Rasmussen’s biological daughter.
In February 20, 2020, New Hampshire State police released a new composite sketch of the middle child victims in hopes that she not remain nameless forever.
If you think you know anything about the identity of the missing child, contact authorities. For more information on the Bear Brook Murders, the ABC show 20/20 featured an interview of a family involved in the case.
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