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.