Skip to comments.Skyline Drive Lesbian Murders (1996)(Condit-Levy)
Posted on 06/17/2002 11:16:35 AM PDT by crystalk
We have seen in the "Condit-style" and in the "Arkancide"-style murders a tendency for the official cover stories to try to blame the killings on a place. The ten killings mentioned in the Chandra websites as possibly Condit-related, all have been tagged in official media to some specific spot and some alleged series of murders going on in that place-- with the other members of the alleged series tending to vanish upon examination.
In the case of the 1996 double murder on the Skyline Drive near Luray, Virginia, I am at a loss to say whether it more resembles Condit, or Arkancide a la Caity Mahoney, a DC intern and alleged lesbian lover of Hillary Rodham Clinton. What it does have in common is the same lack of firmness in anything the public has ever been told, the same feeling that even the most critical and vital clues or information may be retracted at any moment.
Here is the bare bones story of the Williams-Winans killings, alleged lesbian lovers aged 24 and 26 respectively, currently officially said to have been killed on the night after Monday, May 27, 1996, and with bodies discovered only as dark fell on Saturday, June 1, 1996. I have read about 20 published stories on this case, and persons seeking citations are invited to use a search engine.
Around midday on Sunday, May 19, 1996, the two young women arrived in the Shenandoah National Park and took out a back-country camping permit for five nights. They planned to leave the park on Friday, May 24, before the Memorial Day crowd would be there. Friends in an eastern city (Baltimore, as I recall) were expecting them for the 3-day weekend (May 25-27).
Their permit stated an area in which they planned to camp, but rangers later could not recall seeing their car at all in this period, esp not where it logically would be for access to the stated destination. Rangers do routinely find the campsites of, and check the permits of, at least 80% of the campers in the long, narrow park, where even the furthest back campsites are less than 5 miles from the Skyline Drive. Yet it appears no one saw the young ladies and their golden retriever Taj, anywhere, not on the trails, nor in the camping zones, nowhere.
Suddenly, on the Friday May 24, the day they planned to leave, they appeared on a well-touristed mountain climb in the park, not too bedraggled or worse for wear. They seemed cheerful and outgoing, chatting and joking with fellow climbers, taking a whole roll of film, having bystanders photograph them together, and the like. Despite having been [supposedly] in the back country with only what they could carry in, including tent, stove, sleeping bags, food for themselves and the dog, and the like...there is no evidence they bought more provisions on this day, nor that they showered at the established campsites or elsewhere. They did see a ranger and extend their camping permit for three days.
It later developed that their friends who were expecting them for the weekend were stood up, no call. On Monday, May 27, the last day of the weekend, the father of Ms Winans called in some desperation to the Park offices, insisted on declaring the girls missing and having a report made, despite being told of the time extension and that they were only expected to leave the park that same day. Word went out to all the offices and facilities in the Park to be on the lookout for the girls, their car, their dog, etc. But no one took it very seriously, for the Park felt their intended stay was only then coming to an end.
Late Wed (29) or early Thu (30), however, their car was found seemingly intact and fine, at a parking area indicating their possible camping in another back country area. No one had seen them, not even to pass on trail and say hi, no ranger had seen their camp in the daily back country patrol/visits. Just like the earlier 5 days, and now this was getting to be another 6 days!
Once the car was found [another incredible: rangers felt it impossible it can have been there the whole time, with Park visitors and employees asked to look for it.], the panic and search began in earnest. The likely camping areas based on car location were scoured on Thurs and Fri (30/31 May), with no result.
On the Saturday June 1, visitors to the Park including the most casual tourists and senior citizens coming up to eat at the Skyline Lodge, etc. were questioned and beseeched concerning any possible sighting of the women and their dog, their tent etc.
At 8:30 pm on the Sat., searchers returning in despair to the Skyline Lodge found the girls' tent in a hidden obscure cove only a few hundred yards from the Lodge itself, in a spot completely unlikely based on the car's location, and also just a few hundred yards from the Skyline Drive itself and maintained large, tourist trails.
Backcountry campers had been advised, even forbidden, to come and camp in close to busy areas like this...and worst of all, since the main reason anyone WOULD do so...might be to come in and use the facilities, eat, buy supplies, etc.--NO ONE HAD SEEN THE GIRLS IN OR AT THE LODGE, shopping, eating, showering, buying supplies, nothing. Their dog had appeared at the Lodge only on Saturday morning, with the dead girls supposedly in their tent 200 yards away for the past 5 days. (!!)
The girls had both been killed by slitting of throat, nothing had been taken, money, camera, and credit cards intact. No rape, no assault, no signs of a struggle! Park officials continued the search till Monday evening the 3rd without announcing the finding of the bodies, supposedly in hopes the perp might return to the scene of the crime. Based upon the condition of the bodies, and the girls dressed for sleep, etc. it was officially declared they were murdered while sleeping late on the night after Monday, May 27. There were no signs of a struggle, and no signs of any secondary disturbance of the crime scene by animals or people.
