MOUNT VERNON — Local resident Karen Beaudin’s mission for justice will take a big leap forward Friday night when the story of her sister’s murder will go nationwide in hopes of finding new leads and bringing awareness to a recently passed piece of legislation in New Hampshire.
The ABC television series “20/20” will broadcast the story of Karen’s sister, Kathy Gloddy, who was brutally raped and murdered at the age of 13 and the Gloddy family’s push to initiate a cold case unit in the state.
“There are over 100 cold cases in New Hampshire not solved. These are murders the police believe are solvable,” Beaudin said. “My two other sisters and I spoke to the legislature and told Kathy’s story. They told us to make it as personal as possible and it worked. They passed a bill to start a cold case unit.”
While that victory is fulfilling for Beaudin and her siblings, they long for the day their sister’s murderer (or murderers) pays for the heinous crime.
Life as she and her siblings knew it changed in November 1971 when younger sister Kathy Gloddy, 13, went for a walk in her hometown of Franklin, N.H., with her German shepherd. She was seen at a local store and later at Karen’s high school and walking across a nearby bridge. The family dog came home that night but Kathy did not.
“We tried to tell the police something was wrong. This just wasn’t like Kathy to not come home,” Beaudin said.
The family searched throughout the night and into the next day but it was an elderly man wandering down a logging road that found the young girl’s lifeless body.
“He thought it was a dead deer,” Beaudin said. “She had been badly beaten and had nothing on but her socks.”
Although the local police department investigated the rape and murder of Kathy Gloddy, no suspects were ever arrested. In 1983, and again in 2004, the case was reopened but Beaudin said there were times when her family wasn’t sure who to trust as tales of police corruption began to circulate, further complicating the already decades-old case.
The family thought they had justice within its reach when a former suspect confessed to the murder in Florida. He later recanted his story saying he was confused following a medical procedure. Before Karen could make the trip to Florida to talk to him and plead for the truth, the man died.
“I was ready to wear a wire to speak to a man who might know about my sister,” Beaudin said. “It was disappointing. After all, he did confess.”
The details to the story are many and Beaudin hopes more people will come forward after the showing of “20/20” to help shed further light on the case.
“We think there were four people involved. Two are dead but somebody, somewhere might recall some little detail that could help find the others. Everything helps whether people realize that or not,” she said.
Beaudin is happy the unit is being formed and hopes it finds swift success in closing some of the cases.
“It may not be Kathy’s case that is solved but our family will rejoice in any case that is solved,” she said.
Beaudin has written a book, which is in the editing stage, that details the events of the crime, her family’s struggles and the search for justice up through 1983. It is tentatively scheduled for release in April 2010. A second book is planned that follows the story through the reopening of the case in 2004 through the present.
“20/20” airs Friday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.