Posts tagged “Colonial Parkway murders

Note in Murder Victim’s Belongings Continues to Spur Controversy

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I & II available now at Amazon.com.

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Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in or Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler and Predators on the Parkway: a Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010


Coming Soon: Predators on the Parkway E-Magazine Expose

In early June, I visited the area of Yorktown, Virginia at the request of the families of the Colonial Parkway murder victims.  Soon afterwards, I posted a cursory review of the Spingola Files’ (SF) findings relating to the homicides of three couples and the disappearance of another. 

These complex cases have puzzled law enforcement for almost a generation.  Since SF’s visit, new information was uncovered that may very well establish a person of interest (POI) in one of the couple slayings. 

In an effort to examine the Colonial Parkway murders in more detail, I have published a soon-to-be-released 29-page e-magazine expose.  Predators on the Parkway: a Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders will likely be available for purchase at Amazon.com on or near August 10, 2010 for just $3. 

This e-magazine article provides new details about the crime scenes as well as the discovery of new information leading to a possible break in one of the couple homicides. Moreover, by purchasing this article, readers are supporting the Spingola Files’ efforts to examine other homicide cases from around the nation.

As the release date approaches, check this site for more information.

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

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010


The Mysterious Whereabouts of Ralph Leon Jackson

To read this article, purchase The Best of the Spingola Files, coming to Amazon.com’s Kindle store in January 2012.

Steven 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


Prowlers on the Parkway: SF’s Take on the Colonial Parkway Murders

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steven 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


NPS Gives a Little Ground, Literally

YORKTOWN, VA, June 5, 2010 — As the search for the remains of Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey continues, it appears that the National Park Service (NPS) has had a change of heart.  NPS Ranger Steve Williams, who, also was the victim of an unfortunate rear-end car accident, gave consent to the families to search an additional area of the Colonial Parkway. 

The area set to be searched, is virgin territory, so to speak, as investigators have yet to comb this particular segment of the scenic parkway. 

Reading between the lines, I believe the presence of the FBI agent investigating four of the eight Colonial Parkway homicides may have played a role.  After all, common sense dictates that the cadaver dogs should visit unexplored grids. 

Before proceeding further, the weather in historic Yorktown, which abuts the beautiful and wide York River to the east, is a bit steamy.  The temperature is 93 degrees at noon.  The sticky humidity is cause for searchers to frequently hydrant.  The ticks in the Colonial Parkway are as persistent as mosquitoes after a rainy, Wisconsin summer afternoon. 

Yesterday, while the Spingola Files (SF) visited the crime scene near I-64 in New Kent County — where hunters discovered the remains of the Lauer/Phelps homicides — ticks permeated the clothes of searchers  In fact, this morning, one of the dog-handlers jokingly mentioned Virginia doesn’t have state bird just a state insect — the tick.

Hopefully, a search of this new area turns up that bread crumb of information needed to point searchers in the right direction.

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Steven 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


The Lay of the Land

YORKTOWN, VA — Upon arriving in Virginia, the Spingola Files (SF) hit the ground running.  At the airport, SF was met by Andy Fox, a reporter from WAVY Channel 10 and provided an interview.

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/private-eye-looks-into-parkway-murders

(One note to WAVY’s coverage: my status during the Spingola Files visit to Virginia is that of an investigative journalist and NOT a private investigator) 

Later in the early evening, SF met Fred Atwell, a former deputy with the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department.  Together, we visited the various Colonial Parkway crime scenes and discussed our various theories behind the slayings.  SF found Atwell to be a wealth of information.

Over the course of the past year, Atwell communicated with officials from the FBI and explained that instructors of criminal justice students were using crime scene photos of the Colonial Parkway murders as material for classroom activities.  When officials failed to take action, Atwell spoke to WTKR’s Mike Mather.  After collecting the photos, the FBI later contacted a family member of a Colonial Parkway victim to explain that Atwell was one of the 132 suspects. 

“Outrageous,” is how Atwell describes the FBI allegation.  “I even gave them my DNA.”

The visit to the Ragged Island Game Refuge — the scene of the September 19/20 1987 slayings of David Knobling, 20, and Robin Edwards, age 14 — painted a picture of a brazen killer.  In this instance, the perpetrator used a firearm.   Since these homicides occurred in close proximity to a major arterial highway, I was surprised that passers-by and/or fishermen in the area didn’t hear the gun shots. 

Today, SF will speak to a number of tipsters and others who may have information on the Colonial Parkway murders. 

Tomorrow, an organized, private search for Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey is on tap.  SF has developed a couple of theories pertaining to the couple’s April 9, 1988 disappearance.

Visit the site for more updates.  Tomorrow, during the search, SF is planning to blog live.

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Steven 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


Boots on the Ground

As promised, the Spingola Files (SF) has arrived in Virginia to report back to our readers regarding the Colonial Parkway homicides.

Tonight, SF will speak with a long-time investigator regarding the unsolved cases of these four couples that occurred between 1986 and 1989 along the scenic Colonial Parkway.

The stifling humidity aside, SF has a full itinerary.  In an investigative journalist’s role, SF will revisit the crime scenes, speak to tipsters, and explore decades-old information. 

Vist this site frequently for more information. 

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Steven Spingola is a retired 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


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.

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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


Shooting Suspect Invokes His Penile Rights

A search warrant filed in a Virginia court confirms that purported Blue Ridge shooting suspect, Ralph Leon Jackson, made statements against his penal interests about his penile interests.

During a search warrant executed at Jackson’s Howardsville Turnpike home, investigators discovered two plastic containers with the words “male enhancement” written on them.  A detective later spoke to Jackson, who said that the substances made him “foggy.”

In an earlier column, I discussed the significance of the Blue Ridge Parkway incident:

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2010/04/09/a-break-in-the-case/

Reading between the lines, however, the substances marked “male enhancement” are not, in all likelihood, physician prescribed, which means they could be anything Jackson believed would enhance “male” behavior, such as ecstasy or other mood altering medications.

Reports claim that Jackson suffers from advanced prostate cancer and is under going chemotherapy.  In many instances, prostrate cancer spreads to the bones, creating a particularly excruciating condition.  Severe pain sometimes leads the afflicted to self-medicate with non-prescribed drugs.  As such, it will be interesting to hear the toxicology results.  

Moreover, media reports indicate that police have filed the paperwork needed to retrieve Jackson’s DNA.  Typically, unless a preliminary test is fast tracked, two to nine months are needed to compare samples with CODUS, a national DNA databank maintained by the FBI.

On another note, readers of this site are keenly aware of my interest in these Virginia cases.  A possibility exists that one suspect — whether it is the Colonial Parkway murders, the Route 29 stalker case, the Shenandoah National Park slayings, or the Morgan Harrington homicide — may have had a hand in these other incidents.  

Over the course of the last month, I have communicated with family members of the Colonial Parkway victims.  In the near future, the Spingola Files will travel to Virginia to highlight these troubling cases. By raising the profile of these unsolved offenses, it is possible that persons with knowledge of these crimes will come forward and shed some light on the identifies of these nefarious killers.

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Steven 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.

Copyright, Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010