Diane Kloepfer is one of serial killer Terry Rasmussen’s four living children. She searched for her father for decades and found answers when police showed up at her workplace and asked for a DNA sample.
It was that DNA sample that would help police link Rasmussen to the deaths of his girlfriend, Marlyse Honeychurch and her three daughters, also known as the Allentown 4. Their bodies were found in barrels near Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. The case would become known as the Bear Brook Murders.
Today, Diane Kloepfer is married and has two children, according to the Boston Globe. She works as a 911 operator, according to her Twitter account.
She spoke with ABC 20/20 about her father in an episode that airs Friday March 20, 2020 at 9 p.m. EST, who her mom described as the love of her life.
Here’s what you need to know:
Diane Kloepfer Was One of Four Children Born to Terry Rasmussen & Her Mother Was Abusive
Diane Kloepfer was one of four children born to Terry Peder Rasmussen and his wife. The couple was married July 20, 1968 in Hawaii. The couple moved to Arizona in 1969, and his twin daughters were born. In 1970, the family moved to Redwood City, California, and his son was born. His youngest daughter was born in 1972. Soon after, the couple separated temporarily. Then, they moved to Pheonix, Arizona, and Rasmussen’s wife left him permanently in 1973, according to a timeline provided by the New Hampshire Department of Justice.
“My father has been out of my life since I was like, 6 or 7,” Kloepfer told ABC 20/20.
As a child, she would dream that her mother would come back to rescue them, she told the Boston Globe. Her mother would keep a padlock on the refrigerator, leaving four hungry children to fend for themselves.
Now, Kloepfer is married and has two children of her own, according to the Boston Globe.
A Facebook page that appears to belong to Kleopfer indicates she lives in Illinois and is involved with a local Boy Scout troop. The details of her page are largely set to private, but show pictures with the troop and on fishing trips. Her profile picture recommends genetic testing to solve crimes. She works as a 911 operator, according to her Twitter account.
Diane Kloepfer Searched for Her Father, Along With Her Siblings, Only to Discover He Was a Serial Killer
After Diane Kloepfer’s mother left her father, she would daydream about her father coming back to rescue them, she told the Boston Globe. Kloepfer said her mother was abusive and neglectful, leaving her four children to fend for themselves and padlocking the refrigerator.
She and her siblings would search genealogy websites hoping to find their father. Kloepfer got her answers in 2017 when New Hampshire State Police arrived at the 911 center where she worked as a dispatcher in a suburb of Illinois. They told her that Rasmussen was believed to be a serial killer who died in prison. They asked for a DNA sample, which she readily provided. It definitively linked Rasmussen to the murders, and identified him as Kloepfer’s father.
“My heart broke in small pieces. I know my heart will never be the same,” she told the Globe.
Kloepfer told ABC 20/20 her mother spoke affectionately about her father.
“She just told me that he was the most handsome man that she had ever seen, and he was charming, and he swept her off her feet,” she said on the show.
Kloepfer does not think her mother knew he had the capacity to kill women and children.
“I don’t know if my mother knew his capacity for violence but I don’t believe that she knew about this…his ability to kill women and children,” she said.
Diane Kloepfer Attended Funerals for 2 of Her Father’s Victims in November 2019
Diane Kloepfer was one of the mourners who gathered when two of “The Chameleon Killer’s” victims were laid to rest. The victims were Marlyse Honeychurch, who was 24 when she was last seen in California in 1978, and her daughter, Marie Vaughn, born in 1971. They were not identified until June 2019.
“I want to pay my respects and tell people how sorry I am,” Kloepfer told the Boston Globe. “It’s part of this weird journey I’ve been put on through no choice of my own.”
She met Honeychurch’s brother and three sisters for the first time before the services. She was overwhelmed with emotion at their acceptance, she told the newspaper.
“They told me they didn’t blame me and it was not my fault,” Kloepfer said. “They made me a part of their family today. Not only did they expect me to participate in the funeral, but they wanted me to.”
Authorities also believe Rasmussen killed Honeychurch’s two other daughters. Sarah Lynn McWaters was born in 1977 and buried in September at a separate grave site. Another daughter, Rasmussen’s child, had not been released for burial at the time.
“It’s important for me that she gets her name back,” Kloepfer told the Globe.
Kloepfer did not know she had a half-sister until learning she was dead and that her father killed her.
“If my mother hadn’t left when she did, that probably would have been me,” she said. “That is hard for me. I have some sort of weird survivor guilt thing going on.”
She echoed a similar sentiment to ABC 20/20.
“If my mother wouldn’t have left my father, it could’ve been me,” she said,” and then corrected herself: “Would have been me.”
Kloepfer told the Globe she may have met Honeychurch, and remembers her fondly. The last time she saw her father, he visited unexpectedly with a woman. Kloepfer remembered she was slender with light brown hair and wore glasses. She couldn’t remember the woman’s name, but she has a fond memory of the woman showing her and her brothers and sisters they could make a tasty treat by picking up snow and sprinkling it with milk and sugar.
The bodies of a woman and a girl were discovered by hunters in a barrel near Bear Brook State Park. The bodies would later be identified years later as Honeychurch and her oldest daughter. Fifteen years later, investigators found the second barrel, containing the skeletal remains of Honeychurch’s second daughter and Kloepfer’s sister.