It is one of New Hampshire's darkest and most haunting mysteries.
In quiet Allenstown, New Hampshire, 60 miles north of Boston, investigators are still trying to identify the bodies of four victims, three of them children, discovered inside barrels decades ago.
The bodies were found in two metal drums near Bear Brook State Park.
A hunter found the first barrel in 1985. Inside, wrapped in trash bags, were the bodies of a young woman and a girl believed to have been between 8 and 11 years old. The woman's body was dismembered and the girl's lower legs were severed.
Fifteen years later, an investigator returned to the scene and found a second 55 gallon drum about 100 yards away from the first.
Inside the second drum, wrapped in garbage bags, were the bodies of two little girls. The oldest was estimated to be 2 to 4 years old, the youngest was only between 1 and 3 years old at the time of her death.
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DNA testing revealed the young woman was related to the oldest and youngest child, but she was not biologically related to the middle child.
The victims suffered blunt force trauma,and were murdered sometime in the 1970's to early 1980's.
None of these victims has been identified.
In 2016, New England's Unsolved traveled to Alexandria, Virginia and spoke to an artist with the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, who created life-like computer images of the victims’ faces, based on an analysis of their skulls.
"You can't help but get personally attached to it," NCMEC artist Joe Mullins said. "You just feel a sense of horror that these victims, had to endure, their last, their final moments on this planet."
The mystery of the Allenstown bodies continues to drive investigators to give them the dignity of their names.
New progress on an old investigation
In the past year, New Hampshire State Police have made incredible progress.
At a news conference in January 2017, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin announced a huge break: the killer's identity.
In the early 1980's a man known in New Hampshire as Bob Evans lived with his girlfriend, Denise Beaudin, in an apartment on Manchester's Hayward Street.
Evans is the man authorities now believe is not only the killer of the Allenstown victims, but DNA reveals, he is also the father of the unknown middle child.
It turns out, Bob Evans never really existed. Instead, his true name was Terry Rasmussen.
Rasmussen was a Denver, Colorado native who traveled the United States committing crimes and repeatedly changing his identity.
Why answers may never be found
In 2010, Rasmussen died in a California prison where he was serving time for the 2002 murder of his girlfriend, Eunsoon Jun in Richmond, California.
Denise Beaudin, Rasmussen's New Hampshire girlfriend, is missing. She is also feared to be one of Rasmussen's murder victims.
Beaudin was last seen in 1981 when she and Rasmussen suddenly left New Hampshire. Beaudin was pregnant with another man's child. Rasmussen gave up that little girl to a family in California in 1986. That child is now an adult and it was her research into her own history that led to the big break.
Today investigators are trying to learn more about Rasmussen in the hope that it might unlock the mystery of the Allenstown victims.
Recently new information has come to light about Rasmussen's life in the Southwest in the early 1970's where he was married and the father of a young family.
His family last saw Terry Rasmussen around Christmas 1975 in Payson, Arizona, in the company of an unidentified woman.
New Hampshire detectives are trying to identify that woman because she might be the mother of the middle child found in one of the Allenstown barrels. That identification, in turn, could be the key to identifying the adult woman and her two children.
From what is publicly known about Terry Rasmussen, he could be responsible for seven homicides: the four Allenstown victims, Eunsoon Jun, Denise Beaudin and the unknown Arizona woman.
There could be even more victims.
But right now, the priority is identifying the four people thrown away in barrels in the woods of Allenstown, New Hampshire.
If you have any information this case, call the New Hampshire State Police Cold Case Unit at 603-223-3856.
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