Julianne "Julie" Williams and Laura "Lollie" Winans (FBI)

FBI: Ohio Man Identified As Suspect In Brutal 1996 Virginia Double Murder

FBI Virginia Cold Case 1
Julianne “Julie” Williams and Laura “Lollie” Winans (FBI)

After 28 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Richmond Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia have identified the suspect responsible for the brutal double murder of Laura “Lollie” Winans and Julianne “Julie” Williams in Shenandoah National Park in May 1996.

The victims were found murdered at their campsite on May 24, 1996, after failing to return home as planned.

Their deaths shocked the nation and the park community, prompting a massive investigation.

Recently, the private lab successfully extracted DNA from several pieces of evidence, and, with assistance from the Virginia State Police, the profile was submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). There was a positive match to Walter Leo Jackson Senior.

Jackson was a convicted serial rapist, originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area. 


“Even though we had this DNA match, we took additional steps and compared evidence from Lollie and Julie’s murders directly to a buccal swab containing Jackson’s DNA. Those results confirmed we had the right man and finally could tell the victim’s families we know who is responsible for this heinous crime,” said Stanley M. Meador, the FBI Richmond special agent in charge. 

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“After 28 years, we are now able to say who committed the brutal murders of Lollie Winans and Julie Williams in Shenandoah National Park,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “I want to again extend my condolences to the Winans and Williams families and hope today’s announcement provides some small measure of solace.”

Jackson, who went by the name “Leo,” died in prison in March 2018 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Jackson had a lengthy criminal history, including kidnapping, rapes, and assaults. Our investigative team continued taking steps to learn more about Jackson’s activities through the years, which includes full coordination with our partners at the Cleveland Police Department and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.    

Jackson, a residential painter by trade, was an avid hiker and was known to visit Shenandoah National Park.

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At the time of Lollie and Julie’s murders, we believe he was driving a 1984 Chestnut Brown AMC Eagle 30. Jackson later drove a 1979 model Ford Econoline 250 van. Jackson used temporary tags, altered license plates, and frequently changed vehicles. 

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