View Full Version : Update on Daniel Paquette murder!

12-15-2005, 02:53 PM
A man named Erik Windhurst has been arrested and charged with the 1985 shooting death of Daniel Paquette. Here are some links about this new development:

It has been mentioned that Windhurst dated Daniel's stepdaughter. However, it is unknown if he had been suspected from the very beginning. He was a teenager at the time of the murders, and the if cops had suspected him then, they kept the suspicion to themselves, due to a lack of evidence.

When UM profiled the case in 1990, there was speculation that Daniel's murder in November 1985 was related to the death of his mother Rena, who was found burned to death in 1964. It wasn't until 1991 (one year after the UM segment originally aired) when Rena Paquette's body was exhumed. At that point, the suicide ruling was changed to "undetermined."

12-15-2005, 03:50 PM
Wow, thanks for the update Kane! That is one of those I didn't figure would ever be resolved. It just goes to show anything is possible.

12-15-2005, 04:53 PM
Wow, thanks for the update Kane! That is one of those I didn't figure would ever be resolved. It just goes to show anything is possible.

And don't forget another thing: there is no statute of limitations on murder. So it's important for murderers to know that just because a considerable amount of time has passed, doesn't mean they are in the clear. So don't get too comfortable when you have gotten away with killing someone, since the time may come where your criminal past will catch up to you. And it could happen when you least expect it! :eek:

Regarding the news about Erik Windhurst's arrest, Daniel's brother, Victor Paquette (who was interviewed on UM), said that he didn't know Windhurst. This leads me to speculate that Daniel's stepdaughter's involvement with Windhurst was a secret, and Daniel found out about it, and didn't approve of the relationship. He may very well have been on the verge of bringing the relationship to light, but was killed before he could.

Again, it's just speculation. For now, we'll have to wait and see what develops.

12-16-2005, 12:20 PM
The following link mentions that two anonymous letters surfaced in 1992, claiming that Erik Windhurst was Daniel's killer.

And this link displays a photo of Windhurst:

12-19-2005, 09:07 PM
Here's another recent article:

It mentions the 1964 murder of Pamela Mason. As you may have learned from the segment, it was believed that Daniel's mother, Rena, was killed because she knew the identity of the teenage girl's killer.

Daniel's brother Victor suspects that Edward Coolidge killed his mother. Coolidge was the man who was eventually convicted of Pamela Mason's murder, but was later released on a technicality.

Until Erik Windhurst was arrested, I had believed the murders of Rena and Daniel were related. But I didn't find it impossible for the murders to have been unrelated; I just don't buy the theory that Daniel's shooting was an accident, or that Rena killed herself.

12-20-2005, 03:21 PM
Rena Paquette was my Grandfather's cousin. I found out about her murder in the past few years as my Grandfather passed away when I was young. I have been looking for more information and have yet to see the Unsolved Mysteries episode about Danny and Rena. Does anyone have it recorded? If so PLEASE contact me. Unsolved Mysteries has never responded to my requests for copies and I am dying to see it.
Thank you!

12-20-2005, 04:50 PM
Does anyone have it recorded? If so PLEASE contact me. Unsolved Mysteries has never responded to my requests for copies and I am dying to see it.
Thank you!

I have it recorded so if you're interested you can email or pm me.

12-22-2005, 08:59 PM

The article above mentions that Melanie Paquette Cooper, Danny Paquette's stepdaughter, has agreed to plead guilty to misleading authorities. It has been brought to light that her confession led to the arrest of Erik Windhurst. She said that she was with Windhurst when he allegedly killed Danny Paquette, but a motive has yet to be established.

The article also mentions that Windhurst was questioned about a month and a half after Danny's death. Windhurst claimed that he and Melanie were at a field hockey game when Danny was killed. Windhurst and Melanie had agreed on an alibi ahead of time, in case they were questioned.

Until I had read about this, I didn't know for sure if Windhurst was initially looked into as a potential suspect. But since the details have come to light, I now believe the cops considered the idea that Windhurst was involved in Danny's murder, but had no evidence to support that theory, and, therefore, kept any suspicions about Windhurst to themselves.

