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View Full Version : Appalachian Trail killer may be suspect in double shooting - WSLS.com



WhiteBlaze
05-07-2008, 13:40
<table border=0 width= valign=top cellpadding=2 cellspacing=7><tr><td width=80 align=center valign=top><font style="font-size:85%;font-family:arial,sans-serif"><a href="http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=T&ct=us/0i-0&fd=R&url=http://www.wsls.com/sls/news/local/new_river_valley/article/appalachian_trail_killer_may_be_suspect_in_double_ shooting/10572/&cid=0&ei=dukhSIaKKpfu8ATZt4GyAQ&usg=AFrqEzf9xBX09YH_uvPBegGzoet07fjiqQ"><img src=http://news.google.com/news?imgefp=KuMMy4BuZPAJ&imgurl=www.wsls.com/img-story/images/uploads/RandallLeeSmithFileMugshot.jpg width=58 height=80 alt="" border=1><br><font size=-2>WSLS.com</font></a></font></td><td valign=top class=j><font style="font-size:85%;font-family:arial,sans-serif"><br><div style="padding-top:0.8em;"><img alt="" height="1" width="1"></div><div class=lh><a href="http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=T&ct=us/0-0&fd=R&url=http://www.wsls.com/sls/news/local/new_river_valley/article/appalachian_trail_killer_may_be_suspect_in_double_ shooting/10572/&cid=0&ei=dukhSIaKKpfu8ATZt4GyAQ&usg=AFrqEze4wNawxDYWgHgFO3ZCuF2Qqvr6DA"><b>Appalachian Trail</b> killer may be suspect in double shooting</a><br><font size=-1><font color=#6f6f6f>WSLS.com,&nbsp;VA&nbsp;-</font> <nobr>28 minutes ago</nobr></font><br><font size=-1>By Jeffrey Simmons A Giles County man who served time for killing two <b>Appalachian Trail</b> hikers in the 1980s is apparently the suspect in a Tuesday night <b>...</b></font></div></font></td></tr></table>

More... (http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=T&ct=us/0-0&fd=R&url=http://www.wsls.com/sls/news/local/new_river_valley/article/appalachian_trail_killer_may_be_suspect_in_double_ shooting/10572/&cid=0&ei=dukhSIaKKpfu8ATZt4GyAQ&usg=AFrqEze4wNawxDYWgHgFO3ZCuF2Qqvr6DA)

Lone Wolf
05-07-2008, 13:57
another good reason to carry concealed. this guy should never have gotten out of prison. gotta take the law into your own hands these days

sofaking
05-07-2008, 13:58
another good reason to carry concealed. this guy should never have gotten out of prison. gotta take the law into your own hands these days
go ahead and do that. plenty of the nice folks here will send you care packages in prison.

Lone Wolf
05-07-2008, 14:00
go ahead and do that. plenty of the nice folks here will send you care packages in prison.

pretty unlikely. i have a virginia CCW permit

A-Train
05-07-2008, 14:00
Was that the Wapiti Shelter murder in 81?

Lone Wolf
05-07-2008, 14:02
Was that the Wapiti Shelter murder in 81?

yes it was

wilconow
05-07-2008, 14:04
The article should include when he served. According to this page, (http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:WJyRWWhE_nUJ:www.backcountry.net/arch/at/0204/msg01251.html+%22Randall+Lee+Smith%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us) he was released in
96

sofaking
05-07-2008, 14:04
pretty unlikely. i have a virginia CCW permit
which is only applicable to protecting yourself.or are you allowed to pre-empt a crime, like a vigilante? lone wolf, bears don't even f with you, no ex-con nut job is going to target you either. well, maybe if he was really crazy...

A-Train
05-07-2008, 14:05
The article should include when he served. According to this page, (http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:WJyRWWhE_nUJ:www.backcountry.net/arch/at/0204/msg01251.html+%22Randall+Lee+Smith%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us) he was released in
96

Jesus, how could he only have served 14 yrs for a double murder???? Great system we have.

warren doyle
05-07-2008, 14:10
I wonder how all the people who decided on a plea bargain for Mr. Smith feel now?

