The man charged with murder in the 1987 cold case death of Janet Brochu of Winslow is awaiting the next steps in the case after pleading not guilty recently and obtaining a new lawyer.

Gerald Goodale

Gerald Goodale, 61, is an inmate at Maine State Prison in Warren, serving a 75-year sentence for the 1988 murder of Geraldine Finn of Skowhegan.

“He is being held without bail, while he continues to serve his previous murder sentence,” Maine Attorney General’s Office spokesman Marc Malon said Wednesday in an email.

Contacted for information about next steps, Malon said no future dates have been set. Goodale was arraigned July 2 via Zoom in Somerset County Superior Court where Justice Robert Mullen presided, according to Malon. Assistant Attorney General Meg Elam represented the state.

Goodale had appeared for arraignment by video May 16 in that court, but the arraignment was postponed after Mullen asked how he wanted to plead and the attorney representing him at the time, Steve Smith, interjected, noting he understood lawyer Jeffrey Silverstein would likely be retained by Goodale and that Silverstein might request a continuance of the arraignment before Goodale entered a plea.

Silverstein, who is representing Goodale, did not immediately respond Wednesday to a voicemail left at his office.


Goodale was arrested this year in the 34-year-old case after unspecified new evidence was uncovered and presented to a grand jury, according to Maine State Police. He was indicted May 5 by a Somerset County grand jury. Col. John Cote of the Maine State Police said in a statement at the time that the indictment and arrest were the result of work by “state, local and county investigators, prosecutors and skilled scientists who never relented in their pursuit of the truth and for justice for this victim, her family, and friends.”

Janet Brochu in an undated photograph. Morning Sentinel file

Officials said May 16 that the indictment against Goodale was ready seven months prior, but the grand jury did not take it up until recently because of judicial delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Brochu, 20, was out with friends Dec. 23, 1987, in Waterville when she separated from the group and was last seen at about midnight leaving T. Woody’s nightclub in The Concourse with a man. Three months later, in March 1988, her unclothed body was found in the Sebasticook River in Pittsfield.

The indictment says the grand jury charges that Goodale “did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Janet Brochu, or did engage in conduct which manifested a depraved indifference to the value of human life and which, in fact, caused the death of Janet Brochu, all in violation (of law).”

Archived news clippings detail the story of Janet Brochu after she disappeared in 1987 and her body was found three months later.

The Finn and Brochu murder cases are similar in that both disappeared from Waterville nightclubs and both were not seen again until their bodies were found.

Five months after Brochu’s body was found in the Sebasticook River in March 1988, Finn, 23, left Pete & Larry’s Lounge, off upper Main Street at the then-Holiday Inn in Waterville, with Goodale. It was Aug. 9, 1988. Her body was found five days later in a shallow grave off U.S. Route 201 in Skowhegan. She had been strangled.

Goodale was sentenced June 9, 1989, for her murder. At the time, he was also a suspect in the Brochu case, with Fern LaRochelle, Maine deputy attorney general at the time, convinced he had killed Brochu.

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