Breakthrough Serial Rapist Identified in Decades-Old Shenandoah National Park Double Murder

Breakthrough: Serial Rapist Identified in Decades-Old Shenandoah National Park Double Murder

A “serial rapist” who passed away in jail in 2018 was identified through forensic testing, the FBI said on Thursday, nearly thirty years after the bodies of two women were discovered in a Virginia national park.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and the FBI’s Richmond Field Office jointly released a statement on Thursday stating that DNA testing has established that Walter “Leo” Jackson Sr. killed Laura “Lollie” Winans, 26, and Julianne “Julie” Williams, 24, at Shenandoah National Park on May 24, 1996.

According to U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh’s comments, “We are now able to say who committed the brutal murders after 28 years.” “To the families of Winans and Williams, I want to express my condolences once more, and I hope that today’s news brings them some small comfort.”

When the women failed to make their scheduled return home, family members contacted the National Park Service. June 1, 1996, saw the discovery of their bodies after a protracted hunt.

Breakthrough Serial Rapist Identified in Decades-Old Shenandoah National Park Double Murder

The FBI reported that they had died at their camping close to Skyland Resort.

An entirely new FBI team was tasked with investigating the killings in 2021 after the case remained unresolved for years. According to the FBI, special agents, intelligence analysts, and other employees reevaluated hundreds of leads and interviews.


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According to the FBI, the team retested evidence from the crime site by a private lab with accreditation and gave it priority.

The DNA profile was submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System after the private lab extracted DNA from “several items of evidence,” according to the FBI, with assistance from the Virginia State Police. As a result, Jackson, a Cleveland-born serial rapist, was a positive match.

A man is being held in connection with the 23-year-old mother’s death of his former girlfriend in Maryland.

Jackson’s DNA was found on a buccal swab that the FBI compared to evidence from the deaths of Winans and Williams, the agency claimed.

Special Agent Stanley M. Meador, who oversees the FBI’s Richmond office, stated, “Those results confirmed we had the right man and we could finally tell the victims’ families we know who is responsible for this heinous crime.”

Jackson painted and loved to climb; the FBI stated he frequently went to Shenandoah National Park. The report stated that he passed away in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, prison in March 2018.

The FBI stated that Jackson’s criminal history includes kidnapping, rapes, and assaults, and that it collaborated with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and Cleveland police on the case.

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