Episode 102

A Serial Killer in the Connecticut River Valley?

August 9, 2021   Tags: , , ,
Apple Podcasts
For a decade--from 1978 to 1988--there seemed to be an offender preying on women in the Connecticut River Valley area. Seven women were murdered and one was left for dead. There has been many persons of interest throughout the years, but the cases remain unsolved. 

The Murders of Cathy Millican, Mary Elizabeth Critchley, and Bernice Courtemanche:
Cathy Millican:
26-year-old Cathy Millican on the afternoon of October 24th, she left work and went to the Chandler Brook Wetland. She had planned on taking pictures of birds.

She never returned home that night. When she didn’t show up for work the next morning, her co-workers reported her missing. 

Shortly after the report came in, Cathy’s body was discovered just yards away from where she’d been taking photographs the day before. She had been stabbed over 20 times--some reports saying at least 29 times--in the neck and abdomen.

Mary Elizabeth Critchley:
Almost three years later in Massachusetts, a case that is now thought to be tied to this series unfolded. 37-year-old Mary Elizabeth Critchley was a student at the University of Vermont. She’d been in the Boston area in July of 1981 for a dentist appointment. 

On July 25th, she decided to hitchhike home to Vermont. Passersby saw her near exit 13 of the Massachusetts Turnpike near Framingham.  When she didn’t return home to Waterbury, her family reported her missing.

Just over two weeks later, Mary Elizabeth’s body was discovered off Unity Stage Road in Unity, New Hampshire. Wood cutters came across her remains on August 9th. Her cause of death could not be determined.

Bernice Courtemanche:
It would be nearly three years again before more victims were added to the series--if it is a series

17-year-old Bernice Courtemanche was a nurse’s aide in Claremont, New Hampshire. On May 30th, 1984, Bernice was seen hitchhiking in West Claremont around 3:30 PM. She was reported missing when she never made it home.

On April 19th, 1986, Bernice's remains were located. Her body was in Newport, New Hampshire, just off Cat Hole Hill Road. Bernice had been stabbed. During the murder, the offender slit her throat. 

The Murders of Ellen Fried and Eva Morse: 
Ellen Fried:
Late on July 22nd, 1984, 26-year-old nurse Ellen Fried stopped to use a payphone in Claremont, New Hampshire. She called her sister and the two talked for nearly an hour. On the call, Ellen was spooked by a car that kept driving by. 

Before she left the parking lot of the convenience store, Ellen asked her sister to hold on for a minute. She wanted to make sure her car would still start. Ellen started her car and then came back to the phone. She told her sister goodbye and hung up. 

It was the last time anyone spoke to Ellen.  On September 19th, 1985, hikers near Sugar River discovered the remains of Ellen Fried. 

After two years in the elements, a cause of death wasn’t able to be determined. But according to the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit, part of the remnants of the attack were visible. They said, “the circumstance of her disappearance and the findings at the scene were consistent with Ellen having been sexually assaulted before her death.”

Eva Morse:
27-year-old single mom Eva Marie Morse worked in Charlestown, New Hampshire. She didn’t have much money and normally hitchhiked to and from work. 

On July 10th, 1985, she began walking toward Route 12 after work. Then began hitchhiking toward Claremont once she was closer to the route. It was the last time Eva was seen. 

It would take until April 1986, before Eva's body would be discovered. A logger was working in West Unity, New Hampshire--not far from where Mary Elizabeth Critchley was discovered in 1981. Just 500 feet from where Mary Elizabeth’s body was, Eva Morse’s remains were discovered. According to reports she was also stabbed and her throat was slit. 

The Murders of Lynda Moore and Barbara Agnew and the attack of Jane Boroski:
Lynda Moore:
On April 15th, 1986, neighbors saw 36-year-old Lynda Moore outside in her lawn chair at 11:45 AM at her home on Tidd's Corner. Lynda’s husband Stephen called the house at 12:40 PM. The two spoke. Then a neighbor saw her again in her lawn chair at 2 PM.

Stephen tried to call Lynda back a little later but she didn’t answer. By 3 PM, Lynda still hadn’t answered the phone or called back. Stephen went to the house to check on her. 

When he came into the house, he saw Lynda face down on the living room rug. She had been stabbed 25 times. We don’t know the exact location of the injuries, but we know that time of death was set sometime between 2 PM and 3 PM--mainly based on witness accounts and the time Stephen arrived home.

