Ellen Ruth Fried born on August 9th, 1957. Ellen was a nurse supervisor at Valley Regional Hospital.
On July 22nd, 1984, Ellen was 26-years-old when she was last seen, late at night, talking to her sister on a payphone outside Leo’s Market in Claremont. She mentioned that a car kept driving by while she was on the phone with her sister for nearly an hour until just after midnight. She was so spooked by the car driving by that she reportedly had her sister wait while she made sure the car started before she ended the call. I could not understand why she would stop to call her sister from a payphone after work in a dark parking lot. As an adult, that decision in the middle of the night seems hard to understand. It was a different time as far as cell service but as a nurse supervisor I would be surprised if she did not have a home phone then, especially if she planned on talking for over an hour.
Ellen was reported missing after she failed to show up for work the next day and her car was found abandoned on Jarvis Rd, a few miles away from the store where she used the payphone.
Ellen’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area next to the Sugar River in Newport, New Hampshire over a year later on September 19th, 1985. Her remains were reportedly found only about a mile from where Bernice Courtemanche’s body was found and 7 miles from the market where she made the call.
The autopsy did not reveal a cause of death, due to her remains being mostly skeletal. Police indicate that the circumstance of her disappearance and the findings at the scene were consistent with Ellen having been sexually assaulted before her death and this case is considered a homicide. I could not locate what the information was that lead to this conclusion, information was likely held back as to not hinder the investigation and rule out false confessions.
It is unknown/not published where her body was laid to rest.
Another case that has been tied to the Connecticut River Valley killer was Bernice Courtemanche.
Bernice was born on December 24, 1966 to Robert Byron Courtemanche, Sr and named after her grandmother on her father’s side. I could not locate her mother’s name but she did have 2 brothers.
At the time of her disappearance she was just 17. She was a Nurse’s Aide at the Sullivan County Nursing Home in Beauregard Village
Sources indicate that she was last seen by her boyfriend’s mother at approximately 3:30 p.m. onMay 30, 1984 hitchhiking in West Claremont, NH after leaving work.
At the time of her disappearance she was believed to be hitchhiking to her boyfriend’s house. She was reported missing the day after she was last seen.
Two years later, on April 19, 1986 her remains were discovered by fishermen just off Cat Hole Hill Road in Newport, NH. Autopsy found that she had been stabbed to death with knife wounds to the neck and some type of injury to her head.
Her body was laid to rest in Mountain View Cemetery in Claremont, NH.
I found myself putting off writing about this case because I was frustrated with the lack of information that I could find despite the potential tie to the Connecticut River Valley Serial Killer and the sheer number of articles that Betsy is mentioned in. So like many of the other articles, this is just going to be a retelling of the most basic facts in this case.
Mary Elizabeth Critchley, known as “Betsy” was born on December 25, 1943 and was the oldest child of James Joseph Critchley and Elizabeth McLaughlin Critchley. Betsy has 2 younger sisters.
Betsy was a 37-year old student at the University of Vermont at the time of her suspected murder. She was in Massachusetts for a dental appointment and was last seen on the evening of July 25, 1981 when she was dropped off near Exit 13 on the Mass Turnpike with the intention of hitchhiking home to Waterbury, VT where she shared an apartment with a friend. She never made it home that night.
Betsy’s body was found on 8/9/21 in a wooden area off Unity Stage Rd in Unity, NH . Due to significant decomposition, her cause of death could not be determined but foul play is suspected. Her body was fully clothed but her backpack and sandals were never located.
Betsy is buried in St Joseph’s Cemetary in Plainville, CT
14 year old Carrie Moss was last seen on July 25, 1989 when she left her family home on her bike, heading to Goffstown to go swimming. She was wearing her bathing suit under t-shirt and jeans and white boots. By all reports, there was nothing to suspect it was anything other than a normal day…except that she never came home.
Some of the research sites have sources that indicated that Carrie did run away as the police had assumed, and spent at least some time at her boyfriend’s house. Police assumed the girl was a runaway, which was compounded by the fact that her parents did not report her missing for 2 months – not until September 1989, assuming that she would return home.
Carrie was dating an 18 year old man at the time she went missing, and had recently been in trouble with the law after a marijuana arrest. Carrie had a court date set for the day after she went missing, which contributed to the idea that she had reason to run away.
Police continued with that assumption until her skeletal remains were found by a 10 year boy almost 2 years later in an wooded area, off Riverdale road. Site was about 2 miles from her parents house. Clothing identified as belonging to Carrie was found 50 yards from her remains. It is suspected that she died around the time she was last seen. Her remains were too decomposed for cause of death but foul play is suspected.
Due to the time period, this case is sometimes tied to the Connecticut River Valley serial killer.
Police have also investigated whether her case is connected to Kimberly Goss’s murder in 1989. Daniel Vandebogart was convicted of Goss’s rape and murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Anyone with information about the death of Carrie Moss should contact the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3575
From 1978 through at least 1987 , a suspected serial killer dubbed the “Connecticut Valley Serial Killer” operated in and around Claremont, NH. There are 7 victims – 6 dead and one survivor that have been popularly connected to this killer due to the stab patterns and similarities between the crime but the Cold Case Unit has said they are not sure if they are connected. All of the cases are unsolved. In this series of posts we are going to go through all the victims, a case at a time.
