My co-author (and daughter) and I are about half-way through our live lectures as part of our book tour for A Special Kind of Evil. We are not big on book signing events at bookstores, but tend to favor lectures at libraries and colleges on the subject. This gives us a chance to have more of a dialogue with participants and have them engage more. We don’t sell books at these events but we do sign them. This was never about selling books as much as it was about getting the stories out.
These events are hard to do. An hour cannot do complete justice to the stories. I always say it is akin to trying to pour five gallons of water into a one gallon bucket.
We have some other events coming up, and we hope they too will generate some new leads as well. Someone out there knows something…
- November 4 – Culpeper County Public Library, Culpeper, Virginia, 3:00pm.
- November 28 – Newport News Library, Grissom Branch, 7:00pm.
- Williamsburg Library will be January 20 at 2:00pm in the Kitzinger Room at the James City County Branch.
We look forward to seeing you there and answering your questions.
Our session at the Tabb Library in York County was packed to overflowing. For us this is an indication that the community there is still very interested in the cases. More than a few things percolated up at that session. One, a former-relative of Steve Blackmon, a former Gloucester sheriff’s deputy was there and claimed that he told family members he had been cleared of the crimes by polygraph. That was the first time we had heard that he had been cleared. Of course polygraphs are only as a good as the person administering them. Blackmon, and Ron Little’s names come up a LOT in these cases as possible suspects. Blackmon himself is out on parole for a pair of drug-related murders in South Carolina. The attendee also told us he was aware the book had been published. We would love a chance to speak with him…we have many questions that have come up in the last two-plus years of researching. All-in-all, that was fascinating.
We were honored that friends of Robin Edwards and the family of Keith Call attended. I am sure that it was comforting to know that their community was so engaged on finding the killer(s).
We also had a moment or two of intrigue. Victoria was approached by one attendee, Gordy Price who asked us to call him. Gordy was making a horror film called The Waterman and had heard about a man that had found a strange weapon buried not far from the Colonial Parkway in Seaford. He graciously put us in contact with Keith William Krushel Jr. who had found the weapon.
Keith was clearing some property as part of a construction job back in July. He found a machete wrapped in duct tape, buried three feet deep. It was wrapped as if someone was trying to protect or preserve it for some reason. His initial thought was that it was a lawnmower blade. He handled it with gloves, just in case it was used in some sort of crime. Smart guy.
Do you know of any crimes committed with a machete in the area? Please reach out to the FBI if you do. I’m confident they’d love to hear from you.
His aunt remembered the Thomas – Dowski murders both were committed with a knife and contacted the FBI who took it into their possession. One of the agents, who had spent time on a Virginia farm, indicated he had never seen a blade wrapped for preservation like this. This agent speculated that the knife may have been used in a crime but saved by someone else, perhaps as leverage against the perpetrator. “You know, you turn me in, I will go and get that machete and turn it over to the authorities.” They couldn’t come up with a reason that the killer would do that to a blade.
I was doubtful that it was used in the Thomas – Dowski case. While a machete is a dangerous weapon, it could have been unwieldy to use to cut someone’s throat, presumably from behind. Still, you can’t ignore something like this. Nevertheless we turned the information over to Bill Thomas (Cathy’s brother) who followed up with the FBI. While it is unlikely that it was used in the Colonial Parkway murders, it may have been involved with some other crime. I have included some photos to assist any would-be crime solvers. Kudos to Mr. Krushel for doing the right thing and turning it in!
I received a half-dozen different theories and got a chance to correspond with someone that knew Steve Blackmon from his school days. She was useful in fleshing out some details about him and his personality. It is pretty clear that Blackmon was a crooked cop. Does that make him the Colonial Parkway murderer? Perhaps time and new testing techniques will tell.
Our library session spurred another tip that came into our blog – one which I deleted at the behest of the requestor. This happens more than you might think at these sessions. This lead has been turned into the FBI via one of the family members who has regular contact with them. More on that if anything useful does come of it. This person claimed that they had family members that had been driving on the Parkway on October 9, 1986 and had seen Cathy Thomas’s white Civic, the two girls with their hands crossed, and may have even heard one of them calling for help. They also saw another vehicle parked next to the Honda as well. They called in this sighting to the police at the time. Suffice it to say, it was fascinating.
We also did a session at the Norfolk Public Library and that was well attended as well. What was great there was that we had a police officer in attendance and a former FBI agent. The latter assured Victoria that he sided with her, that it was likely two killers that had committed these crimes.
The Norfolk crowd had some interesting theories which is always fun. True crime is so popular now that it has turned millions of people into amateur detectives. We encourage this. While we can offer our perspective on such theories, we cannot determine if they are accurate or not until an arrest is made.
So, as we move into the autumn and winter, we hope you will be able to join us soon at an upcoming event!