Real Name: Doreen Picard
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Date: February 19, 1982
Details: Both Doreen Picard, twenty-two, and Susan LaFerte, twenty-seven, lived in an apartment complex in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Doreen was studying for a career in childhood development; she lived alone in the upstairs apartment. Susan was a housewife and an active member of the neighborhood watch; she lived with her husband Ernie and their two children. On February 19, 1982, Doreen began packing to move out of the apartment complex. That afternoon, Susan had lunch with her sister Carol Rivet in Susan's apartment. At 1:30PM, two of her friends arrived there. Carol recognized one of them but not the other. Susan told her that they were planning to look at puppies that Susan was selling. She talked to them for a few minutes until they left. Carol left at around 1:45PM, about ten minutes later. Sometime after that, Susan went downstairs to the basement to do the laundry; Doreen was also there doing laundry at the time. At some point, an unidentified man came into there and brutally beat both of them.
At 3:20PM, Doug Heath, who also lived in the apartment complex, discovered Susan's three-year-old daughter Nicole unattended in the hallway, locked out of her apartment. When he asked where her mother was, she told him she was in the basement. He then discovered Susan and Doreen's bodies and called the police. Doreen died from the attack and Susan suffered serious head injuries that left her in a coma for thirty days. When she awoke, she had absolutely no memories of the attack on her and Doreen; in fact, she could not remember anything after December 31, 1981.
Nicole was the only witness that could describe the assailant. She told her grandmother Florence that she let him into the building, believing that he was her mother's friend. She said he then went downstairs and then returned several minutes later, locking her out. Before he left, she saw the man with a lead pipe and a white rag with bloodstains in his back pocket. However, the authorities were unable to use her testimony as evidence because of her young age.
The killer left the murder weapon, the lead pipe, hidden in the house; it was found four days later. Authorities believed that the killer may have chosen the victims after reading one of their advertisements from the paper (either puppies for sale by Susan or an apartment for rent by Doreen). Authorities do not know if the killer was a close friend of the victim(s), an acquaintance, or a complete stranger.
Following the murder, Doreen's parents have conducted their own informal investigation into their daughter's murder. In the months following the murder, they have received several anonymous phone calls telling them to stop investigating their daughter's case. The callers have threatened to hurt family members and burn down Doreen's father's repair shop. However, her family and the police refuse to give up on the case and will not stop until it's solved. Meanwhile, Susan is still fearful that the killer will return to hurt her; she also hopes to one day remember him so that she can put him behind bars.
Suspects: Nicole said the killer had a moustache, wore a hat with a visor, jeans, and sneakers, and was somewhat taller than her father. However, the description may not be accurate due to Nicole's age at the time of the attack.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 18, 1988 episode. Fearing for her safety, Susan asked for her identity to be concealed during her interview.
Results: Unresolved. In June of 1991, Raymond "Beaver" Tempest was arrested and charged with Doreen's murder and Susan's attack. Investigators learned that he and Susan were allegedly having an affair around the time of the attack. He was also one of the two men that visited Susan in her apartment shortly before the attack. He had actually been a suspect from the beginning, but authorities did not have any evidence to substantiate the rumors at the time. After the Unsolved Mysteries episode aired, authorities received tips that led to several key witnesses. As a result of these witnesses coming forward, Tempest was re-investigated and later arrested.
Some of the witnesses came forward saying that Tempest had confessed or bragged about the murder. He allegedly threatened some of them to not tell the police. According to some witnesses, he also claimed that he was able to cover up his involvement because of his connections with the police. He also told witnesses that those involved in investigating him would be "taken care of."
A witness placed a four-door maroon Sedan at the scene; Tempest's brother-in-law owned a car that matched this description and Tempest was driving it around the time of the attack. Another witness reported that, shortly after the attack, he had a bite or scratch mark on his wrist that was not there earlier. He also had changed his boots. He also could not come up with a solid alibi for the time of the attack. Witnesses also claimed that he asked them to be his alibi for the time of the attack.
Authorities believe that he and Susan got into an argument that turned violent when he began viciously beating her. They believe he killed Doreen because she walked in on the attack and tried to help her. This theory matched what he told one witness in his confession to him. They also believe that his brother, Gordon, a police officer at the time, helped cover up for his brother by wiping off fingerprints and tampering with other evidence. A witness claimed to have seen Gordon moving the murder weapon to a different part of the apartment.
In April of 1992, Beaver Tempest was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to eighty-five years in prison. Gordon was convicted of perjury in connection with the case.
In 2014, Tempest approached the New England Innocence Project for help in seeking out DNA testing in an effort to clear his name. It was suggested that his arrest and conviction were the result of the coercion of witnesses by corrupt police officials and the over zealousness of prosecutors. Tempest claims that the Woonsocket police and A.G. James Ryan and Randy White both knew who had really killed Doreen Picard, but they had covered up facts to protect the guilty and convict the innocent.
Tempest claims that the real killer is a man named Donald Dagesse, who died in 2011. According to Susan's relatives, after Doreen's funeral, Nicole identified Dagesse as her mother's attacker. After she awoke from her coma, Susan apparently identified Dagesse as her attacker, but she later claimed to not remember the assailant.
However, the request in 2014 was not accepted by the court, and in 2015, the issues were presented in court. To date, DNA testing is inconclusive; two of the hairs found in Doreen's hand did not match Tempest, but according to investigators, they could've came from the laundry room floor. In July of 2015, a State Superior Court Judge decided to vacate Beaver Tempest's conviction, based on the unreliability of witnesses and alleged prosecutorial misconduct.
Tempest was released on bail while the state debated on whether or not to re-try him for Doreen's murder. In March of 2017, the state announced that they planned to re-try him. However, in December, Tempest entered an "Alford Plea", which meant that he maintained his innocence but agreed that there was enough evidence to convict him. As a result of the plea, he was released from prison.
- State v. Tempest
- After 23 years in prison, R.I. man’s murder conviction dismissed
- State to retry Raymond ‘Beaver’ Tempest in 1982 Woonsocket murder
- Judge allows second Beaver Tempest murder trial to proceed
- Tempest convicted second time in 1982 murder
- Doreen Picard at Find a Grave