Inmate in Maine already serving murder sentence indicted in 1987 cold case killing

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Source: Maine State Police; Unsplash

May. 19 2021, Published 4:23 p.m. ET

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A man already behind bars in Maine for a 1988 murder is now charged with slaying another woman the year before.

On May 13, a grand jury indicted Gerald Goodale, 61, an inmate at Maine State Prison in Warren, for the 34-year-old cold case murder of Janet Brochu. According to Central Maine, the jury was presented unspecified new evidence related to the crime.

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On Dec. 23, 1987, Brochu, 20, went out with friends in Waterville, but she got separated from her group and was last seen alive around midnight leaving a local nightclub with a man, the news outlet reported.

In March 1988, her nude body was found floating in the Sebasticook River in Pittsfield, a town about 20 miles away. Goodale was a suspect at the time, but detectives were unable to definitively pin the crime on him. 

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“This case represents years of combined work by state, local and county investigators, prosecutors and skilled scientists who never relented in their pursuit of the truth and for justice for this victim, her family, and friends,” Maine State Police Colonel John Cote said of Goodale’s indictment and arrest for Brochu’s murder, according to WGME.

Goodale is currently serving a 75-year sentence for killing Geraldine Finn, whose case shared several similarities with that of Brochu.

On Aug. 9, 1988, over seven months after Brochu went missing, Finn was at a Waterville bar and lounge. She and Goodale left the club together, and her body was found five days later buried in a shallow grave. Investigators determined she died by strangulation. 

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Goodale was prosecuted for the killing and sentenced to 75 years in prison in June 1989.

He could face an additional minimum 25 years in prison if he is convicted of Brochu’s murder, according to Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen.

Goodale has not yet entered a plea.

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