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HomeWorldA new development after 28 years

A new development after 28 years

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Briefly

  • The FBI now believes it has solved the 1996 murder case in which Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were found murdered in Shenandoah National Park.
  • New DNA technology points to the late serial rapist Walter “Leo” Jackson as the culprit.
  • The family is relieved, but also frustrated that they will never see the case in court.

We have to turn back the clock to May 19, 1996. Newly in love couple Julie Williams (24) and Lolly Winans (26) were on a hike in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, USA.

A week later, they were supposed to return to their jobs, but they never showed up. The couple was reported missing by Williams' father on May 31.

The next day, they were found brutally murdered at a camping site near a hotel located in the national park. They were handcuffed, raped, and had their throats cut.

The murder shook the United States and sparked fear in the gay community.

No one has since been convicted of the murders, but the FBI now believes they have solved the gruesome murder. It comes out in one press release Thursday.

Suspect: The late Walter Jackson is the man the FBI believes is behind the murders. Pictured here in 2011. Image: FBI
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Discovery of DNA

After reviewing the evidence in the case again and using new DNA technology, they have a hit: the late serial rapist Walter “Leo” Jackson. He died in an Ohio prison in 2018.

“We now know who is behind this heinous crime,” Stanley Meador, an FBI special agent in the agency’s Richmond office, says in the news release.

He describes the DNA results as very strong, and they have no doubt that Jackson was behind the murders. Jackson was also often in the area where the murders were committed, according to the FBI.

Jackson already had a lengthy record, having been convicted of, among other things, rape, kidnapping and assault.

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Another man accused

However, FBI Agent Meador says they do not believe the murder had anything to do with the couple's sexual orientation, as police have long theorized.

In 2002, police arrested a man and charged him with murders based on this theory. The man should also have been observed on his way to the national park in the time before the couple was killed, he wrote The Independent.

But prosecutors dropped charges against the man in 2004, after DNA evidence from the crime scene ruled out his presence.

A suspect has been arrested in a triple murder

A suspect has been arrested in a triple murder


Jaime Grant, former political director of the police LGBTQ Task Force, followed Thursday's news conference and later spoke with family members and friends of the victims, wrote. Washington Post.

– They have mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I think they're relieved, but I think the circumstances surrounding this are tempering it, and there's a lot of frustration, Grant says, explaining that families won't get the final closure that a trial can provide, and that they won't get to see all the evidence presented. At trial.

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