For four years a killer, or killers, stalked Virginia’s Tidewater region, carefully selecting victims, sending waves of terror into the local community.
The Colonial Parkway Murders–the name given eight murders that took place in the Tidewater region in the late 1980’s, two of which were on the historic Colonial Parkway, the nation’s narrowest National Park. Young people in the prime of their lives were the targets. But the pattern that stitched this special kind of evil together was more like a spider web of theory, intrigue, and mathematics.
Then, mysteriously, the killing spree stopped. The nameless predator, or predators, who stalked the Colonial Parkway stepped back into the mists of time and disappeared.
Now, father-daughter true crime authors Blaine Pardoe and Victoria Hester blow the dust off of these cases. Interviewing members of the families, friends, and members of law enforcement, they provide the first and most complete in-depth look at this string of horrific murders and disappearances. The author-investigators peel back the rumors and myths surrounding these crimes and provide new information never before revealed about the investigations.
From The Book:
Victoria asked the real question, the one that has been nagging us since we began looking into this case: “Why do you think this case has been unsolved so long?”
Clearly Larry McCann has been waiting for this query, most likely because it nagged at him as well. “That’s a good question. There’s just a handful of cases in my experience that I thought, ‘You know, we have enough evidence—physical evidence, behavioral evidence, we ought to be able to solve those.’ This is one of those series of cases that—well … we could have.
So, what happens? Did they go somewhere else? Did they go to prison? What’s the deal here? In VICAP, (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) I’m sure you know about VICAP, back in those days I searched. Nothing like this occurred anywhere in the world up until the time I retired in ‘99. There was never anything like this—anywhere.
“So why did they stop? You have a leader and a follower, and the follower is the weaker person and maybe the leader got tired of him and killed him. So now you have a leader, a guy who wanted to do a death—so why didn’t the leader get a new follower? Well people that run in these circles, these dangerous circles, they get killed every Saturday night. So maybe the leader got killed. Or he’s in jail. He did not move. They either go to prison, get killed, or move. Well, they didn’t move because nothing like this ever turned up anywhere. So he’s either in prison or dead.
Larry leaned back in his seat. “I’m looking for two people. But nobody has been arrested for 30 years. Maybe I’ve got people barking up the wrong tree. But that’s the thing about profiling—I give you my profile of your unknown offender but I tell you, don’t pretend that this is gospel. If you’re out and you get somebody who doesn’t fit this at all, run with it. This could be totally wrong; usually not, but it could be. So everybody that is given that profile is given that lecture. Here’s who I think it is but if you find somebody else through somebody rolling up on them, or some physical evidence, don’t worry about the profile—go with the evidence. If you don’t have any evidence, well then, look at the profile and lay that over your suspect pool and you can lay that against everybody in the world and see what pops out.”
From The Authors:
Millions of tourists visit the Virginia Tidewater region every year. They go to Busch Gardens, tour Colonial Williamsburg, marvel at historic Jamestown, or walk the Yorktown battlefield. They drive on the panoramic Colonial Parkway, the nation’s narrowest national park and relax in its pastoral splendor. They come to relax, have fun, get away from the bustle of their everyday lives.
Few know of the serial murders that took place on or near this thin strip of road connecting Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Even fewer know the full story of the investigation, the blind alleys, the failed theories, and the strained hope of the victim’s families for three decades.
Starting in 1986, four couples, eight young people, were brutally murdered in the Tidewater area. Two of the victims are missing to this day. To some, the crimes do not look connected at all. To the professionals, the criminal profilers, these murders are inevitably tied to each other. These crimes ensnarled the various agencies investigating them and set a community on edge for years.
This is a story of rope, and knives, and of a gun, and of savagery. A killer stalked the byways of the Virginia peninsula, methodically picking his victims, staging their crime scenes. He taunted the police that pursued him. He ignored the anguish and pleas of the victim’s families.
He was possessed of a Special Kind of Evil.
The Colonial Parkway murders remains Virginia’s oldest unsolved serial murder cases. We don’t undertake easy cold cases and the Parkway murders has proven to be the most challenging of all. Thanks to countless hours of interviews and research, we layout all of the known facts and theories to put the reader in the seat of the investigators.
Someone out there always knows the truth. Perhaps you, as a reader, can solve these eight heinous murders and bring the killer to justice.
Praise For Blaine Pardoe and Victoria Hester:
“Remarkable research and a compelling narrative make this cold case true crime investigation both relentless and harrowing.“– Burl Barer, Edgar Award-winning author of BETRAYAL IN BLUE
“Pardoe is the master of atmosphere and setting the scene. Pardoe and his daughter Victoria, put you inside a DeLorean time machine with a flux capacitor … Once you’re taken back to that time and place, you want to stay there and look around for a while. Peer over the investigators shoulder as they examine the crime scene.” – Historical Crime Detective
“Pardoe and Hester, a father-and- daughter writing team, have presented a well-organized and highly entertaining examination of a puzzling case that’s still rife with unanswered questions.” – The Lansing State Journal
“Recreating unsolved or unresolved crimes requires intensive and meticulous research which Pardoe undertakes with excruciating accuracy.” – Culpeper Times
“… this is no fictional work of fevered imagination; it’s the real thing. Blaine Pardoe nimbly explores his story of murder, sex, and psychopaths in what makes for a crackling good read. This is a real ‘can’t put it down’ page turner!” – Arnie Bernstein, author of Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing
“‘A Special Kind of Evil’ is that special kind of true-crime book that is both compelling and proactive, bolstered by solid research to shed unsettling light on a notorious crime spree from decades ago. Father-daughter true crime writing duo Blaine Pardoe and Victoria Hester deliver a page-turning account of the Colonial Parkway Serial Killings that is well-paced and expertly researched. Their methodical narrative marks the first in-depth exploration of this case, leading the reader through this 1980s crime story that terrorized Virginia’s Tidewater region. Taking full advantage of the benefit of time, the authors expertly pull together the many threads of this unsettling string of murders, weaving a compelling book that works on many levels. This is just the type of book that should hopefully lead to a renewed effort to close this cold case and write the last chapter in the true-crime tragedy. Well done!” – Craig McGuire, author of BROOKLYN’S MOST WANTED