Taking the Sense Out of Sensitivity

The late Tip O’Neill once a said, “All politics is local.”  If the former Speaker of the House was correct, then the residents of central Virginia need to contact their congressional representatives and US Senators to politely ask why the National Park Service is throwing-up a bureaucratic roadblock to the search for Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey — two probable victims of a serial killer that roamed Virginia’s Colonial Parkway.

On April 9, 1988, Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey went on their first date.  The next day, a park ranger discovered Call’s abandoned 1982 Toyota Celica on the Colonial Parkway.  The couple literally disappeared off the face of the Earth, although investigators suspect they became victims of a killer targeting couples in so-called lover’s lane areas. 

As readers of this Web site know, the Spingola Files (SF)  — at the request of the victims’ families — is set to visit Virginia’s Colonial Parkway early next month.  SF was looking forward to assisting the June 5 search for Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey, along with dozens of other volunteers, including Kim Bidwell and her cadaver dog-handler associates.

Today, Jen Phelps, the sister-in-law of Colonial Parkway murder victim Annamaria Phelps, along with other victims’ family members, received word that the National Park Service (NPS) would limit the search to just 15 persons.  The reason: the NPS is concerned that the search may interfere with the pleasure the park may otherwise provide to visitors.

To read more about this breaking story visit: http://www.wtkr.com/news/wtkr-search-off-cp,0,5422028.story

Obviously, this is a case of bureaucrats being bureaucrats. Why any governmental body would prohibit an organized search — one conducted by volunteers and costing taxpayers nothing — is beyond logical reasoning. 

Below is the contact information for Virginia’s two U.S. Senators:

Senator Mark Warner, (202) 224-2023

Senator James Webb, (202) 224-4024

I encourage readers of this Web site to contact these two gentlemen and request that the National Park Service show some sensitivity and compassion for the Call and Hailey families. This valuable search should go on as scheduled June 5, even if it takes some behind the scenes political maneuvering to overrule the rationale of the rules-are-rules bureaucrats at the NPS.


Steve Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010

2 Responses

  1. Bill Thomas

    OK, if we wanted to have people contact their U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives from Virginia, here is how to reach them.

    We should ask the two Senators and your Representative to demand that the National Park Service open up the search for Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey’s remains on Saturday, June 5, 2010.

    The Honorable Mark Warner
    U.S. Senator
    459A Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: 202-224-2023
    Fax: 202-224-6295

    The Honorable Jim Webb
    U.S. Senator
    248 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: 202-224-4024
    Fax: 202-228-6363
    Toll Free Number 1-866-507-1570

    Find your U.S. Representative:


    May 28, 2010 at 12:02 am

  2. Cynthia Hammonds

    As Annamaria Phelps oldest sibling, I can tell you that it is disgusting that others including the media has used my sister. The media uses her to get their ratings. I am tired of people using my sister. None of y’all ever met, knew, or heard of her until this horrible nightmare of a tragedy came along. Leave her alone.

    January 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

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