Expert Says More Needed to Prove Serial Killer Theory in NH
After the recent death of a Maine man sparked concern about a possible serial killer operating in the region, a retired expert says more data is needed.
A person walking their dog in Northwood found the man on May 12 laying in a small stream just off a trail in a wooded area near Old Pittsfield Road. Police were called to the scene at about 4 p.m. that day.
Barry Valcourt was 43 years old and his last known address was in Durham, Maine.
Northwood Police Chief Glen Drolet said the cause and manner of Valcourt’s death is still pending an autopsy and report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Until then, talk about a serial killer does not amount to much, he said.
“It’s just speculation at this point,” Drolet said.
John Philpin, one of the pioneers in the field of psychological profiling used by the FBI in hunting human predators, said the case of Valcourt and the other missing men from the region spark interest, but too much is currently unknown.
According to data compiled by the United States Department of Justice, about a dozen men have gone missing in New Hampshire since last year. Philpin said the fact that men have gone missing does not necessarily point to a predator.
Information like the cause and manner of death, the way the body was treated, as well as the amount of time the men went missing, are all needed. Philpin said information about themes like where they work, and what they were doing in the 72 hours before they went missing is also necessary.
“Those are things all you want to know, you want to look for commonalities,” he said.
A serial killer in New Hampshire is not out of the question. Philpin helped chase the still uncaught Connecticut River Valley Killer who murdered women in Vermont and New Hampshire in the 1980s. He also helped catch Gary Lee Schaffer, the Vermont man who raped and murdered teen girls in Springfield, Vermont, also in the 1980s.
Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire, is also the location where serial killer Terry Peder Rassmussen left the bodies of four victims. Rasmussen, known as “The Chameleon Killer,” died in prison in 2010.
Retired New York City Police detectives have theorized that the death of men found in and around water in the midwest are connected to one killer, or a group of killers. The theory, known as the Smiley Face Killer theory, remains controversial in law enforcement circles.
The FBI representative contacted by the Seacoast Current declined to comment on the investigation.