BOSTON — Northeastern University's Jack Levin is one of the country's best known criminologists. He has spent nearly his entire career studying, meeting and writing about serial killers.
Recently, Boston 25 News reporter Bob Ward spoke with Levin to try to get a better understanding of Terry Rasmussen, the man authorities believe murdered four people, three of them children, and then stuffed their bodies into two barrels in Allenstown, New Hampshire. 33 years after the discovery of the first barrel, all four victims remain unidentified.
"What distinguishes Rasmussen from most serial killers, is that he targeted people with whom he had a relationship," Levin told Ward. "Most serial killers would never do that; it's the last thing they would do. Instead, they focus on complete strangers."
DNA has confirmed Terry Rasmussen was the father of the middle child found in the barrels. It is not known how Rasmussen knew any of the other victims, but Levin believes he very likely knew them well.
"This killer had to make certain that the bodies weren't found at all because then the authorities would know he had a relationship with them" Levin said.
Terry Rasmussen moved to the Manchester, New Hampshire area in the late 1970s from Arizona, where he was a divorced father of four. Rasmussen arrived with a brand-new name: Bob Evans. Eventually, he lived with his girlfriend, Denise Beaudin, in an apartment on Manchester's Hayward Street.
Rasmussen and Beaudin disappeared in 1981. Beaudin remains missing, and is feared dead: a victim of Rasmussen.
In 2002, Rasmussen, living under another alias, was arrested in California for the murder of another girlfriend. He died in prison in 2010.
In all, authorities believe he could be responsible for the deaths of as many as seven people.
Jack Levin believes, for Rasmussen, intimacy led to murder.
"This guy may not have been able to control himself when he had an intimate relationship, either as a father, guardian, or a husband," Levin said. " And he decided when he didn't like the way things were going, he would get even with his victims."
There could still be more victims of Terry Rasmussen, right from his old Manchester, New Hampshire neighborhood.
In April 1980, a year and a half before Rasmussen disappeared, 14-year-old Laureen Rahn vanished from her home on Manchester's Merrimack St. At the time, Rasmussen lived a mile and a half a way.
In June 1980, Denise Daneault, a 23-year-old mother of two, disappeared. She was last seen at a bar on the corner of Manchester's Merrimack and Union Streets. In late 2017, the FBI, state, and local police searched woods on Manchester's West Side, looking for Daneault. Her remains were not found. But the tip that led investigators to the site, came from publicity surrounding Rasmussen and the Allenstown case.
At the time Denise Daneault disappeared, she lived on the same street as Terry Rasmussen, just a mile away.
New Hampshire authorities are not publicly linking the disappearances of Rahn and Daneault to Rasmussen; they tell Boston 25's Bob Ward there is no evidence connecting Rasmussen to those cases.
But Jack Levin tells Bob Ward the fact that Rasmussen, now a suspected serial killer, was in the neighborhood at the time of the disappearances is eye opening. Levin hopes investigators look for a possible relationship between Rasmussen and both of the missing females.
"It seems to me, that when you see people missing who live on the same street as the killer, and it happens more than once, you have to believe he is the killer, Levin told Ward. "In my view, I think we have to look for the relationship Rasmussen had with all of these missing people. I think if we find the relationship, we will also find the killer."
Cox Media Group