A riveting, “beautifully written” deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness (John Grisham, #1 New York Times bestselling author), a journalist’s obsession - and a new theory of who might have done it.
They must have been followed. That’s the thought I return to after all these years…
In May 1996, two skilled backcountry leaders, Lollie Winans and Julie Williams, entered Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park for a week-long backcountry camping trip. The free-spirited and remarkable young couple had met and fallen in love the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. During their final days in the park, they descended the narrow remnants of a trail and pitched their tent in a hidden spot. After the pair didn’t return home as planned, park rangers found a scene of horror at their campsite, their tent slashed open, their beloved dog missing, and both women dead in their sleeping bags. The unsolved murders of Winans and Williams continue to haunt all who had encountered them or knew their story.
When award-winning journalist and outdoors expert Kathryn Miles begins looking into the case, she discovers conflicting evidence, mismatched timelines, and details that just don’t add up. With unprecedented access to crucial crime-scene forensics and key witnesses - and with a growing sense of both mission and obsession - she begins to uncover the truth. An innocent man, Miles is convinced, has been under suspicion for decades, while the true culprit is a known serial killer, if only authorities would take a closer look.
Intimate, page-turning, and brilliantly reported, Trailed is a love story and a call to justice - and a searching and urgent plea to make wilderness a safe space for women - destined to become a true crime classic.