Like the sign I carried in front of the Giles County Courthouse to protest the plea bargain a little more than 26 years ago:

"Did Bob and Sue plea for their lives?

Did Randall Lee Smith give them a bargain?

Shame on the murderer!

Shame on the judicial system!"

wilconow
05-07-2008, 14:12
http://labyrinth13.com/mirror/VirginiaMurders/index.htm


In May 1981, Susan Ramsey, 27, and Robert Mountford, 27 were "through-hiking" - walking the trail's entire length - from Maine to Georgia when they were killed in a remote lean-to near Pearisburg, Virginia. Randall Lee Smith, who pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the deaths, is due for mandatory release from a Virginia prison in September 1996

warren doyle
05-07-2008, 14:17
Wapiti II is not a remote lean-to. It is accessible by car and then by an easy walk on a wagon road.

Poplar Ridge LT and Cloud Pond LT in Maine are two examples of remote lean-tos.

KnowledgeEngine
05-07-2008, 14:21
Jesus, how could he only have served 14 yrs for a double murder???? Great system we have.

You see they probably had to let him out to make room for a more horrendous crime, like a college kid selling drugs at college. I don't mess around with that junk any more, but I know from many sources violent crime ends up with some of the smaller prison times. You'll come closer to serving serious time for tax evasion or drug manufacture/distrubution, Identity fraud, etc. etc. than you will for most violent crimes.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
05-07-2008, 15:27
It is people like this that lead this Dino to reconsider her stance on guns on the trail and to welcome the pending change to the rules against carrying a weapon in national parks. The victims in this case were cooking this guy a meal when he shot them and stole their vehicle. Perhaps they need to look into exactly where this guy has been since 1996 just as they are doing with Gary Hilton.

NICKTHEGREEK
05-07-2008, 15:43
another good reason to carry concealed. this guy should never have gotten out of prison. gotta take the law into your own hands these days
Send his cell mate some vaseline with a bit of non-skid mixed in.

warren doyle
05-07-2008, 15:48
After his release from prison, Randall Lee Smith returned to live in his mother's home in Pearisburg within walking distance of the trail. This is the same house he lived in when he murdered Robert and Susan. I guess you can go home again.

hopefulhiker
05-07-2008, 16:03
How many does that make for this year? This just makes me sick... My question is if this guy was arrested before how did he get a gun to begin with?

Locutus
05-07-2008, 16:07
How many does that make for this year? This just makes me sick... My question is if this guy was arrested before how did he get a gun to begin with?

That's the problem with gun control laws, only law abiding people actually obey them.

wilconow
05-07-2008, 16:11
How many does that make for this year?

How many what for the year?

hopefulhiker
05-07-2008, 16:13
One other thing.. Dismal Falls is such a pretty place...A heck of a place to get shot..I feel bad for the victims, but now the place will have a reputation for violence that might detract from the enjoyment of the place...

hopefulhiker
05-07-2008, 16:14
There was Meredith earlier this year who was killed and now these people shot.. How many people in all in the trail area this year?

Locutus
05-07-2008, 16:16
I cant access the original article, but I don't think the people he is suspected of killing were related to the trail at all.

wilconow
05-07-2008, 16:19
It was a half mile from the trail and the victims were Fishermen (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.4113433/k.5D64/Pearisburg_Trail_Closure.htm)

Here's hoping that they are okay.

wilconow
05-07-2008, 16:21
I cant access the original article, but I don't think the people he is suspected of killing were related to the trail at all.\

The shooting victims are in the hospital (http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/161026)


While authorities haven’t released any details of the incident, Muhly said the word at the local store is that the victims are two men who were fishing at a popular spot known as the Muhly long hole, and that one was shot in the neck and the other in the chest. Authorities haven’t confirmed this, but she said the story going around the area is that the shooter took the victims’ car, leaving them to walk 3 ˝ miles back down the mountain in the dark to get help. She said she figures the victims probably weren’t local or they would’ve known that the Muhly home was just a quarter mile away.

The Appalachian Trail is now blocked near Virginia 606, and state police have been searching for clues, Muhly said.

