On December 27, 2001, a friend arrived at 50-year old George Jodoin’s farmhouse in Auburn, New Hampshire, expecting to get a tutorial on caring for his animals ahead of George’s trip to Thailand. Instead, he found George dead in his bedroom. He’d been shot three times in the head and neck while he slept in his own bed. Authorities interviewed his friends, family members, and the man who’d discovered his body – he also happened to be George’s business partner.
But in the early days of the investigation, the list of suspects could never be narrowed down to just one person. Investigators were frustrated, and the residents of Auburn, a small town just east of Manchester, feared there could be a killer on the loose.
Despite a sizable reward offered by the Jodoin family and efforts by investigators, a year passed with dwindling leads, no arrests, and a lack of evidence. Eventually, the case went cold.
But in 2009, New Hampshire’s first-ever Cold Case Unit was established. Within two years, the Cold Case Unit had taken on over a hundred cases of unsolved murders and missing persons in New Hampshire. George’s brother, Robert Jodoin, made sure George’s murder case was a priority to investigators. Fourteen years after George Jodoin was found dead in his home, New Hampshire’s Cold Case Unit landed their first conviction.
About George Jodoin
50-year old George Jodoin was described as a big brother, not only to his own siblings, but to everyone. The third of ten children, Geroge lived on a 20-acre farm in Auburn, New Hampshire. It was the same property where he and his nine siblings were raised. In 2015, George’s brother, Robert, told New Hampshire Public Radio, “George was our big brother, to our family and friends, we all looked up to him. George enjoyed life maybe more than he should have, he did it with style.”
George was a vivacious man and he enjoyed his life to the fullest. He was a businessman, a pilot, a sailor, an auctioneer, a beekeeper, a realtor, even a pianist. In March of 2001, he tried his hand at local government, running for town selectman in Auburn, but he ultimately didn’t win the seat.
George had gone into business with his friend, Glenn Baroody, opening a pawn shop in Manchester years earlier. According to a 2001 Associated Press article in the Portland Press Herald, the pawn shop experienced some break-ins in its earlier days, but customers said there hadn’t been any recent issues. Although the shop was called I Buy and Sell Everything, one customer said that George, “wasn’t one to bargain.”
George and his business partner Glenn were extremely close. Close enough that the Concord Monitor reported George updated his will to include Glenn. His updated will left everything to Glenn Baroody. This included his share of the pawn shop business, his sailboat, and the 20-acre farm and home that George had grown up in. But the will included a stipulation that if Glenn Baroody sold the farm property within 15 years, Glenn could not benefit from the sale. The updates to his will were made only three weeks before George’s death.
George was an avid traveler and in December of 2001, he was looking forward to an upcoming trip to Thailand in the new year. Associated Press writer Lynne Tuohy reported in the Concord Monitor that George had asked Glenn to stop by after Christmas so he could give him instructions on how to care for his farm animals while he was out of the country.
But when Glenn arrived at George’s farm on December 27, 2001, George didn’t answer the door or respond as Glenn called out his name. Searching the house for his friend, Glenn walked room to room until finally he found George in the bedroom. He’d been shot.
The Early Investigation
New Hampshire State Police responded to the 20-acre farm to begin their investigation. They found George’s home to be “disheveled,” leading investigators to believe that he may have had a few friends over the night before. But nothing appeared too out of the ordinary.
The Portland Press Herald reported in 2001 that police took impressions of footprints hoping to identify anyone who had been at George’s house in the days and hours leading up to his murder. In the same article, it was reported that neighbors Eugenie and Jean Belanger told police they’d seen a white pickup truck in George’s driveway for most of that day and they heard gunshots around 11pm on the night of December 26, the night before he was found.
George often shot his guns on his property, so even though the hour was late, the sound of gunshots coming from George’s place wasn’t concerning enough to warrant a call to the police. But now with George dead by apparent gunshot wounds, the information took on a new importance.
George Jodoin’s murder was immediately ruled a homicide and the autopsy confirmed that he was killed by three gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Though he had been shot, authorities processing the scene found no bullet casings and no gun as they searched the farmhouse and the surrounding property. Investigators wouldn’t say if they had any suspects, but the assistant attorney general did tell the Portland Press Herald that detectives were following up on a number of leads.
Auburn Police Chief Edward Picard, who retired in 2019, said in an episode of the true crime documentary series Murder Comes to Town that investigators interviewed a number of George’s family members, friends, and business associates, desperate to find answers as to who killed George and why. Some of those interviewed by police were identified as suspects early on, including Glenn Baroody, George’s close friend and business partner and the man who found his body.
Chief Picard said in the documentary series that Glenn didn’t call 911 immediately after discovering George’s body in the farmhouse. Instead, Glenn first called his father and it was actually Glenn’s father who made the call to 911 to report the murder. This, Chief Picard said, raised some red flags.
