Authorities identify man they believe killed five people tied to two N.H. cold cases

  • New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin points to the slide with the Bob Evans who was guilty of killing his wife Eunsoon Jun and the connecting points to other unsolved cases, including Denis Beaudin. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Allenstown middle child. Bob Evans biological child. Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Eunsoon Jun Photo Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Denise Beaudin 1981 at party with Bob Evans. Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Bob Evans is shown in 1981 at a party in New Hampshire. Courtesy New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office

  • Bob Evans booking photo in 2002 Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Allenstown oldest child Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Bob Evans 1985 booking photo in California Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Bob Evans in parole photo from 1990. Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Bob Evans parole photo in 1990 under the name of Curtis Kimball. Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Fifty-five-gallon steal drums are shown on the outskirts of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown in 2000. The dismembered remains of a 1- to 3-year-old child and a 2- to 4-year-old child were discovered in the barrels. Courtesy New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office

  • State Police Sgt. Michael Kokoski, in charge of the Cold Case Unit. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Allenstown youngest child Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Stelzin; head of the Homicide Bureau. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Capt. Ryan Grant of the Manchester Police Deptartment; in charge of the Detective Bureau. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Sgt. Michael Kokoski, left, Assistant A.G. Jefery Strelzin, center, and Capt. Ryan Grant address the media in front of the letter that ‘Lisa’ wrote asking for her privacy at the DMV Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • A barrel found in 1985. Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Denise Beaudin 1976 Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

  • Allenstown Adult Courtesy—New Hampshire A.G. Office

Monitor staff
Friday, January 27, 2017

A convicted killer with multiple aliases is responsible for murdering five people tied to two unsolved New Hampshire cold cases, one of which has haunted investigators for decades in Allenstown, authorities say.

The other, more recent case started as a missing persons investigation in Manchester, but is now considered a homicide.

The man is known locally as Robert “Bob” Evans. But prior to 1977, it’s unclear who he was and where he lived, authorities said during a news conference Thursday.

Evans died from natural causes in December 2010 in a California prison, where he was serving 15 years to life for killing a woman whom he identified as his wife, Eunsoon Jun. California police found Jun’s dismembered body in her basement, buried in cat litter.

Decades earlier, in 1985, hunters had stumbled upon naked, partially dismembered bodies that had been stuffed into a 55-gallon steel drum and left on the outskirts of Bear Brook State Park. Inside were the remains of a woman and a 5- to 11-year-old girl.

A second barrel was discovered 15 years later on the same Allenstown property, which is still owned by Evans’s former work supervisor. It too had human remains inside: those of a 1- to 3-year-old child and a 2- to 4-year-old child.

A DNA test confirmed this past October that Evans fathered one of his four Allenstown victims, the middle age child found in the second barrel.

Investigators say the Allenstown victims were murdered in the early 1980s, around the time Evans left New Hampshire. He was familiar with the property where the four victims were found, and he was known to dump material there from the mill, authorities said.

“In almost every homicide case that we work on, the most important starting point that we have is the identity of the victim. It’s that information that usually leads you to the killer,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin told members of the press.

For decades in the Allenstown case, the identities of the victims were unknown. No one came forward and reported them missing, no witnesses were found, and little evidence existed besides the bodies themselves. Even now, his daughter has no name, and the lives of the woman and the two girls remain a mystery.

“Here, we are confident we have our killer, and we hope that leads us to the identity of our victims,” Strelzin said.

In recent years, authorities have learned more about the Allenstown victims, thanks to improved DNA testing. The woman, believed to be in her mid-20s, was likely the mother of the two other children, who were maternally related. Testing of the victims’ hair, bones and teeth indicate they were born in the United States and spent most of their lives in just a few areas of the country, including and most likely the Northeast.

Since learning Evans fathered the middle child, authorities began a search for her mother. They said Thursday they don’t know if the woman is alive, or if she may have been another one of Evans’s victims.

“What’s clear is this is someone who targeted females and specifically children,” Strelzin said. “He certainly fits the profile of a serial killer.”

Shadowy memories

Strelzin described Evans as transient, but with clear ties to Manchester where he worked at the Waumbec Mills as an electrician. Evans’s apartment at 925 Hayward St. was his only established residence, and it’s the place he shared for some time with his then-girlfriend, Denise Beaudin.

The couple and Beaudin’s 6-month-old daughter left the city soon after Thanksgiving of 1981. Beaudin’s family knew the couple was having financial difficulties, and they assumed Beaudin and Evans had left the area as a result.

Beaudin, though, was never seen or heard from again.

“We theorize that he left with Denise for at least a period of time,” Strelzin said. “Somewhere between New Hampshire and California, he killed her and disposed of her.”

Exactly when that might have happened during the roughly 3,000-mile trip is unknown.

Manchester police and the FBI recently searched the basement of the Hayward Street home where the couple lived, but found no human remains. Strelzin said investigators knew the likelihood of finding Beaudin there was slim, but that they had to eliminate the location as part of their ongoing search.

Beaudin’s daughter, who was last known as Lisa Jenson in California, was abandoned by a man named Gordon Jenson in summer 1986. Jenson, whom authorities know today to be Evans, falsely claimed to be the girl’s father. He left her to a family who lived in San Bernardino County and fled the area. She was put into foster care and later adopted.

Today, the woman, only identified by authorities as Lisa, is married with three children. She has shadowy memories of an adult female in her life but can’t say if those images are of her mother, Strelzin said.

Authorities say they are continuing their search for her father and have narrowed down their list to a handful of possibilities.

A critical break in the case came after Lisa took steps to learn more about her past and biological family. Her search provided New Hampshire investigators with critical DNA information that linked Evans to the Manchester and Allenstown cold cases, Strelzin said Thursday.

DNA testing in August 2003 determined Evans was not Lisa’s father. The result of that test prompted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office to open an investigation into the true identity of Lisa Jenson. Through genealogical websites available for public use, Lisa began to track her family lineage to New Hampshire, and to her first cousin and grandfather. The search proved that she is Beaudin’s daughter.

In a statement read Thursday by Strelzin, Lisa asked that the press respect her privacy and focus on helping authorities solve the Allenstown case: “Please turn your focus toward the unidentified victims, and other potentially unknown victims in this case, and hopefully their families will also be offered some closure as this investigation continues.”

Pieces of the puzzle

Evans had multiple run-ins with authorities in California prior to his incarceration in the early 2000s for Jun’s murder. California authorities had doubts for some time that Evans was Lisa’s biological father, but he left the area before they could question him further.

California police were able to obtain Evans’s fingerprints from the trailer where he lived with the girl as they investigated him on child abandonment charges. When they ran his prints through the FBI’s fingerprint database, they got positive matches for a man named Curtis Kimball. They were looking for the prints of Gordon Jenson.

There’s a 12-year period when authorities can’t account for Evans’s whereabouts. He absconded from parole in October 1990 and didn’t resurface again until 2002, when Jun was reported missing.

Jun and the Allenstown victims all died of blunt-force trauma to the head. Two of the Allenstown victims and Jun were dismembered.

The mystery of how Beaudin died lives on decades after her disappearance.

Beaudin is not related to the four Allenstown victims, authorities say. There was some speculation that the adult female might be Beaudin, but DNA testing has proven that theory false.

During Thursday’s news briefing, Strelzin said investigators are pleased that they’ve been able to make such progress in the Allenstown and Manchester cold cases but they are “hungry for more.”

“We’re more optimistic than we ever have been about closing the pieces of the puzzle,” he said.

That happiness, however, is tempered by a stark reality, Strelzin said: Evans will never be held accountable for the people he murdered in New Hampshire.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)