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Timeline, photo updated for serial killer Rasmussen

New Hampshire Sunday News

November 02. 2017 3:09PM
A 1973 booking photo from Arizona of Terry Peder Rasmussen. 

Authorities have released a new photo of the man they believe murdered a woman and three girls whose bodies were found in barrels in Allenstown decades ago. Their hope is that a 1973 booking photo from Arizona of Terry Peder Rasmussen, and information about another arrest in that state two years later, may trigger someone, somewhere, to remember something that solves a mystery that has haunted investigators for years.

“It’s another piece of the timeline, another decent quality picture of him that might help people remember,” said Jeffery Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general.

“The more parts of his life we can piece together, the more likely we are to get the identity of our victims,” he said.

Authorities believe Rasmussen was a serial killer. In addition to the four Allenstown victims, they believe he likely killed Denise Beaudin, a 23-year-old woman who left Manchester in 1981 with her infant daughter and the boyfriend she knew as Robert Evans, now identified as Rasmussen.

Beaudin’s daughter was abandoned by Rasmussen five years later in California and was later adopted. It was her 2016 search for her true identity that led authorities to link Evans/Rasmussen with the Allenstown victims and with Beaudin’s disappearance.

Rasmussen used a series of aliases as he moved around the country for years. He was calling himself Lawrence William Vanner when he murdered his common-law wife in California in 2002; he went to prison for that crime and died there in 2010.

Authorities would later piece together a timeline showing that Rasmussen, who grew up in Phoenix, Ariz., had spent six years in the Navy. He got married in 1968 in Hawaii and he and his wife had four children before she left him in 1975.

Last year, DNA testing proved that Rasmussen also was the father of a 2-to-4-year-old girl whose body was found in Allenstown in 2000; the other three victims were all related, but that child was unrelated to any of them. The discovery added another layer to the grisly mystery: who — and where — was the child’s mother?

Strelzin said new information strengthens the possibility that she was the unidentified woman Rasmussen’s ex-wife told investigations had accompanied Rasmussen the last time she saw him, when he showed up unannounced at the family’s home one Christmas in the 1970s.

Investigators found a booking photo from Rasmussen’s arrest in 1973 in Phoenix for being a fugitive from justice. Strelzin said authorities have not yet been able to learn what the outstanding charge was in that case.

But they also learned that Rasmussen, who was still using his real name, was again arrested by the Phoenix police department on June 11, 1975, for aggravated assault.

And that led them to alter the timeline in the case that tracks the man’s movements around the country.

Strelzin said authorities now believe that Christmas visit Rasmussen made to his family in Payson, Ariz., occurred either in 1975 or 1976, a few years later than previously believed. And that makes it more likely that the woman who was with him at the time could be the mother of his daughter who was buried in Allenstown, he said.

Strelzin said officials have heard from a number of people since publicizing the timeline and details in the case. Some have even sent photos of men they believed could be Rasmussen; so far, none have panned out, he said.

But Strelzin said authorities have become more optimistic the case will be solved with each piece of the puzzle that falls into place. “So we’re hopeful that putting out concrete information with our killer’s real identity and picture may cause someone to come forward with information that will ultimately let us not only identify the (Allenstown) victims, but find Denise Beaudin as well,” he said.

“Because she’s out there somewhere.”

Crime Allenstown Manchester

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