Early in the morning of Dec. 19, 1967, Bloomfield Police Lt. Paul Beaupre walked out of Carville’s restaurant on the Hartford-Windsor line. It was the last time he was seen alive.
Beaupre’s body was found later that morning on a dead-end street in Enfield. The husband and father of three young children had been shot in the thumb and chest.
According to a Hartford Courant account from the next day, Beaupre, an 11-year veteran of the department who had been promoted to lieutenant two weeks beforehand, left his Capewell Drive home the night before to go Christmas shopping.
Mark Forader, who lived across the street from Beaupre on Tunxis Avenue, had just turned 10 years old, but he remembers Beaupre telling him that since he had been promoted he could now afford to buy presents for the family at G. Fox in Hartford.
He also remembers Beaupre’s son, 6-year-old Roger, telling him that his father had died.
“We cried and cried and cried,” Forader said Tuesday.
Forader had met Beaupre two years earlier when the family moved into the neighborhood and quickly developed a bond.
“We had a very bad childhood. We were deathly afraid of my father,” Forader said. “When Paul Beaupre moved in everything ceased. He was my angel, my savior.”
Police initially believed that Beaupre, 34, was the victim of a gang slaying because he had no identification. That changed when his wife Charlotte, who had reported him missing earlier in the day, heard a description of the victim’s clothing on the radio and recognized it as what her husband was wearing when he left the house and called Bloomfield Police Chief Herbert Beman.
According to a newspaper account, when police found Beaupre’s new car at the restaurant, his badge and gun were also missing from the glove compartment, leading police to speculate that he had been robbed of less than $10 at gunpoint outside Carville’s and that the robbers discovered his badge and drove him to Enfield, where he was shot.
In early January the gun turned up in Springfield after a man named Irwin Jones was arrested in the slaying of a local grocer.
Jones, a Hartford native, initially claimed that he had bought the gun from someone. Later that month a van police believed was used to take Beaupre to Enfield was found impounded in Springfield.
According to a 2014 Massachusetts Parole Board review hearing, a man named Abdul Mahdi had been found guilty of killing the grocery store owner in 1968 and also had been accused of shooting a hotel clerk in the back of the head for $62 in the register and $10 in his pocket.
During that trial Mahdi admitted to shooting Beaupre. Connecticut officials withdrew a bench warrant for Mahdi when they learned he had received a life sentence, according to the report.
Mahdi’s 2014 parole application was denied. He is eligible to apply again in 2018.
Forader, who now lives in Florida, called Bloomfield police to remind them of the upcoming anniversary of Beaupre’s death.
“I always promised myself that he would be remembered, honored and not forgotten,” Forader said.
Bloomfield Police Chief Paul Hammick and several other officers placed a wreath at Beaupre’s headstone in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery Tuesday.
“We’d be doing him a disservice if we didn’t acknowledge his service to the town of Bloomfield,” Hammick said.