I read once that, at any time, there are about a dozen practicing serial killers operating in the United States. According to profilers, most serial killers target women of similar race and socio-economic background. Like predators in the wild, these men stalk their prey, wait for the perfect moment to kill, then leave or transport their body to a place they are familiar with enough to be somewhat secure and comfortable in their actions.
From around 1978 to about 1988, the Connecticut River Valley was the territory of a particularly fearsome serial killer who dumped women's bodies up and down Route 91 from the Mass border up to Hartford. During my travels to the North Country, many people asked me if I thought there could be a connection. I didn't think so. The killings stopped a while ago, after all. But, the more I read about the cold cases, the more I wonder...
The first victim attributed to the Connecticut River Valley Killer is 27 year old Cathy Millican, who was photographing birds at the Chandler Brook Wetland Preserve in New London, NH. Her body was later found nearby, with 29 stab wounds. Six other women may have been murdered by this man. A couple were hitchhikers. Three worked at local hospitals: 16 year old nurses's aide Bernice Courtemanche (last seen in Claremont); 27 year-old Ellen Fried (a supervising nurse at Valley Regional Hospital); 38-year-old Barbara Agnew (her car was found in Hartford, VT). All stabbed to death.
The killings presumably stopped after a botched attack in 1988. 22-year-old Jane Boroski was attacked outside a convenience store in West Swanzey by a man in a Jeep Wagoneer. He stabbed her 27 times and left her to die. She managed to survive and was able to provide police with the sketch of her attacker (above).
Sixteen years later, Maura vanished in this serial killer's sandbox.
What do you think? Related or not?
As always, you can send tips directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
View The Valley Killer's Victims in a larger map