SGT Rock
05-07-2008, 16:25
I cant access the original article, but I don't think the people he is suspected of killing were related to the trail at all.
Depends on how you define related. Id figure any outdoorsman that was out at Dismal (a side trail from the AT) is a brother.

Locutus
05-07-2008, 16:27
I meant to say "suspected of shooting" not killing, sorry about that.

Rock, I meant they were not AT hikers, that is all.

wilconow
05-07-2008, 16:27
no message sorry

SGT Rock
05-07-2008, 16:28
I meant to say "suspected of shooting" not killing, sorry about that.

Rock, I meant they were not AT hikers, that is all.
Roger that.
I just camped there in March. It isn't too far from the Wapiti Shelter where he did the first murders.

Pokey2006
05-07-2008, 16:43
Jesus, how could he only have served 14 yrs for a double murder???? Great system we have.

Even worse -- he was eligible for parole after only four years! Found an article that mentioned him being denied parole eight times.

Pokey2006
05-07-2008, 16:49
Oh, and I just noticed this: MANDATORY parole. What kind of show are they running down there in Virginia????

Pokey2006
05-07-2008, 16:50
http://www.fred.net/kathy/at/parole.html

sofaking
05-07-2008, 16:51
How many does that make for this year? This just makes me sick... My question is if this guy was arrested before how did he get a gun to begin with?
criminals only use legal weapons? c'mon thimk!

weary
05-07-2008, 16:58
It is people like this that lead this Dino to reconsider her stance on guns on the trail and to welcome the pending change to the rules against carrying a weapon in national parks. The victims in this case were cooking this guy a meal when he shot them and stole their vehicle. Perhaps they need to look into exactly where this guy has been since 1996 just as they are doing with Gary Hilton.
Yep. the victims had plenty of warning. INstead of cooking supper for the guy, they could have just shot him and asked questions later.

I wonder where Smith got a gun. Do you suppose he might have stolen it from the two fishermen? I await the investigation with interest.

Weary

weary
05-07-2008, 17:00
Oh, and I just noticed this: MANDATORY parole. What kind of show are they running down there in Virginia????
The 15-year sentences were concurrent.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
05-07-2008, 17:06
Weary, while it is possible he got the gun from the fishermen, I seriously doubt it. Certainly, a gun isn't going to stop all incidents, but I believe that it could well be the difference between we Dinos ending up like the Bryants and we Dinos going on to frolic another day. While I felt my off-set canes were enough in the past, characters like this guy and Hilton have changed my mind.

Locutus
05-07-2008, 17:38
I wonder where Smith got a gun. Do you suppose he might have stolen it from the two fishermen? I await the investigation with interest.

Weary

You can only hope, right?

bloodmountainman
05-07-2008, 18:06
One other thing.. Dismal Falls is such a pretty place...A heck of a place to get shot..I feel bad for the victims, but now the place will have a reputation for violence that might detract from the enjoyment of the place...
Bloodmountain has that reputation after the Emerson murder. You can't be up there without thinking about the horror that happened there.

Hikerhead
05-07-2008, 18:25
I asked for a current picture of Smith about a year ago on another thread, since he had returned back to his old stumping grounds and no one knew what he looked like.

I finally got my picture.

rickb
05-07-2008, 18:34
Seems rather odd that they would close 25 miles of Trail after this incident. Can't help but wonder why.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.4113433/k.5D64/Pearisburg_Trail_Closure.htm

SGT Rock
05-07-2008, 18:35
I can only imagine that they didn't know where the guy could be and just went by close, well-known roads in the area as boundries.

rickb
05-07-2008, 18:40
Yea, you are right. Probably good SOP, in any event.

Even if all indications point to one individual, no doubt best to play it safe until the situations is really understood to everyone's satisfaction, anyway.

Did the link make it sound like the suspect was in the hospital too?

Skidsteer
05-07-2008, 18:42
Did the link make it sound like the suspect was in the hospital too?

Yep. He's on a respirator.

Hikerhead
05-07-2008, 18:42
Yea, you are right. Probably good SOP, in any event.

Even if all indications point to one individual, no doubt best to play it safe until the situations is really understood to everyone's satisfaction, anyway.

Did the link make it sound like the suspect was in the hospital too?

