Convicted murderer sentenced to 32 years in prison for 1987 cold case

Gerald Goodale
Gerald Goodale(Maine Department of Corrections)
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 10:55 AM EST
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (WMTW) - The family of a Waterville 20-year-old who was killed in 1987 received some closure Thursday, after her murderer was sentenced in Somerset Superior Court.

Gerald Goodale was sentenced to 32 and a half years for the murder of Janet Brochu 35 years ago. Goodale was already in prison for the 1988 murder of Geraldine Finn.

Janet Brochu disappeared on Christmas Eve in 1987 after a night of bowling and drinks with a friend. That night, she reportedly bumped into two strangers, one of them being Goodale.

Her body was found the following March in Pittsfield.

Investigators say Goodale was part of the initial investigation in the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until Maine’s Unsolved Homicides Unit got involved in 2019 that closure in the case became feasible.

DNA evidence in the case was re-examined thanks to advances in forensic technology, revealing a genetic link to Goodale in Brochu’s murder.

Janet’s parents have passed away, but her family was still represented at Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

“She was a sweet girl,” her cousin Daniel Brochu said. “Young, foolish, like the rest of us.”

Daniel says he forgave Goodale for what he did to Janet and her family, but is glad that the 63-year-old will remain in prison for many more years.