CONCORD, N.H. — Investigators in New Hampshire have solved a nearly 50-year-old murder of a Massachusetts woman, but they can’t make an arrest because they say the killer, who was serving a life sentence in another case, died in 2019.
The New Hampshire Cold Case Unit reopened the case of Arlene Clevesy, 48, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 2015, at the request of a family member.
Her body was found in the area of Hume Brook in Newton, New Hampshire, on June 4, 1972. An autopsy concluded that she suffocated due to trauma to her neck and drowning.
Investigators learned that she had last been seen early that day in the company of Albert Francis Moore, Jr. The two were seen having drinks at a club in Haverhill the night before and leaving together. Witnesses had described him as intoxicated and violent “to the point of pulling a gun on an individual,” according to a report released by the attorney general’s office Wednesday.
The club was about a 20-minute drive from where Clevesy’s body was discovered.
The attorney general’s office said through the years, Moore “made a series of admissions to different individuals about his responsibility for Ms. Clevesy’s death,” including that he had “beaten” a polygraph exam when he was asked questions about her.
Moore also had admitted in other accounts during the 1970s that he had driven Clevesy to a wooded, secluded area, became violent with her, killed her and left her lying face-down in the water, the report said.
In April 1977, Moore was indicted by a grand jury on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Clevesy’s death. Prosecutors decided not to pursue the case in November 1979, because by then, Moore was incarcerated and serving a life sentence for the August 1972 killing of Donald Rimer in Salem, Massachusetts. Moore had been doing construction work for Rimer.
When the cold case unit picked up the investigation years later, it interviewed witnesses and confirmed their earlier statements, which included descriptions of the crime scene.
The unit also interviewed Moore three times in 2015. Investigators said he denied responsibility for the murders of Clevesy and Rimer.
He once said that he had no memory of Clevesy’s death, and did not know whether he had killed her. When Moore was asked if it was possible he forgot that he killed Clevesy, he said, “anything’s possible,” according to the report.
Moore died on Nov. 11, 2019, of metastatic prostate cancer at age 88, the unit said.
Based on all of the evidence gathered, investigators said they are now convinced Moore killed Clevesy.
“Even after 50 years have passed, Arlene is still immensely missed, loved and remembered,” Clevesy’s family said in a statement provided with the attorney general’s report. “Though we can no longer prosecute, we still feel some relief in knowing what happened to Arlene that night, and, more importantly, who is responsible.
“As a family, we are grateful, after all this time, to see the law still working for Arlene, and that justice has officially been served.”
Kathy McCormack, The Associated Press