Yes, the link on Post #1 says he's at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Couln't that cop kind of just wait a little bit before calling it in?

Bluez4u
05-07-2008, 18:46
another good reason to carry concealed. this guy should never have gotten out of prison. gotta take the law into your own hands these days

Correct, at the end of the day....I'm the one going home to my family. Times are different.

rickb
05-07-2008, 18:56
Yes, the link on Post #1 says he's at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Couln't that cop kind of just wait a little bit before calling it in?

Thanks, the hyperlink in the article byline wasn't working, but the I now see "more" hyperlink works fine.

SGT Rock
05-07-2008, 18:58
They always work like that for some reason.

Stupid RSS...

4eyedbuzzard
05-07-2008, 19:12
Not to worry all. Just keep repeating: The trail is safer than anyplace else, the trail is safer than anyplace else, the trail is safer than anyplace else... and pass the Sheepleberry Kool-Aid. :rolleyes:

The trail is no more or less safe from the standpoint of crime than the areas it runs through. There is theft, assault, battery, rape, murder and everything else just like the rest of society. It isn't a remote wilderness devoid of crime.

spunky
05-07-2008, 21:00
Does anyone know if he ever walks on the trail? I saw a guy dressed in sweats at Angel's Rest the last of March that "at least resembled him" and didn't "look like a hiker". I moved on pretty quickly.

Not related, but this was the same weekend the guy shot the police officer in Pearisburg.

Lone Wolf
05-07-2008, 21:17
Not to worry all. Just keep repeating: The trail is safer than anyplace else, the trail is safer than anyplace else, the trail is safer than anyplace else... and pass the Sheepleberry Kool-Aid. :rolleyes:

The trail is no more or less safe from the standpoint of crime than the areas it runs through. There is theft, assault, battery, rape, murder and everything else just like the rest of society. It isn't a remote wilderness devoid of crime.

becoming more and more commonplace too. obviously the blood mtn. incident isn't sinking in

Philippe
05-07-2008, 22:05
Bob Mountford was a State of Maine Child Protective Caseworker, in the Ellsworth Office of Hancock County. He worked for the Dept. of Human Services and handled cases where children were being physically or/and sexually abused. What was that worth? You can't put a value to it; it is just too important! Fourteen-years? What a travesty of justice!

As far as I'm concerned Smith needs to be removed from this Earth.

4eyedbuzzard
05-07-2008, 22:06
becoming more and more commonplace too. obviously the blood mtn. incident isn't sinking in

None of the dozen or so murder incidents before sunk in either. Why would we think this one or the next be any different? I guess maybe bad things only happen to other people. And after they're dead they're just statistics. It could never happen to me. Right? :rolleyes:

HIKER7s
05-08-2008, 06:03
I was absolutely enraged hearing this. The system let this killer out again, like a previous post indicated, HTF do those people who staked a claim to getting his release into parole and subsequently freedom feel now. What a bunch of BS!
I understand part of it being he didnt even receive the sentence he should of had in the eariler murders, its just really sad the way that the legal system anymore works more for the criminal than the public.

McPick
05-08-2008, 13:15
I recall sitting on the deck at the hostel in Pearisburg, discussing violent crime along the AT with other hikers in '06. And the revelation to all that this guy, Smith, had been released and was still living in the area. I don't recall anyone expressing fear regarding his being out, more bewilderment at the gross imbalance of "justice" in the judicial system.

The sad truth is that this tragic type of situation is not unique... No matter how badly we want it to forever be pristine, the AT is as vulnerable to human failings as anywhere else on the planet.

I'm wondering if there are additional unsolved missing persons cases in the area/region...?

Mother's Finest
05-08-2008, 16:48
the reality is, when it is time to go, it is time to go.

There will be situations where being armed will save your life.

There will be situations where being armed will do nothing.

I promise this, I feel no less safe walking in the woods than I do walking the streets of Philadelphia.


peace
mf

Frau
05-08-2008, 17:08
5pm news just said the AT was reopened today.

Fr.

BlackCloud
05-08-2008, 18:58
which is only applicable to protecting yourself.or are you allowed to pre-empt a crime, like a vigilante? lone wolf, bears don't even f with you, no ex-con nut job is going to target you either. well, maybe if he was really crazy...

