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Serial Rapist Linked to Decades-Old Murders of Two Women in Shenandoah National Park


After almost 30 years, the FBI said Thursday that they had found the killer of two women who were found dead in a national park in Virginia. The killer was a “serial rapist” who died in prison in 2018.

The FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said Thursday that DNA tests showed Walter “Leo” Jackson Sr. killed Jule Williams, 24, and Laura “Lollie” Winans, 26, at Shenandoah National Park on May 24, 1996.

“We can now say who killed them after 28 years,” U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said in the statement. “I want to send my deepest condolences to the families of Winans and Williams again. I hope that today’s news brings them some small comfort.”

They didn’t come home as planned, so their family called the National Park Service. After a long search, their bodies were found on June 1, 1996.

The FBI said they were killed at their campsite near Skyland Resort.

For years, the case went unsolved. In 2021, a new FBI team was sent to look into the killings. The FBI said that hundreds of leads and interviews were looked at again by special agents, intelligence experts, and other staff.

The team chose the most important evidence from the crime scene and had a private lab that is recognized by the FBI test it again.

The private lab got DNA from “several pieces of evidence.” The FBI said that the DNA sample was sent to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System with the help of the Virginia State Police. That lead to a positive match with Jackson, a Cleveland man who was found guilty of raping multiple women.

The FBI also said that they matched evidence from the killings of Winans and Williams to Jackson’s DNA found on a buccal swab.

“Those results proved we had the right man, and we could finally tell the families of the victims that we know who did this horrible crime,” said Stanley M. Meador, who is in charge of the FBI’s Richmond office.

The FBI said Jackson, a painter, loved hiking and was known to have been to Shenandoah National Park. It said he died in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, jail in March 2018.

The FBI said Jackson had a history of kidnapping, rape, and attack. They also said they worked with Cleveland police and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office on the case.

Source: NBC

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