Colonial Parkway Murders: Pt 2


Manage episode 331851834 series 2681747
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Some important facts to know about the Colonial Parkway if you have never had the pleasure of driving it yourself or experiencing it on a class trip.

According to the National Park Service

  • The Colonial Parkway is a twenty-three mile scenic roadway stretching from the York River at Yorktown to the James River at Jamestown.
  • The road does it best to remind drivers of days past as the parkway does not allow semi trucks and is toll-free.
  • As you meander though the parkway you are graced with beautiful views of the James and York rivers that run along the parkway.
  • According to Triple A "redbuds and dogwoods decorate the roadway in spring, while fall brings an explosion of autumn colors”
  • From an article in the Daily Press in 1990, the parkway is no place to be after dark ”At night, the mood changes. The trees form a tunnel of blackness, broken only if the moon is shining. There are no streetlights, no call boxes and no fast-food restaurants or convenience stores where a driver might find refuge in case of a breakdown”.
  • The parkway is under the rangers' jurisdiction because it is federal land owned by the National Park Service
  • When a serious crime is committed, the York County Sheriff's Department, the Williamsburg or James City police departments are called to assist, Neprash said.
  • The parkway is federal land, the FBI may also become involved in investigations.
  • says, "police have questioned 150 suspects in connection to these four cases, but all have been cleared.
  • The police attribute these eight murders to the same killer because of similarities in each case.
  • All of the victims were killed at or near their car, the first three being found at known lover’s lane areas.
  • None of the victims were robbed, and sexual assault did not appear to be a motive in any of the cases.
  • The first and third murders were mere miles apart, and the second and fourth were committed about a half hour away from the Parkway.
  • In 2018, the Facebook page Colonial Parkway Murders, which is run by Cathy’s brother Bill Thomas, and today's guest revealed that DNA had been found at 3 of the 4 crime scenes which could potentially conclusively link the cases and lead to an arrest. Hair that had been found in Cathy’s hand and a biological sample found on Robin have never been tested
  • The First couple to fall victim Cathy Thomas and Rebecca Dowski

Cathleen Thomas, 27, Class of 1981 graduate United States Naval Academy and College of William & Mary senior Rebecca Ann Dowski, 21. On October 12, 1986, Columbus Day weekend, their bodies were found inside Thomas' white 1980 Honda Civic at the Cheatham Annex Overlook

If you have any information relevant to the Colonial Parkway murders that occurred during the 1980s, please e-mail it to us at

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