Initial theories that the girls might have been hurt or in distress, and tried to hike in and might not have realized how near to civilization they were, fall on the fact that the camp was very well made, tent well pitched, hours taken, good order everywhere, not in haste nor emergency. Elaborate care had been taken to put the tent in a terribly hidden, concealed spot-- not to make it or themselves findable near obvious, large, maintained trails immediately at hand.
They would have noticed lights and sounds from the Lodge, and certainly after first night there would have realized how close to the Lodge, and how far from the car, they were! But no one ever saw them at the Lodge.
For nearly six years this case remained a mystery. But in April of this year, 2002, a man already in prison in Va., Darrell David Rice of Columbia, Md., was charged with these murders, based upon his [Guandique-style unexplainable] "assault" upon a female Canadian cyclist in July of 1997, 14 months after the W/W killings.
Trouble is, the State's case is very weak: they cannot show he was in the Park, nor even in Virginia, when the crimes were committed.
He is 34 now, would have been 28 when the deeds were done.
Where is the evidence they could ever have carried all this equipment, food, etc. They were not marvels of strength or physical stamina.
If the girls had been dead 200 yards from the paved road for 5 days, with countless tourists and hikers passing in the immediate area, why did not their dog appear to the people, or at the Lodge, until SATURDAY June 1?
Looks like a Conditcide or Arkancide to me!
For a recent story redacting the crime after discussing the suspect in Va prison...try
This story, newer than my info when I wrote the above, also notes that their tent was actually in site of a horse trail and a fire road as well as being some 200 yrds from SkyLAND Lodge.
Could it have stood there for a week without having a ranger approach and ask for their permit, or having some curious dog sniff the corpses and whine?
I say no. I say the bodies were brought there and we were set up with another pretty picture.
The fact is that the official story says they camped virtually on top of the busiest spot in the SNP no later than Monday afternoon 5/27, and that no curious ranger or dog approached that tent until searchers did so on Sat nite 6/1.
If you would contend they really DID camp until May 24, it would have no impact on my thesis that they did NOT, at the location where found for that last week when the official stories have them lying there dead, with their dog who knows where, but giving no alarm.
In other words, the minute they come off the mtn on 5/24 your story segues into mine. For eight days we are together. They were never seen alive again after the 24th, and it seems utterly impossible they can have been where found for more than a matter of hours without being spotted, in part for violation of park rules.
Nothing you have presented can explain where the girls were for 8 days from May 24 to June 1, nor why their plans changed, nor satisfy the obvious panic of Mr. Winans.
Nor does it give any evidence whatever that they were camped in the park at all on or after the night of May 24, much less at the site in busy public use--in which their bodies were found on the night of Saturday, June 1.
Your post from AMW differs from my original post only in saying that they obtained permits first for two days, then five more...where mine (from memory) says they obtained them first for five days...then three more.
BOTH STORIES STATE ONLY THAT PERMITS WERE OBTAINED. Neither story says that any ranger ever actually saw their tent pitched, or where they were or had been camping.
Nothing was seen of that nature until 8:30 pm on Sat. June 1, and by then their bodies indicated they had been dead (officially) for nearly 6 days, though other stories I have read say that med examiners can really only say they had been dead somewhere between 5 and 7, or 8, days....
Where is the evidence they could ever have carried all this equipment, food, etc. They were not marvels of strength or physical stamina
It is not tough to carry gear & 10 days of food, especially when you are only going a few miles, we use a device called a "backpack".
You must stealth camp or you will be ticketed.
You post a pretentious "invitation" for "persons" to use a search engine and then have a hissy fit when people post information they find.
You are a consistently nasty poster who should learn some rudimentary rules of civility.
What is the chance of that? Why so many posts which pick at oversights or lapses of memory on the part of this poor old human being, but which do not invalidate my thesis...
... and none that would (if valid) actually prove they (1) ever camped; (2) were still camping after 5/24; (3) were lying dead for 5 or 6 days very near the Skyland Lodge, and (says the hook article) within sight of a dirt road and a horse trail?
The fact is, their friends strongly expected them the evening of 5/24 in Baltimore; the father of one was completely panicked by the morning of 5/27; and yet the official story is they were camped practically in the yard of the Skyland Lodge, but never made a phone call, never bought a meal or supplies, never appeared in public even on the trails or roads anywhere near there, for a week or so. Gimme a break.
If I am wrong, I have once again entertained you for an evening by giving you somebody to shoot at.
I warned you that this was the bare-bones outline of the crime, that I was writing from memory, and that more detail is very available on search engines if anyone wants it. Those stories, BTW, however, tend to differ from each other as much as mine does from any one of them, so be forewarned!