Stephen told The Brattleboro Reformer the house was in order, saying, “It’s strange. There’s not a thing out of place in the house. It was like nothing happened.”

Investigators searched the residence. No murder weapon was located. A roadblock was set up a half mile from the house. Drivers were stopped to see if they witnessed anything in the area. 

One witness said he’d noticed a man in the Moore’s driveway. The witness said the man was between the ages of 20 and 25. He was wearing glasses and had a backpack. The man wasn’t located. 

Barbara Agnew:
39-year-old registered nurse Barbara Agnew went skiing on Stratton Mountain. On January 10th, 1987, she had dinner with friends and then went home to Norwich around 10 PM despite a major snowstorm in the area. 

On her route home, Barbara’s green BMW ended up parked in a rest area off of I-91 near White River Junction, just ten miles from her home. It was parked perpendicular to the curb. 

Barbara was supposed to pick up her son from her ex-husband Kenneth on the 14th. She didn’t show. Kenneth reported her missing--insisting she wouldn’t voluntarily disappear.

Later on the 14th, Barbara's blood-stained jacket, vest and sweater in the dumpster of the rest area. Law enforcement was able to locate Barbara’s car in the tow yard. Blood was discovered in the front and back seats. 

Nearly three months later, Barbara’s body was discovered. On March 28th, 1987, hikers were near Advent Hill Road in Hartland, Vermont. Her body was frozen under an apple tree on the banks of a stream. It was over 12 miles away from the rest area, and 90 feet off a dirt road. 

Barbara had been stabbed in the neck and stomach. Based on the evidence found, investigators believed Barbara was kidnapped from the rest area. It is believed she was killed where her remains were recovered. According to one of the witnesses, Barbara's body was atop a large pool of blood in the snow. 

Jane Boroski:
22-year-old Jane Boroski spent August 5th at the Cheshire County Fair. She was seven months pregnant at the time. On her way home, she became thirsty. She stopped around 12:30 AM at a store on Route 10 in West Swanzey--about four miles from the fair.

The store was closed but they had vending machines outside. While at the machines, a man in a golden-brown Jeep Wagoneer pulled up behind her. The man followed her across the parking lot. Jane got in her car.

As she sat in the driver’s seat, the man walked up to the vehicle. He asked if the payphone worked. According to a description the man looked “normal.” But after his question he began a conversation that was anything but normal. He told Jane he beat up his girlfriend. Then he grabbed her and pulled her out of the car. 

The offender stabbed her 27 times. The wounds were to her neck, chest and abdomen. She and her child survived. A sketch was rendered of the suspect. 

The possible series began on October 24th, 1978. Cathay Millican was stabbed over 20 times after taking photos at the Chandler Brook Wetland in New London, New Hampshire. 

Mary Elizabeth Critchley went missing while hitchhiking on the Massachusetts Turnpike near exit 13 on July 25, 1981. Her body was discovered on August 9th in Unity, New Hampshire on Unity Stage Road. The cause of death is unknown. 

Bernice Courtemanche was last seen alive in Claremont, New Hampshire on May 30th, 1984. Her remains were located nearly two years later off of Cat Hole Hill Road in Newport. She’d been stabbed.

Ellen Fried spoke to her sister on a payphone in Claremont, New Hampshire on July 22nd, 1984. She told her sister about a suspicious car in the parking lot. Her body was discovered on September 19th, 1985, next to the Sugar River in Kelleyville. She was sexually assaulted but her cause of death is undetermined. 

Eva Morse was last seen alive on July 10th, 1985, hitchhiking on Route 12 in North Charleston, New Hampshire. Her remains were discovered in April 1986 in West Unity, New Hampshire. She’d been stabbed. 

Lynda Moore was killed inside her home in Westminster, Vermont on April 15th, 1986, between 2 and 3 PM. She was stabbed 25 times.

The following year, Barbara Agnew went missing from a rest stop on I-91 near White River Junction on January 10th, 1987. Her body was discovered on March 28th, frozen under an apple tree. She was also stabbed. 

The last crime associated with the series is the attack on seven month pregnant Jane Boroski. Jane was in West Swanzey, New Hampshire around 12:30 AM on August 6th, 1988. A man driving a Jeep Wagoneer approached her vehicle. He reached in and pulled her out of the car. He then stabbed her 27 times. Jane and her child survived the attack.

If you have any information on this case, please contact us.


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As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.