When I was a kid, I remember hearing about these murders. To this day, I still stare at the signs that point out the Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, VA and have never gone on the parkway. I will admit, it is out of fear, even though the murders happened over 20 years ago.
It all began on October 12, 1986. A lesbian couple, Cathleen Thomas, 27, and Rebecca Ann Dowski, 21, were found inside their car. The car was pushed down an embankment in an area popular among homosexual couples. They had been strangled and their throats slashed. There were no signs of robbery or sexual assault.
About a year later, in September of 1987, David Knobling, 20, and Robin Edwards, 14, were found murdered in the Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge. They were last seen on September 19. David’s Ford truck was found on September 21, with the driver’s door open, keys in the ignition, the radio on and David’s wallet on the dashboard. When their bodies were found, they were partially clothed with Robin’s bra wrapped around her neck. Police believe the two were probably marched more than 1 1/2 miles through the woods and down a wooden pier, where they were executed and dumped into the river.
On April 9, 1988, Cassandra Lee Hailey, 18, and Richard Keith Call, 20, were reported missing. They had been on their first date. Keith’s 1982 red Toyota Celica was found abandoned on the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown, with couple’s clothing, including underwear, on the back seat. They have never been found, but are presumed dead.
In October of 1989, the skeletal remains of Annamaria Phelps, 18, and Daniel Lauer, 21, were found in New Kent County by a hunter in the woods near a rest area on Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and Richmond. They were last seen on September 5, 1989 at that rest area. Daniel’s old 1973 Chevrolet Nova was found at the rest area with Annamaria’s purse and Daniel’s clothing inside.
Thanks to the Parkway Murders website for the information. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of pictures of the victims out there, nor is there a lot of information on the murders.
There is a new FBI Agent in charge of the Colonial Parkway Murders case. If you have any information about the Colonial Parkway case, please FBI Special Agent Crosby Brackett at 757-435-4708.