Beginning in the earliest days of the investigation, the list of suspects included a few of George’s closest friends and even some family members.
George’s brother Robert had rushed to the home they’d both grown up in upon hearing the news that his brother was shot, and encountered George’s friend Ricky Caron there. Robert later told police that he saw dark red stains on Ricky’s pants. Police spoke with Ricky and asked him a few questions, and Rick seemed distraught during the questioning. They’d plan to take a closer look at Ricky’s whereabouts on the night of December 26th.
And then there was Arthur Collins. According to reporting by Lynne Tuohy in the Concord Monitor, Arthur’s family members said he and George were best friends. They loved to go deep-sea fishing together, or on less adventurous occasions, just get together for drinks. Arthur also performed some handyman and odd jobs around the farm like hauling metal and towing cars away to a nearby auto yard.
According to NHPR, Arthur Collins’ had an alibi on the night of the murder. He had been at George’s house for a few drinks but had left hours before George was shot, and made it back to his house around 9pm. His wife, Dorothy, backed up his alibi and told police that Arthur came home around the time he said he did.
Meanwhile, one of George’s own family members caught the attention of police, his brother Pete Jodoin. George had recently given a piano to Pete and his wife, Debbie. Pete found a Ruger revolver stowed away inside the piano and went to return it to George on the night of December 26. Pete told police he’d left the gun on the kitchen table in George’s house before he left for the evening.
Police knew that revolvers do not eject shell casings and there weren’t any found at the scene. Could that Ruger revolver have been the murder weapon? And if so, where was it?
More than a week went by and police were still no closer to solving the murder of George Jodoin. On January 5, 2002, the Concord Monitor reported that the Derry Fire Department had sent a dive team into the waters of Lake Massabesic; George’s property on Chester Road was located directly across the street from the lake’s eastern shoreline. The Concord Monitor did not share what investigators were hoping to find or if they did find anything at all.
Ricky Caron, Arthur Collins, and Pete Jodoin all had alibis at the time but their names were never taken off the list of suspects. Glenn Baroody was also on that list. The change in George’s will, leaving everything to Glenn Baroody just three weeks before George was killed, remained a compelling detail for investigators. Not to mention, he was the man to find George’s body.
Glenn was repeatedly singled out in media reports. It was clear that Glenn had become a prime suspect. Glenn said in an interview for Murder Comes To Town, “I was in their crosshairs.”
But a year passed with little progress, no arrests, and no meaningful leads, George’s brother, Robert, announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in George’s case. In a 2002 AP article in the Concord Monitor, Robert said, “I know law enforcement has been working extremely hard and they have a number of possible suspects. It’s just a matter of eliminating the ones that didn’t do it.”
But ruling suspects in or out was the entire challenge, and police had yet to narrow the case down or make any arrests. Despite the efforts by family to keep attention on the case and encourage new information with a sizable reward, George Jodoin’s case went ice cold.
Episode Source Material
- Auburn History, Auburn, New Hampshire, Historical Association
- New Hampshire Department of Justice Cold Case Unit
- N.H. man is found shot to death in his home by Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, 29 Dec 2001
- Lake May Hold Clues, Concord Monitor, 05 January 2002
- N.H. had 17 homicides in 2001 by Associated Press, The Burlington Free Press, 05 Jan 2002
- Family puts out reward for killer by Associated Press (pg. 1), Concord Monitor, 27 Dec 2002
- Family puts out reward for killer by Associated Press (pg. 2), Concord Monitor, 27 Dec 2002
- New Hampshire Cold Case Unit 2012 annual report
- Arrest made in cold case murder from 2001 in Auburn by Sentinel Staff, Keene Sentinel, 16 May 2012
- Arrest made in NH cold case, CBS News Boston, 17 May 2012
- Arrest made in 2001 cold case by Lynne Tuohy, Concord Monitor, 18 May 2012
- The case of the disappearing funds by Joseph Cote, Nashua Telegraph, 20 May 2012
- Documents: suspect claims he shot man over advances, WCVB, 02 Aug 2012
- New Hampshire Cold Case Unit 2013 annual report
- Cold case unit jeopardized by lack of funds by Lynne Tuohy, Valley News, 10 Mar 2013
- New Hampshire Cold Case Unit 2015 annual report
- Murder Comes to Town: The Nightmare After Christmas, aired 15 February 2015
- Man sentenced to 30 years after plea in cold-case killing by Heather Hamel, WMUR, 01 July 2015
- N.H.cold case unit seals first conviction with guilty plea, New Hampshire Public Radio, 01 July 2015
- New Hampshire Cold Case Unit 2017 annual report
- Judge refuses to set aside guilty plea in murder case by Associated Press, AP News, 27 January 2021