The first victim, Cathy Millican, was born May 25, 1951. She lived in Sunapee, NH and worked in North Wilmont, NH at Addison Publishing. She graduated College in 1972 and worked at the phone company when she was in school. She was married to Charles Millican.
On October 24th, 1978 She left her job for the day and was photographing birds at a local nature preserve for the New Hampshire Chapter of the Audobon Society.
Cathy was reported missing after not arriving for work the next day. Her body was found soon after not far from where she was last seen. Her body had at least 29 stab wounds in the neck and abdomen.
Reports surfaced of a gray car in area the afternoon she went missing but the information was vague.
Robbery did not appear to be a motive as her car and her belongings were undisturbed.
52-year old Louise Chaput was a self employed pyschiatrist and mother of two daughters that lived in Sherbrook, Quebec. She was self-employed and worked primarily in marriage counseling and with prisoners at local prison. Reportedly work had been hard, and she was looking forward to a trip with friends to explore the Middle East but this was 2001, and after 9/11 those plans were abruptly canceled.
Louise still sought a break. A capable outsdoors woman and hiker, she called around to see if anyone could join her for a trip to the mountains but when no one could join her, she thought nothing of going alone. She dropped her 18 years Louise reserved a room at Joe Dodge Lodge and started out on her drive.
Louise crossed the border in Vermont at 11:45 AM, and stopped briefly at the Pik Quik at 12:50 pm in Colebrook. She arrived at her destination around 3 pm – just before check-in time at her hotel.
Louise stopped by the information Center at the Appalachian Mountain Club Visitor’s center where she sought information about a short hike that would take her back to the hotel before dark. During the conversation, she was directed to a trail called the lost pond trail. The trail is a short, easy hike and she seemed to be in Agreement with that route when she left. This was the last known sighting of Louise alive.
Louise never made it back to check into her hotel. Her boyfriend reported her missing when she did not arrive back home on Monday. Her silver ford focus was found across from the Direttisma , and it contained items that she would have typically brought with her such as her hiking shoes, chocolate and water bottle. What was missing was her Blue Kanuk Backpack with a down sleeping bag, her car keys with a silver S pendant. Police have asked that hikers keep an eye out on the trail incase something is ever uncovered.
Louise’s body was found fully clothed, burned and stabbed . Autopsy reported that she has multiple stab and clean slice wounds. Her body was found just a quarter mile from the visitor’s center on the far more complicated Glen Boulder Trail that tracks to Mount Isolation but she didn’t make it far. No one knows why she changed her mind but it appeared to be a fatal decision. It appears she died just as she was starting her trek.
A few things about this case were immediately clear – robbery did not appear to be a motive as the items that were missing were low value. The car keys were missing but the car was still there, her credit and bank cards were not stolen or used and she was not sexually assaulted. Due to her work with marriage counseling and at the prison, police even ruled out that she was stalked or followed but there was no indication that occurred. Police are working with the theory that the attack was random but a local who knew the area. The case still remains unsolved, and I have found all of the information that I could. While there are many articles on this case there is not a lot of information. After 20 years the case remains a unsolved. If you have any information that might be helpful in solving this case, you can reach the NH Cold Case Unit 603-223-3856.
Calm was shattered in the small town of Oxford, Ma when the police received 2 9-1-1 calls from the couple living at 234 Old Webster Street. Gun shots range out during the call and police found tragedy when they arrived at the scene.
The 4 bedroom home was shared by Jamie Dickenson, 34, known in the neighborhood as a mom who loved gardening and 38 year old JesseBrooks, an electrician. The couple had 2 children together and Jamie’s 13 year old son from a previous relationship.
The 13 year old boy was able to climb out the window with his 4 year old sister, and flee to the neighbors for safety. The neighbors also called 9-1-1.
By the time the police got there it was too late. Jamie Dickinson was found dead in the kitchen, and Brooks was found dead in the backyard from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. A 3 year old child was found in the house after the shootings but was physically unharmed.
Neighbors say they often heard the couple fighting but were shocked by the tragedy.
The children are reportedly now in the custody of relatives and are receiving trauma services. The couple’s 2 dogs have been taken by animal control.
Neighbors reported that the family at 2 Windsong Drive seemed to be a close family. Ragna Ellen Stone, know as Ellen, had lived in the home since 1986 and was well known by all of the neighbors. She lived in the home with her daughter Laura, her husband Thomas and their 2 small children, Finn age 4 and Charlotte age 2. There were no outward sounds of any difficulties in the home. Described as a quiet man, Thomas Mortimer IV was known as a stay at home dad and was very often seen playing with the kids in the yard.
43- year old Thomas Mortimer IV had just started a new job after having been unemployed for 18 months. He had reportedly left a good job for another one that lasted less than 5 months just prior to the extended unemployment stint and was bitter that job did not last. He had recently been hired as Senior Sales Executive and was doing very well in his first 2 weeks of his new job.
