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  • Trailed

  • One Woman's Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders
  • By: Kathryn Miles
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Trailed

By: Kathryn Miles
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
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Summary

“​A beautifully written account of a great American tragedy—the unsolved murders of an undetermined number of young women, all by the same serial killer, who got away. The truth is still buried. I couldn’t put it down.”—John Grisham, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A riveting deep dive into the unsolved murder of two free-spirited young women in the wilderness, 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, thrilling, 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.

©2022 Kathryn Miles (P)2022 Algonquin Books

Critic reviews

“A gripping look inside a tragic, unsolved case.”People

"A tragic story of young lovers, gone too soon. A #metoo reckoning, long overdue. A study of trauma’s ripple effects, extending for decades. Trailed is meticulously investigated, achingly intimate, and doggedly persistent in the pursuit of justice."—Robert Kolker, bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road 

“Engrossing . . . Miles takes a comprehensive look at police procedures in federal parks and violence against women in rural areas . . . A must for true crime buffs.”Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

What listeners say about Trailed

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Very good but sad

Very good but sad so many women get killed by so msny crazy men its hard to believe in humans well narratted couldent stop listening 5 star

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  • KK
  • 24-12-22

Astounding

This was honest, empathetic, well-researched, relevant, heart-felt.. I could go on and on. Really emotionally involving as it puts the victims at the centre, unlike so many other true crime productions that focus and (perhaps unwittingly) glorify the killers. Thank you for writing this book

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  • Judy
  • 21-06-22

Far Too Long

At 9+ hours, this book is far too long for what author Miles has to say. She has undoubtedly discovered and exposed an incompetently run investigation into the murders of Julie Williams and Lollie Winans, and notes that there is plenty of blame to go around. Officers of the National Park Service were clearly fearful of creating panic among park visitors, while police and F.B.l. seemingly developed a severe case of tunnel vision in zeroing in on the unfortunate Darrell Rice. That everyone involved in the investigation manipulated evidence is an unavoidable conclusion.

Miles explores in excruciating detail way too many peripheral issues that have little to do with the case, including, for example, a long-winded examination of each woman's commitment to their lesbian relationship. Oddly, the two victims never emerge as developed, interesting personalities, remaining only one-dimensional images in their intensely personal deaths.

Zackman's narration is fine despite a tendency to croak out the male dialogue.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas A. Burton
  • 06-05-22

This book is beautiful in its heartbreak.

I have listened to hundreds of titles over the past decade, and this is the first book that has compelled me to offer my humble opinion. There’s so much more to this book than the deaths of Lollie and Julie. It is also about their lives and their loves. It is about injustice for the sake of justice. I listened, then I listened again. Thank you, Kathryn Miles, for such a beautifully written book.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 13-05-22

Thriller

Wow! I binge-listened to this book. I couldn’t turn it off even though it is disturbing. Yes, fair warning, this book has some gruesome details about the murders, yet the story is told with such care and empathy.

I really enjoyed hearing the author’s story in her hunt for the real killer, which is different than other third-person true crime stories I’ve read. She’s a wonderful writer and knows how to weave a story.

If you like true crime, I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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  • Theresa Mendell
  • 25-05-22

Good listen

I enjoyed listening to this but definitely be prepared for tons of detail and back stories. The narrator is great but this book might be better read rather than listened to because of all the details. It’s really good though.

10 people found this helpful

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  • GatorCindy
  • 04-05-22

Excellent Examination of the Murders of Julie and Lollie

It’s been almost 26 years since the murders of Julie Williams and Lollie Winans in Shenandoah National Park. A suspect was arrested six years after they were murdered, but the government eventually had to drop the case due to problems with their evidence. This book is excellently researched and shows the issues with that evidence, as well as making a good case for another plausible suspect. Be ready to spend some time with this book. You won’t want to put it down.

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  • Erika
  • 16-09-22

Listened in Record Time!

What a book! It drew me in and held me spellbound all the way through (which was a matter of days: I couldn't stop listening).

I loved how Kathryn Miles struck (for me) the perfect balance in weaving her own stories and experience into her investigation. Her writer's voice is brimming with compassion and moxie (Maine insider joke!) as she goes back in time with her careful research and compelling storytelling. As a fellow Mainer, hiker, and feminist, I felt myself claiming an imaginary friendship with Miles as my admiration and respect for her built throughout this book.

Speaking of voice, Gabra Zackman's reading is spot-on. While her pace feels fast in some of the information-heavy sections, I felt soothed by her voice--a remarkable feat, given the subject matter.

Like many true-crime aficionados, I sometimes fear that our interest causes victims' dignity to leach out of their stories. This was a commendable and extraordinary exception: Kathryn Miles has set a new bar for sensitivity and respect in examining... and almost getting inside of!... a story that still rings with tragedy, mystery, and longing for an ending we might never know.

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  • C. Dungy
  • 15-05-22

This books is so good. Necessary and gripping.

I am not typically a true crime fan, partly because the stories so often center around women who’ve been killed doing things I love. Or just for being alive. But Kathryn Miles is such a caring and compelling writer. I couldn’t put Trailed down. The book isn’t gratuitous in anyway, and the story she tells is important and fascinating and powerful. This book is a fitting tribute to the memories of so many murdered women. And I learned a lot from reading it.

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  • vakdevi
  • 15-10-22

What comes next?

This was an eye opener for me though I was vaguely aware that wilderness adventure is not sealed off from violent crime. The sad story of the murder of two women trekking on the Appalachian Trail was bad enough but all the statistics on botched investigations really is crushing. I do hope that after the publishing of this book new evidence will be found and a killer identified.

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  • Judith Gauthier
  • 03-09-22

This is good if you like true crime.

This wasn't bad. I was surprised at how often law enforcement ignores pertinent evidence in the face of convenience. It made me wonder how often people are murdered and the murders aren't ever 1. solved or 2. mislabeled as something other than murder. Pretty interesting listen.

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  • Joange
  • 19-01-23

WOW.....EXCELLENT!!!

I had no idea what to expect from this book. I've hiked the AT, live in VA and thought I knew the story line. This is an inside, behind the scenes of the deaths of several women along the Trail and in surrounding areas. I no longer hike the AT or any other wilderness area after I hearing about the crimes in the 90s. So disappointing to hear such clear evidence of how poorly crimes against women have been handled. This journalist has brought out many vital and important connections that law enforcement have failed to thoroughly investigate. Thank you to the author for a look at the big picture and for her efforts to uncover the truth.