Colonial Parkway Killer – 1986

By | March 10, 2017

Robin’s belt was undone and her bra was around her neck.



The leafy surrounds of the Colonial Parking, near Williamsburg

The Colonial Parkway Killer struck for the first time on 12 October 1986. His first two victims were a lesbian couple, stockbroker and former sailor Cathleen Marian Thomas, 27, and student Rebecca Ann Dowski, 21. Their corpses were discovered by a jogger on the back seat of their Honda Civic, which had been shoved down an embankment of the York River, 11 km (7 mi) east of Williamsburg and about 1.6 km (1 mi) from Cheatham Annex, near an area popular with gay courting couples. It is believed that they preferred to park on the Colonial Parkway for privacy.

They had been strangled, tied up and had their throats slashed but there was no evidence of sexual assault. Robbery was not a motive as their handbags and purses were still in the car. Their bodies had been doused with diesel, although not set alight.

Just under a year later, in September 1987, David Lee Knobling, 20, and Robin M. Edwards, 14, were found murdered in the Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge, at the foot of the James River Bridge on the south shore of the James River, in Isle of Wight County, near Smithfield, Virginia. They had last been seen on 19 September 1987. Robin’s belt was undone and her bra was around her neck. David’s black Ford pick-up was spotted two days later. The radio was on, the driver’s side window was half down, the keys were in the ignition and David’s wallet was on the dashboard.

Their bodies were found about 3 km (2 mi) from the truck. Police think that the pair was marched through the woods for 2 km (1.5 mi) before they were summarily executed and then dumped into the river.

The next murders occurred seven months later on 9 April 1988. Cassandra Lee Halley, 18, and Richard Keith Call were reported missing after their first date together. On 10 April Call’s red Toyota Celica was discovered empty on the Colonial Parkway at 9am but no trace of either person has ever been found. The couple’s clothing, including underwear, was on the back seat of the car.

On 5 September 1989 Anna Marie Phelps, 18, and Daniel Lauer, 21, went missing. A hunter found their skeletal remains near Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and Richmond the following month. Both had been stabbed.


Colonial Parkway, Virginia, USA


Sunday 12 October 1986


Police have no real idea who the Colonial Parkway Killer is, although some have suggested that he (or they) are law officials.


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