Meanwhile at home, his wife, Laura Stone-Mortimer got the mail. She was incredibly upset to find a check for $2499 to the Internal Revenue Service had bounced. This was probably related to being unemployed for so long and having just started a new job.
The argument reportedly went into the evening when Thomas returned from work. The timeline from the records I have read seem to indicate that Thomas smashed his wife in the face with a frying pan before stabbing her 60 times.
His mother in law ran to the front door but didn’t make it. She was stabbed 18 times and covered by an Oriental rug in the Living room.
Thomas “Finn” Mortimer, just 4 years old witnessed these murders according to the note left by his father, before his throat was slashed and he was also killed. He was found under a blanket near his mother.
Charlotte was standing up in her crib when her father came in for her, slashing her throat and leaving her in a pool of blood in her crib.
Thomas might have had the intention to kill himself but was unsuccessful. He left two notes detailing his actions and fled the home. The bodies were discovered by the authorities on June 16, 2010 after Laura’s sister called them. Mortimer had written and printed out detailed confessions left at the scene. He was caught and arrested the next day near the Vermont border.
Thomas pleaded guilty and will serve the rest of his life in prison. I am glad he spared the rest of the surviving family the trauma of a trial.
Rachel was from Kingston, MA. She graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1997 before enrolling in Holy Cross which included a year abroad in England.
Rachel met Neil Entwhistle while participating in the rowing club while in England. The couple married in Plymouth,MA in August of 2003.
In September 2005, after daughter Lillian was born the couple moved to Massachusetts first moving in with Rachel’s mother in Carver, MA then eventually renting a 5 bedroom luxury room in Hopkinton January 12, 2006 that the family would be in for just 10 days before the murders.
Entwhistle was an IT expert and Computer Programmer who had difficulty finding a job in the US. Entwhistle sold computer products on eBay but received many complaints from buyers who never received their orders. He also ran a site called millionmaker.co.uk which offered support to adult internet businesses – that site later closed.
Entwhistle spent time in the internet on sites like adult Friend finder and other similar sites.
On January 21st, Neil Entwhistle allegedly went to the home of his in-laws in Carver when they were at work He took a gun belonging to his father in law and headed back to Hopkinton where he shot Rachel in the head and Lillian in the chest in the bed of the master bedroom, then pulled the blankets up. He then returned the gun to Carver while his in-laws were still out of the house. Maybe thinking the gun would not b we connected to the murders and if it was that it would draw suspicion away from him.
Entwhistle drive to Logan airport and took a British Airways flight to London. He drove around the country before eventually ending up at his parents home where he told them he had found Rachel dead and as a final insult, accused Rachel of killing Lillian and herself. Something he would also later use as a defense.
Rachel and Lillian were missed almost immediately but it would take a couple of days for the bodies to be found in the bed of the master bedroom.
On February 1st, Rachael and Lillian were laid to rest. Neil was arrested on February 9th, at the Royal Oak Underground station. He was carrying a notebook detailing his plans to sell his story.
Neil Entwhistle was extradited February 15th after waiving his right to challenge extradition. Entwhistle’s DNA was found on the revolver used to kill his family. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
East Bridgewater is close to Brockton, but it’s not really a place that you think of as being dangerous, and is more likely to be known for Skinner’s Candy shop than it is crime but in the last 30 years there have been 3 cases that have come from the sleepy little town and when it comes to the horror of murder, all 3 cases could be a novel in themselves. Today I am writing about the first one.
A well being check called in by an astute neighbor on February 8, 2021 at 6:30 pm lead to a body being found. When police initially arrived, they found 70 year old Stephen Walcott Senior dying from head trauma.
Police had a suspect in mind and by 7:30 pm they had tracked Stephen Walcott, Jr back to his mother’s home in Brockton where he was arrested on suspicion of murder. Walcott, Jr gave a statement detailing the events of the night that indicated that he had actually driven to his father’s home with the intent to kill him because he said his father was the devil.
Articles say that his statement detailed that he got into a verbal altercation with his elderly father and punched him in the face and head, before beating the back of his head with a nearby dumbbell weight.
This instance was not the first instance of domestic violence that the son had allegedly visited on the father. In September of 2020, there was another such incident where Walcott, Jr is accused of punching his father several times and damaging a classic car. The father did take out a restraining order but is said to have felt bad about that because he felt his son had a mental handicap. He wanted a relationship with his son.
Walcott, Jr had seemingly been struggling with his mental health for over a year and spent various lengths of time in several different mental health institutions over the prior 15 months. His sister claims that he has bipolar disorder while Walcott, Jr is quoted as saying he has schizophrenia.
Walcott, Jr has been indicted and is pleading not guilty. Defense counsel has asked for a mental health evaluation and it is expected that the results will have an large impact on this trial one way or another.
Cases like this always want me to stand up on my soap box and preach how I don’t understand why the hell it is so hard to get mental health help. I don’t understand why as a health system we don’t understand that your mental health has huge impacts on your physical health, along with the physical and mental health of the rest of your family. I once read a great article about this, so rather than do a half ass job of telling you about it – here’s a link. Please read it if you have the time and join us in the next couple of days for the next EDast Bridgewater case.