There are plenty of things to fear in the wilderness: bears, mountain lions, falling from cliffs, fires, perhaps even alien abductions (if you believe in that sort of thing).
But if you’re like Jon, perhaps you never considered the truly terrifying possibility that the monster in the woods isn’t a monster at all. On this week’s Saturday Morning Serial, we talk about several different cases with the same theme; people enjoying the great outdoors, murdered in cold blood. You’ll never want to leave your house again (which is fine, because it’s cold and there’s no internet out there).
Randall Lee Smith
Randall murdered two social workers on the Appalachian Trail and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. After serving only 15 years, Randall went on to shoot two other men on the Appalachian Trail, but through sheer determination, those two men survived.
Susan Ramsay & Robert Mountford
Sean Farmer & Scott Johnston
Julie Williams and Lollie Winans
Julie and Lollie went for a camping vacation with their dog Taj. Forest rangers found them bound with their throats slashed near their campground.
A&E Real Crime
Arman B. Johnson
Arman was a radio host in Hawaii. He was shot in the back of the head while hiking volcanoes.
A&E Real Crime
Tristian’s wife was studying for an upcoming test. He decided to take their two daughters (2- and 4-years-old) camping so that she could study in peace. Tristian was shot in the head while sleeping next to his girls.
Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders
In 1977, three girls ages 8, 9, and 10 became fast friends at girl scout camp. They were playing outside when a rainstorm came down and they took shelter in Tent 8. The three girls were found beaten to death the next day, stuffed in sleeping bags, and tossed by the side of a hiking trail.
On February 13th, 2007, 13-year-old Abby and 14-year-old Libby went for a hike. They were reported missing after they didn’t show up to the agreed-upon meeting place. Police discovered their bodies the next day. Many of the details of this case are being withheld by police (including their manner of death). But they have released short video and audio clips from Libby’s phone, suggesting that she may have been filming her attacker(s).