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What Happened to Denise Beaudin?

December 12, 2020
3 min read

ABC’s ’20/20: The Chameleon’ chronicles the Bear Brook murders and the story of the man responsible for them, “The Chameleon Killer.” He’s been dubbed as such as he used a lengthy list of aliases to commit his crimes and cons across California and New Hampshire. And the synopsis of the episode lays down its premise perfectly: “Decades after two barrels containing the bodies of a woman and three children were discovered in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park, a podcast renews interest in the cold case and helps lead to authorities solving it.” So, of course, all the possible linked cases were examined in this as well, including the disappearance of Denise Beaudin.

What Happened to Denise Beaudin?

Denise Beaudin, 23, was last seen on November 26, 1981, when she, her nearly six-month-old daughter Dawn, and her boyfriend, then known as Robert “Bob” Evans, had Thanksgiving dinner at her parents’ place in Manchester, New Hampshire. Just a week later, though, on December 1, when her family went to visit her at her 900 block Hayward Street home, there was no trace of anyone there. And Denise never came in contact with them again either. Initially, because the couple had been facing financial troubles, Denise’s family assumed that they’d left of their own free will to start a new life, so they never reported her missing.

Decades later, though, via DNA testing, officials discovered that Denise’s daughter was alive and well, residing in California under the assumed name Lisa Jensen. She had been kidnapped by Robert, who was using the pseudonym of Gordon Jensen and was posing as Lisa’s father. For a few years, he took care of her and raised her. But then, in 1986, he deserted Lisa at an RV park in Scotts Valley, California. And three years later, he was charged, arrested, and convicted of child abandonment. In 2016, 35 years after the fact, when all this came to light, the authorities announced that they considered Denise Beaudin to be officially missing.

Who Was Behind Denise Beaudin’s Disappearance?

The authorities claimed in 2016 that Robert “Bob” Evans, who died in 2010 in prison after being convicted of an unrelated 2002 murder, was behind Denise’s disappearance. However, when Robert was positively identified as Terrence “Terry” Peder Rasmussen, “The Chameleon Killer,” in 2017, they regretfully added that they fear Denise to be dead. Her remains, though, have never been found.

Along with that, they said that Lisa’s answers to the police after she was taken into protective custody in 1986 implies that she grew up with a few siblings, who also may have been Terry’s victims. “She said that she [had siblings], but they died from eating ‘grass mushrooms’ when they were out camping,” Deputy Headley said. “Which says, yeah, there’s more victims out there, definitely.”

There are a few varying reports about what people believe happened to Denise. While some say that Terry killed her in New Hampshire itself before fleeing with Lisa, others believe that the three of them did leave town on purpose but that Terry murdered his then-girlfriend somewhere on their way to California. The reality, though, will only be revealed if and when Denise or her remains are found.

Read More: Where Is Lisa Now?

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