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Crime Reads Book Club: Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenadoah Murders by Kathryn Miles

June 22 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Crime Reads Book Club will be discussing Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders by Kathyrn Miles.

 

A riveting deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness, a journalist’s obsession, and a new theory of who might have done it.

In May 1996, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were brutally murdered while backpacking in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, adjacent to the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The young women were skilled backcountry leaders who had met—and fallen in love—the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. But despite an extensive joint investigation by the FBI, the Virginia police, and National Park Service experts, the case remained unsolved for years.

In early 2002, and in response to mounting political pressure, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he would be seeking the death penalty for Darrell David Rice—already in prison for assaulting another woman—in the first capital case tried under new, post-9/11 federal hate crime legislation. But two years later, the Department of Justice quietly suspended its case against Rice, and the investigation has since grown cold. Did prosecutors have the right person?

Journalist Kathryn Miles was a professor at Lollie Winans’s wilderness college in Maine when the 2002 indictment was announced. On the 20th anniversary of the murder, she began looking into the lives of these adventurous women—whose loss continued to haunt all who had encountered them—along with the murder investigation and subsequent case against Rice. As she dives deeper into the case, winning the trust of the victims’ loved ones as well as investigators and gaining access to key documents, Miles becomes increasingly obsessed with the loss of the generous and free-spirited Lollie and Julie, who were just on the brink of adulthood, and at the same time, she discovers evidence of cover-ups, incompetence, and crime-scene sloppiness that seemed part of a larger problem in America’s pursuit of justice in national parks. She also becomes convinced of Rice’s innocence, and zeroes in on a different likely suspect.

Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders is a riveting, eye-opening, and heartbreaking work, offering a braided narrative about two remarkable women who were murdered doing what they most loved, the forensics of this cold case, and the surprising pervasiveness and long shadows cast by violence against women in the backcountry.  

Kathryn Miles is an award-winning journalist and science writer. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Saint Louis University and took both her Master of Arts and Doctorate in English from the University of Delaware. The long-time editor of Hawk & Handsaw, Miles served as professor of environmental studies and writing at Unity College from 2001-2015 and has since taught in several graduate schools and low residency-MFA programs. Miles is the author of five books: Adventures with Ari, All Standing, Superstorm, Quakeland, and Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders. Her essays and articles have appeared in publications including Audubon, Best American Essays, The Boston Globe, Down East, Ecotone, History, National Geographic, The New York Times, Outside, Pacific Standard, Politico, Popular Mechanics, and Time. She currently serves as a scholar-in-residence for the Maine Humanities Council, a visiting professor at Colby College, and a member of the Eastern Oregon University MFA faculty. She is also a private consultant available for emerging and established writers. Kathryn lives in Portland, Maine.

Details

Date:
June 22
Time:
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Venue

Library Meeting Room
9318 Apison Pike
Collegedale, TN United States
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