Posts tagged “David Knobling

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


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


Prowler on the Parkway

In Virginia, a killer — more likely a handful of killers — are at large.  From 1986 to 1989, at least eight people became homicide victims on or near the Colonial Parkway.  Within hours after a passerby found the first victims, Cathy Thomas and Becky Dowski, inside a white Honda, investigators told family members that they believed the suspect was either a law enforcement officer or a police impersonator. The perpetrator bound Thomas and Dowski before slitting one of the women’s throats with enough force to cause partial decapitation.

While some believe the Colonial Parkway murders ended in 1989, and that the suspect is either dead or currently incarcerated, the May 1996 homicides of Lollie Winans and Julie Williams in a remote area of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park are strikingly similar.  The two hikers were found bound and gagged with their throats slit.

In fact, the remains of David Knobling, Robin Edwards, Daniel Lauer, Annamaria Phelps, Alicia Reynolds, and Morgan Harrington, have dotted the Virginia country side.  The bodies of another couple — Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey — have yet to be located. All of these investigations remain open.  

Over the course of the past month or so, I have had the privilege to communicate with some of the victims’ family members.  This dialog caused me to do more research and dig a little deeper.  These brutal, unsolved homicides are extremely troubling. A good possibility exists that more than one killer is fulfilling his violent fantasies and remains at large to commit yet another heinous offense.

Last night, Virginia’s WAVY Channel 10 broke the news of my upcoming visit to the Richmond area. 

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/agent-volunteers-to-revisit-parkway-case

While the report claims the Spingola Files is conducting an “independent investigation” from the FBI, I will not be acting in a law enforcement or private investigative capacity.  Instead, I am exploring these cases from the perspective of an investigative journalist.  Hopefully, my coverage of these events will call out volunteers to assist in the search of Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey, cause a person with relevant information to come forward, or somehow uncover a small piece of the puzzle needed to unlock the anonymity of the killer(s).  

Visit this Web site for updates on the Spingola Files visit to Virginia in early June.  I plan on posting information — in some cases live — as I speak with those involved in these complex investigations.

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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