All the victims were from different backgrounds and demographics, making a profile an incredibly difficult task.
A small caveat before we spring forth into the latest horror room, the third couple’s link to the Parkway Murders is somewhat debatable. It’s particularly special to me because I graduated from William & Mary and loved all the oddities that came with the place and its people—but during my time there no one really ever talked about the area’s past and the possible danger that still existed. The first couple to go missing was a lesbian couple — more on that later — and the next three were heterosexual pairings. Robin Edwards was murdered along with David Knobling.Although the moniker "Colonial Parkway Murders" isn't a perfect fit, since only two of the double homicides happened there, the "I-64 Murders" makes even less sense, since only one of the cases happened on Interstate 64. The odd state of the car had families and LE fearing the worst. If this is connected to the Colonial Parkway Murders, it would actually be the first known murder, proceeding Cathleen and Rebecca by two years. Seven months later on April 10, 1988 Cassandra “Sandy” Hailey, 18 and Keith Call, 20, were reported missing from Christopher Newport University, where they went to college. Naval Academy Graduate Class of 1981 and Stockbroker & Rebecca Ann Dowski (21) College of William & Mary Senior. If you’ve never heard of the Colonial Parkway murders, you can start here for some details. Cathleen had apparently struggled in the scuffle because there was a clump of hair found in her hands. What the investigators uncovered was a horrid tableau of deprivation.
The differences in each case, though, must be noted, and not to mention the lack of forensic evidence linking each murder. We have heard a lot of similar stories around the time of the Colonial Parkway Murders. Spingola proposed that the murders are the work of different killers, especially the slayings of Cathleen Thomas and Rebecca Dowski. Unfortunately, the bodies of the couple were found on September 23rd by a jogger named Louis Ford on the Ragged Wildlife Refuge on the water’s edge of the James River. Robin’s pants were partially rolled down, but police were unsure if there had been sexual assault since it was presumed that Robin and David had had some sort of sexual relationship. According to witnesses, David picked Robin up from home around midnight and went to go see the movie Dragnet with some friends. Tagged: cold case, unsolved, colonial parkway murders, bill thomas, williamsburg, william & mary, serial killer, Give as a GiftApply for MembershipGift Cards, © 2020 | Hunt A Killer LLC | Press | Privacy. Cookies help us deliver our Services. If you’d like to keep up with the case, Bill Thomas started a Facebook group where he frequently posts updates and article links.
The note, which was undated and purportedly written by Phelps, indicated that she was to meet someone in a blue van at a rest stop.
Rebecca was found in the backseat of the car, and Cathleen was found in the backseat under the hatchback. On September 5th, Daniel’s tan 1972 Chevrolet Nova was found heading the wrong direction (moving west, while Virginia Beach is east) at the New Kent rest stop. Having gone to college at W&M these types of stories are very common and very scary. , In October/November 2015, the Colonial Parkway Murders were featured in a three-part podcast series produced by student journalists at College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA., In February to May, 2016, the Unsolved Podcast in Baltimore, MD did a four-part podcast series, each episode focused on one of the double homicides in the Colonial Parkway Murders. “These murders are often linked but in January of 2010 in a face-to-face meeting with the FBI, we asked if there was anything in the forensics that links the four double homicides in the Colonial Parkway murders and the answer at that time was that nothing in the forensics actually links these cases,” Thomas said. They had been bound and gagged, similarly to Cathy and Rebecca, and their throats had also been slit. Between 1986 and 1989, at least eight people were murdered near or along Virginia’s Colonial Parkway by an apparent serial killer. About a year and a half later, two more young people went missing near the Colonial Parkway. I spoke to Bill Thomas, brother of the killer’s first victim, Cathy Thomas, about the case and new developments that have come to light in the last few years.  The show mentioned that this disappearance may be part of the Colonial Parkway Murders. The two-decade-old puzzle of the Colonial Parkway murders had pretty much fizzled out at the time the photos were uncovered. This detail would later play an interesting role, because in the murder cases that followed, different law enforcement agencies would be in charge depending on where the murders took place. There had been a deluge of rain in between the time they disappeared and the time they were found. Mike and Donna were long-time sweethearts who lived in the trendier portion of West End Richmond. Daniel Lauer was moving from his hometown in Amelia County, to live with Annamaria and her boyfriend at their new place in Virginia Beach. Their bodies were then put into my sister’s 1980 Honda Civic. The parkway joins the Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg.
What really made these murders stand out was their complexity – that fact that couples and not individuals were the targets; their setting – a brazen attack done in an area steeped in our Nation’s history, which made them even more morbid and profane to the collective subconscious; their wild and oftentimes misleading media coverage – the murders are still prime fodder for all sorts of sensational series, books, and podcasts; and finally, the disquieting realization that the killer was never identified and that he or she will most likely escape any justice.
According to Thomas, the couple had only been dating for about six months before they were murdered. “He probably got lucky here because they believe the incident took place on the night of Thursday, October 9th or early morning Friday, October 10th. The car was found on the westbound side of the highway, the opposite direction of their destination, which confused police. Theory 1: That all of these murders are connected by the same murderer. Of course DNA has ruled him out in the Golden State Killer case. The Colonial Parkway is beautiful. I apologize in advance if I make any formatting errors or mistakes. Williamsburg, Virginia is an idyllic town—think cobblestoned streets, colonial reenactors in white wigs and pantaloons belting out famous speeches on the steps of colonial-style brick buildings, quaint restaurants, English gardens, and The College of William & Mary, chartered in 1693 by King William and Queen Mary of England.
There was a 3-inch piece of rope bounding the neck of one of the victims between the collar and the neck. Strangely, Daniel’s car was found at the opposite rest stop facing the wrong direction instead of the rest stop that was on the way to their final destination—the car had likely been moved.
Psychic Pam Coronado felt that the killings were all related but that the location of the cars were not where the actual violence occurred.  In 2010, Spingola published Predators on the Parkway, a 29-page magazine article that detailed his findings.. About six weeks later, Daniel and Annamaria’s skeletonized remains were found down a remote logging road about one mile from the rest stop covered in a blanket from Daniel’s car. They were returning home that night and were pulled over by police lights. Thomas and and FBI believe it to be the work of a serial killer due to the behavioral similarities when it comes to the crime scenes. He became a well-known whistleblower, and thanks to his action, the FBI was put under the proverbial microscope. Stating he is obsessive over the murders and none to insert himself into private and intimate situations with the victims’ families. – Ryan Noah Yawel – Criminal Psychologist. Seven years after the final fatalities, another case reignited the investigation. There’s also a pattern where the cars appear to be moved post-mortem. In September 2011, he was arrested in Gwinnett County, Georgia for robbing a woman by gunpoint, less than $100 stolen. This, in turn, ratcheted up the media when they got a hold of the fact that Camp Peary is a training facility for the Central Intelligence Agency. Rumors and legends started hitting the headlines. When he looked inside the vehicle nothing seemed to be amiss and there were no clothes located inside. The Colonial Parkway Murders were the slayings of at least eight people apparently by a serial killer along the Colonial Parkway of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia (or nearby) between 1986 and 1989. Oh my goodness! But since the first one took place in October 1986, the murders have all remained unsolved. Or were these murders committed by different people? Since then, 62-year-old Fred had numerous encounters with the law, including a larceny charge; 100 dollars.
Three DNA blood profiles were found at the scene including Mike, Donna’s and an unidentified third. Throats had been slashed in a left to right motion, implying the murderer may have been right-handed. They are both presumed dead, and evidence points to the same madman or madwoman responsible for the other killings.
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