"THE CHAMELEON KILLER"
"The Chameleon Killer" moniker has nothing to do with this serial killer's ability to change form in any literal sense. Instead, it refers to Terry Rasmussen's uncanny ability to adopt identities at will, and he exercised this power from the late 70s until seven years after his death when his true identity was revealed by a genetic genealogist in 2017, according to ABC. Rasmussen had spent time in jail and prison under false identities before pleading guilty in 2003 to the murder of the wife of his "Larry Vanner" identity, and yet, no one discovered who he actually was. There have been several murders linked to Rasmussen throughout the years. The total number so far is sitting at a solid four, but the number is believed to be much higher.
As is clear from the killer's known victims and the timeline of his false identities, as seen on the ABC website, Rasmussen had a type. He preyed on single mothers and murdered or kidnapped their children. After his death, Rasmussen was tied to the bodies of four victims found within two barrels in New Hampshire's Bear Brook State Park. In 2016, genetic evidence proved that one of these children was Rasmussen's biological daughter.
Terry Rasmussen was born in Colorado on Dec. 23, 1943. He attended high school in Arizona but dropped out to join the Navy in 1961.
Rasmussen was trained as an electrician and served for six years at bases around the West Coast and Okinawa. He married in Hawaii in 1968 and a year later, moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where the couple would go on to have four children. In 1975, he and his wife separated and it's believed that in 1975 or 1976, his family saw him for the last time.
In December 2010, Terry Rasmussen dies in a California state prison of a combination of pulmonary emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer. After his death, he was cremated and his ashes were thrown into the sea. He is suspected of the slayings of even more victims.
We will be covering the life and crimes of The Chameleon Killer in a future episode so don't miss it.