12-28-2005, 03:54 PM

As more info related to Danny Paquette's murder comes to light, there is now a claim that Danny had molested his stepdaughter, Melanie Paquette Cooper! While filing for divorce in 1980, Danny's then-wife, Denise Paquette, made that allegation. While Danny's brother Victor was admittedly aware of the allegation, he knew of no evidence to support Denise's story.

01-02-2006, 05:04 PM
I live in Hopkinton, where Eric Windhurst graduated high school, and was living when arrested. He graduated only a couple years before me, from Hopkinton High School. My father-in-law went to school with Danny Paquette. I know people in town (Hopkinton) are very surprised that Eric has been arrested. His family is well known, and well liked. He's a quiet guy, very polite, very kind. I cant imagine what could have caused him to committ such a crime (if he did indeed do this).
Its quite surprising to have this come to light so very many years later. It's just astonishing. :eek:

02-01-2006, 04:55 PM
In case it hasn't already been mentioned on this board, the trial of Eric Windhurst is expected to start in September.

05-22-2006, 04:22 AM
In case it hasn't already been mentioned on this board, the trial of Eric Windhurst is expected to start in September.
I grew up with Danny Paquette, His Mother Rena , was a very kind dear woman. MY MOther , Florence worked with Mrs Paquette and they were good friends.
I think it is tragically sad , that , now , Danny's name is being dragged thru the mud and he cannot defend himself. IF HE DID SUCH A THING TO HIS ADOPTED DAUGHTER , WHY DIDNT THE MOTHER PROTECT HER THEN?
I have tried to contact the Paquette Family IN particular Victor, because I did know him where I didnt know the other siblings as well.
When I found out about Danny's death was while watching the Unsolved Mysteries program it was quite the shock.
I do pray that this will bring some Peace to the Paquette Family, and I will send a tribute to where Danny is buried.

05-24-2006, 10:12 AM
Here's another related article. Judging from this article, Eric's alleged involvement in Danny's murder might have been an open secret. :eek:

09-05-2011, 11:54 PM
Although now it's almost certain there was no connection between the murder of Pamela Mason and Rena Paquette, I stumbled upon this, a blog that a former classmate of Pamela's wrote. Her case was solved, but these sort of things are very interesting to me and maybe to the other people on the board. I'd post just the link but apparently I don't have enough posts yet to do so.

In my only memory of Pamela Mason, we're reluctant cooking partners in Mrs. Boynton's eighth-grade Home Ec class. Pam and her girlfriend get busy with the wooden spoons while I stare out the window and wait for the bell to ring. Pam takes a dim view of my indolence. She mutters to her less assertive friend, in a tone calculated to get my attention, "All Rona knows is Shakespeare!"

Pam has the take-charge bearing of a girl much older than 13. I figure she must know to deal with blown fuses, colicky babies and other predictable annoyances of adult life. She most certainly knows how to put me in my place---the one I've earned with my willful disregard for muffin tins and frying pans. I'm so famously inept at Home Ec that I failed Mrs. Boyton's test on white sauce by proposing this recipe: dump everything white into a pot (sugar, flour, milk, marshmallows) and bring to a rolling boil. Nobody wanted to be my cooking partner, so Pam is stuck with me, the class nerd. I take a wild stab at winning her respect: "Shakespeare? I hate that wherefore-art-thou stuff! So high-flown!" While I rant about Shakespeare, Pam gets on with the task at hand.

Almost 50 years later, I've replayed this scene countless times. Pam's image never quite comes into focus. I think I see a pencil skirt and cardigan buttoned to the neck, although I wouldn't swear to it. I'm pretty sure about the hair---a shining beehive, like a Seventeen model's---because I'd tried to copy that style but was waylaid every time by an explosion of frizz. I want to get the details straight, to know who Pam was before her photo made the front page of every newspaper in New Hampshire.

