The last time Andrea Stiers saw her father was over 40 years ago. It was the mid-1970s, and she was a little kid. Together, they made snowcones with coffee cups and Kool-Aid.
It’s a childhood memory that stands out among the darkness that surrounds Stiers’s dad — he was Terry Peder Rasmussen, a man she was told last year was a serial killer, and the man authorities now believe killed Marlyse Honeychurch and her daughters, Marie Vaughn and Sarah McWaters. Their bodies were found in barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in November 1985 and May 2000; their identities finally confirmed and made public just last week.
Stiers recently spoke with the New Hampshire Union Leader and WMUR, opening up about her childhood interactions with her father, who died in 2010, and the shame she and her family feel over who he was. Here’s what she said:
- Stiers wasn’t afraid of her father, she told the paper. In fact, the now-Claremont resident, who grew up in California, said she has limited memories of him. “I don’t remember my dad being violent or angry or mad ever,” she said.
- While authorities have been unable to identify a fourth body found in the barrels, beyond figuring out that she was Rasmussen’s daughter, Stiers, the youngest of four children, said she and her siblings refer to their half sister as “Anita Moon.” She remembers meeting her; she doesn’t remember where. “I met her in somebody’s house,” she told the Union Leader. “She had pigtails on each side and they stuck straight out. … I remember her being cute and being shy. … She was adorable.”
- Stiers has a theory behind why Rasmussen killed her sister, but not her. “I think he killed my sister because she didn’t look like him,” she told WMUR. “I really can’t stand my face sometimes when I look in the mirror because I look like him. It’s hard.”
- Stiers said her family history includes members suffering from alcohol and substance abuse, as well as mental health issues. Her paternal uncle died from suicide in 1978; he reportedly had schizophrenia. She believes her dad “went crazy” when thinking about the crimes he allegedly committed. “You have to be crazy … to kill a little child,” she said in the Union Leader interview.
- While Stiers doesn’t deny that it’s possible her father killed Honeychurch and the three others, she wants to see scientific evidence. “I’m not saying he didn’t do that,” she told the Union Leader. “I want to stress that. … I’m saying it’s very important to me in my heart to make sure that the right person is held accountable … And if it’s not my dad, then who is it, and I want them held accountable.”
- Stiers now has four adult children of her own, and she said seeing the recent news coverage has been difficult for them. “My kids, they’re ashamed,” she told WMUR. “They don’t want anybody necessarily to know, but that’s not their shame. They did not do it. I told them, ‘You didn’t do it.’”
Watch the full WMUR interview: