In 1993, journalist Philip Ginsburg released a book on the Connecticut River Valley Murders, a series of up to 13 homicides--all stabbings--that occurred near the town of Claremont between 1968 and 1988. The book is titled, The Shadow of Death, and I found a first edition hardcover on Amazon for next to nothing.
The narrative Ginsburg pulls together is great. It's simply one of the best true crime books I've ever read, if not THE best. He takes great care to introduce us to a variety of strange characters, from junk yard creeps to the detectives trying to catch a serial killer.
Over the course of 20 years, police and profiler John Philpin came up with many theories about the predator. Some thought there might be a connection to local hospitals, as three of the murdered women worked in the medical field: Bernice Courtemanche, Ellen Fried, and Barbara Agnew. Agnew's boyfriend at the time distributed X-ray equipment to hospitals.
Of course, they never did catch the killer, though a number of suspects are discussed (Ginsburg uses fake names for them). The murders appeared to end abruptly in 1988, after Jane Boroski managed to escape her attack. She's the one who provided the sketch of the bad guy. It's assumed the serial killer either stopped or moved away.
The cases have appeared in the news again recently. A few years ago, a PI and a reporter tried to make a case for Michael Nicholau, a Vietnam vet with a violent streak who lived in Mass. But for many reasons that doesn't shake out. I also learned that one of the suspects in Ginsburg's book--Paul Oakes--committed suicide just last year as he was about to faces charges for sexual misconduct.
Those close to the case, though, suspect the real serial killer has yet to be named.