Trailed: One Woman’s Quest To Solve the Shenandoah Murders

Algonquin. May 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781616209094. $28.95. CRIME
In 1996, Julianne Williams and her girlfriend Laura Winans were backpacking in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, where they were brutally murdered. After years of dead ends, law enforcement identified a man they believed guilty of the murders, however they dismissed the case against him in 2016 due to lack of evidence. Miles, an avid backpacker and journalist for Outside magazine, began working on a story about the unsolved case. The story turned into four years of reviewing court transcripts, case files, news stories, and hundreds of interviews with witnesses, law enforcement and forensic experts. Miles identifies some serious missteps in the investigation and sheds light on the troubling issues of the National Park Service when it comes to solving violent crimes.
VERDICT Miles strikes a good balance between laying out the details of the crime and investigation, and fully developing the stories of the victims’ lives. Fans of unsolved cases will appreciate this well-researched, compelling story.
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