Northshire Bookstore and Malaprop's present Kathryn Miles, author of TRAILED, in conversation with Ben Montgomery

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Image shows an olive green box containing the text: Northshire Bookstore & Malaprop's present Kathryn Miles in conversation with Ben Montgomery. Virtual. Wednesday, May 4, 2022. 6 PM ET. Next to the text are photos of Miles and Montgomery and the cover of Miles's book One Woman's Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders.

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In May 1996, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were brutally murdered while backpacking in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, adjacent to the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The young women were skilled backcountry leaders and they had met--and fallen in love--the previous summer, while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. But despite an extensive joint investigation by the FBI, the Virginia police, and National Park Service experts, the case remained unsolved for years. In early 2002 and in response to mounting political pressure, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that he would be seeking the death penalty against Darrell David Rice--already in prison for assaulting another woman--in the first capital case tried under new, post-9/11 federal hate crime legislation. But two years later, the Department of Justice quietly suspended its case against Rice, and the investigation has since grown cold. Did prosecutors have the right person?

Journalist Kathryn Miles was a professor at Lollie Winans's wilderness college in Maine when the 2002 indictment was announced. On the 20th anniversary of the murder, she began looking into the lives of these adventurous women--whose loss continued to haunt all who had encountered them--along with the murder investigation and subsequent case against Rice. As she dives deeper into the case, winning the trust of the victims' loved ones as well as investigators and gaining access to key documents, Miles becomes increasingly obsessed with the loss of the generous and free-spirited Lollie and Julie, who were just on the brink of adulthood, and at the same time she discovers evidence of cover-ups, incompetence, and crime-scene sloppiness that seemed part of a larger problem in America's pursuit of justice in national parks. She also becomes convinced of Rice's innocence, and zeroes in on a different likely suspect.


Trailed: One Woman's Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders is a riveting, eye-opening, and heartbreaking work, offering a braided narrative about two remarkable women who were murdered doing what they most loved, the forensics of this cold case, and the surprising pervasiveness and long shadows cast by violence against women in the backcountry.


Kathryn Miles is the author of five books . Her essays and articles have appeared in publications such as Audubon, Best American Essays, Best American Sports Writing, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, Outside, Politico, and Time. A contributing editor at Down East magazine, Miles also serves as a scholar-in-residence for the Maine Humanities Council and as a faculty member in several MFA programs. Her website is www.kathrynmiles.net.

Ben Montgomery is author of the New York Times-bestselling 'Grandma Gatewood's Walk,' winner of a 2014 Outdoor Book Award, 'The Leper Spy,' 'The Man Who Walked Backward,' and 'A Shot in the Moonlight.” He spent most of his 20 year newspaper career as an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. He founded the narrative journalism website Gangrey.com and helped launch the Auburn Chautauqua, a Southern writers collective. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006. He lives in Tampa.

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