I dont see how. The story was big news in this area when it happened. I am very involved with the hiking community and the Park and I have never heard anyone say they were camped "practically in the yard of the Skyland". They were 1/2 mile off the Applachian trail and secluded. As a matter of etiquette, hikers dont violate another campers space, so even if someone on a less traveled sidetrail or fire road saw a tent thru the brush they wouldnt approach.
Actually, he is -- to all who dare disagree with him.
the long (6 yrs) period with no solution of the crime...
As in the Mahoney matter, this one too has a patsy being set up by the government, and I think Chandra has several patsies being looked at right now to decide which one to try to sell us.
Also in common: the crime is a real baffler, a real obsessor, if one looks at it. That also these all have in common.
Occams razor might suggest the women never camped at all, or did so only briefly for a day or two. Never seen, even en route to or from, their campsite. Car never seen. Motiveless double murder.
I have no idea just WHAT part of the secret govt wanted these dead, and maybe they WERE friends of Caity Mahoney as alleged by another poster.
But I think it bears some out-of-the-box thinking, since the in-the-boxers can never solve it.
And I do not like another patsy being charged with horrible crime he did not do. That is what they are about to spring on us in Chandra too IMHO.
Treatment of Rice by Virginia is shameful, and that includes the 11-year sentence for the original crime against the Canadian woman. Two years would have been typical. Why eleven?
We are being asked to swallow several impossibilities, and then think that Rice was in the park over the Mem. day weekend.
A full week later, June 1-2, he went up to the park riding along with a married couple who were friends of his. This was the day they were really tearing the place apart to find the bodies.
At 8 pm 6/1 they did find them, but that fact was not released until the evening of June 3. Rice and his friends were together the whole time they were up there, and in any event the bodies were several days old, the crime was not committed while he was up there, his visit came 5 days after they were killed, and at that point he had no criminal record.
The event with the Canadian woman came 14 months later, and incidentally the week after Caity Mahoney was killed.
His similarity to Guandique, who suddenly and inexplicably with no previous history, "assaulted" a woman or two in Rock Creek Park the week after Chandra was killed, screams out at me.
I just do not buy it.
I am well aware that my own failings and weaknesses will be used to try to discredit the case I make, and I can only wish someone more flawless would have presented these questions, but just consider that the stones are now crying out. Look at the case, not at me, for crying out loud.
Their friends say their plan was to come down from the Park on the 24th, which agrees with my five; and Mr Winans had also expected them to leave the park on that day, both are agreeing with my statement that five days was the original planned term.
The rest of his post is just a personal attack upon me.
I also stand on the accuracy of my story based on several other published reports, though I am aware that still others do disagree and give some support to what is in post 24.
It is IMO particularly important to note that Mr Winans definitely did report this case missing oon th 27th, and the 880 yards is the distance from the paved, main road Skyline Drive to the body finding spot, not the distance to the Lodge which is much closer, say 220 yards.
Why no struggle, they just each laid their asleep motionless while the throat of the other was being slashed, and the dog, an alert and noisy creature, did nothing?
They were bound and gagged.
2. Are you seriously suggesting the girls were bound and gagged? That would be virtually impossible to accomplish within the confines of a pup tent. (How could the perp bind and gag A without B interfering?) And the dog too? And right on top of the Lodge and the busiest area in the Park?
I had not seen that, but if it were true, it would virtually establish my theory, namely that the crime occurred elsewhere and the bodies were brought here. It would also demolish the idea of a lone perp slipping up on a backcountry campers-tent in the middle of the night!
You would have solved the case, and in just the way I would have expected!
[PS To hostile posters: At my age I no longer care what you call me, just so you call me crystalk!]
Gimme a break.
That tends to prove my theory that the girls were brought here, already bound gagged throats cut--and dead.
Think about it, he would have had to crawl in there with them, what a tangle of arms and legs in the pitch dark. Yet he unfailingly managed to find just which parts of each to bind, gag, and cut throats, all with no appearance of a struggle, nothing to look disorderly, they were just lying neat as a pin each on her own separate sleeping bag and air matteress.
Gimme a break.
He said, "I'll get you and your little dog too!"
Give it a rest man, Daryl confessed to doing it while in jail. Is that not good enough for you?
If the amount of duress applied was anything like what was used on Covington and then, Cooper, in the Mahoney case, you could get any FReeper on the board to confess to the crime, me included. Whether they had ever been in Virginia, or not.
IIRC those facts you request are very much included in several of the standard published stories of the case easily retrieved from search engines.
They had graduated at Smith, had been living in Vermont, were from Minnesota (Williams) and Maine (Winans) IIRC, and were in process of trying to move down to DC or Balto IIRC, but do try the search engines.
IIRC there was said to be but little blood in the tent.