Pam had moved away from my town by then. A high school freshman in Manchester (an honour student, all the papers said), she had posted an ad in a laundromat, offering babysitting services. A man called her one snowy evening---January 13, 1964. She never came home.

When Pam first went missing, the halls of my school seemed to quiver with alarm. "Never take a ride from a stranger," we'd all been told. But Pam had been seeking a babysitting job, not a joyride. And besides, this was peaceful New Hampshire, where people left their front doors unlocked. How could a girl we had known vanish into the night like a stone into a lake? Some of the girls must have thought, "It could have been me." That prospect never entered my mind. I cared even less for babysitting than I did for making white sauce.

For me the horror was that Pam, who had seemed so formidably competent, had been powerless against her abductor. Even worse, I could feel no affection for my stolen classmate, no shred of sisterly feeling. I hadn't liked her, yet I had envied her. And what I envied her for had been exposed as no stronger than a moth's wing.

Pam's mother pleaded from the headlines for her daughter's life, as mothers always do when a child is taken. My own mother showed not one iota of sympathy: "Where was she when her daughter took that call? What kind of mother lets her daughter go off in a snowstorm with a strange man?" I felt ashamed of my mother, and of myself. I had always thought of women as the sympathetic sex. Yet here we were, passing judgment and competing for illusory rewards. Most vigilant mom, best wife-in-training.

Eight days after Pam's disappearance, her body was found in a snowbank. This much I had more or less expected (even kids know how these stories end). What I didn't expect was the brutality my former classmate had endured---raped, beaten, stabbed and shot.

Nor could I have predicted the uneasy silence that descended on our school. I had no words for what Pam's death meant, and I wanted some wise grownup to help me find them. Not what we now call a grief counsellor but a large-hearted listener, an unflinching witness to injustice and a bearer of hope. My mother, it was clear, would not be that person. And while I had several teachers with a rare understanding of the adolescent heart, I don't recall any of them speaking of Pam. Looking back, I can't fault them for this: the whole country was already mourning the unthinkable. Two months had passed, almost to the day, since the assassination of our President, the boyish and buoyant John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

I comb the byways of Google for traces of Pam but history has reduced her to a faceless victim. Almost everything I find concerns her killer, Edward Coolidge, who in 1991 walked out of prison, a free man, after serving 25 years---so little for the life of a 14-year-old girl. It offends me further that the public record should forever link her name to his. In my personal gallery of loss, she sits beside JFK. I don't know if she'd like that, anymore than I know who her favourite Beatle was or whether she preferred the Stones. I hope so.

09-06-2011, 07:29 PM
Here's an update from August about the case, which was featured on Investigation Discovery's "Unusual Suspects." Melanie Paquette Cooper served 15 months of a 3-6 year sentence for hindering investigators. Erik Windhurst is in prison serving a 15-36 year term:

09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
Someone refresh my memory, is this the guy who was shot from such a distance when working on some equipment that they thought it might be an accident?

10-30-2012, 10:19 PM
Has anyone heard anything of the sort. I think it is always unique and more often than not, odd, when family or friends chime in on said cases either on this site or on the youtube videos.

I noticed a year ago someone accused Danny Pacquette of murdering their mother in '82?? Didn't know if that person was also a member on this site and has alluded to such accussations here?

04-08-2014, 04:32 PM
Watching the Unusual Suspects now. I had forgotten about this.

04-13-2017, 02:36 PM
Rewatched this one recently on Prime. I know UM hinted at a troubled past with Danny Paquette, but I had no idea about the rape/sexual abuse allegations coming from his step daughter.

04-21-2017, 06:13 AM
Wow dissapointed UM would gloss over how sketchy Danny was.

04-22-2017, 05:02 PM
Rewatched this one recently on Prime. I know UM hinted at a troubled past with Danny Paquette, but I had no idea about the rape/sexual abuse allegations coming from his step daughter.

I recall reading that the sexual abuse allegations were sealed by the court until Eric's arrest. Hence no mention of them on UM.