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The Connecticut River Valley Murders, Part Two

Were these murders serial killings? I don't know. There seem to be factors arguing otherwise.

1. The women, though all under forty, were pretty widely separated in age otherwise. Serial killers tend to stick to the same age group when hunting victims. Bernice Courtemanche, at seventeen, could have been the daughter of the oldest victim, Barbara Agnew.

2. They didn't--at least from what I can tell from the photos printed in the press--resemble each other closely. Ted Bundy, perhaps the nation's best-known serial killer, went for a very specific look in his victims, even down to the shoulder-length, center-parted hair of the vast majority of them. At the time I wrote the Boston Strangler book, there was a suspected serial killer in the south who targeted only red-haired women.

3. Two were nurses, one was a nurse's aid. This fact gave rise to some speculation that the killer stalked nurses. But the other victims had no professional connection to the medical field.

4. Eva Morse, the fourth victim, ran with a rough crowd. A very rough crowd. It's possible she was killed by an associate.

5. Three of the victims--at least according to press reports--were hitchhikers. While a lone female hitchhiker makes the ideal prey for a serial killer--again, the other victims weren't hitchhikers. The sole victim on the Vermont side of the river, Lynda Moore, was at home when she was attacked.

6. The murder of Mary Elizabeth Critchley took place several years before the others, which were clustered during a narrower frame of time.

It's possible that some of the victims were slain by the same person. Whether they all were is much less certain.
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