Self-Defense, which is an absolute defense to charges of murder, assault, etc., applies not only to protecting one's self, but to any member of the human community.

Self defense is not considered pre-emptive per se, but reactive to something that has already occured:

say A points a gun @B, C can now shoot A in self defense.....

Alligator
05-09-2008, 09:57
I'm putting a heads up here in this thread pertaining to the AT News articles filtering in which concern the recent shooting in VA. Most of these articles are obvious duplicates or nearly the same information. If the titles aren't duplicates but the thread relates to the shooting, those threads will be locked. This thread will continue to be available as long as no difficulties arise. It's just a housekeeping effort.

If anyone feels that one of the locked threads is sufficently different to warrant reopening, PM me and include an admin on the PM for fast attention. Thanks.

HIKER7s
05-09-2008, 14:04
That was the Wapiti Shelter that was...right? It was rebuilt at a different location (but in the same area)

warren doyle
05-09-2008, 14:57
That was the Wapiti Shelter that was...right? It was rebuilt at a different location (but in the same area)

There was the old Wapiti shelter, near the Ribble Trail, which was torn down several years after they built the new Wapiti (II) shelter a few miles north of the old shelter site.
The 1981 murders happened in the new shelter.

take-a-knee
05-09-2008, 18:06
How many does that make for this year? This just makes me sick... My question is if this guy was arrested before how did he get a gun to begin with?

There are violent crimes in the British Isles perpetrated with handguns. No one can own a handgun there legally. Just what sort of Orwellian existence do you think might be required to elminate handgun crime? Passing a law against mosquitos would be about as successful. We can't keep fruit pickers and drug smugglers out of the US, how would we stop handgun smugglers if they were made illegal?

Ramble~On
05-09-2008, 19:20
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880509026

14 years for killing two people...no justice for the victims..their families or friends. This guy murders 2 people...serves 14 years and is released to do it again....how can anyone trust the legal system this time around any differently than before? What is sickening is that if a relative or friend of any one of the victims were to blow this P.O.S. away the justice system would likely make an example of them and put them away for life.

"Liberty and Justice For All"

weary
05-09-2008, 21:49
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880509026

14 years for killing two people...no justice for the victims..their families or friends. This guy murders 2 people...serves 14 years and is released to do it again....how can anyone trust the legal system this time around any differently than before? What is sickening is that if a relative or friend of any one of the victims were to blow this P.O.S. away the justice system would likely make an example of them and put them away for life.

"Liberty and Justice For All"
The legal system deals with whatever evidence it has, or can find. If you know someone is guilty, but can't prove it, you plea bargain -- or let the guy go free.

Perhaps some of the rules need changing. But one rule must remain. You are innocent, until someone proves without any reasonable doubts, otherwise.

Darwin again
05-09-2008, 22:28
He is a murderer.
The system offered him a "deal."
He took it.
Now he's proven himself a menace.
He won't be free again, I'd guess.

sofaking
05-10-2008, 00:37
The legal system deals with whatever evidence it has, or can find. If you know someone is guilty, but can't prove it, you plea bargain -- or let the guy go free.

Perhaps some of the rules need changing. But one rule must remain. You are innocent, until someone proves without any reasonable doubts, otherwise.
sshh, logic and fact don't hold water here...pundit status is acheived by reading a few old links and recent posts. self righteousness is considered to be a good thing and emotional rants are given more credibility than they deserve...

jstmean
05-21-2008, 00:29
Concealed carry is smart and necessary. I never went on my land without a firearm with Randall Smith at the base. If he had threatened me while on my trails, he would have meant it and I would not have stood a chance without a firearm. I think that was proven in 1981. Don't leave home without it.

Hikerhead
05-21-2008, 00:32
:confused: Are you really mean? You don't look mean.

jstmean
05-21-2008, 00:43
Spunky, He walked his dog up my mountain to the Trail almost every day when I owned the land next to his (2000-2007). I'm not sure how all these posts link, but I gave a description of his appearance in a previous post. You are speaking of Morva who was much younger and mainly was around VA Tech in Blacksburg. The 98 acres I owned was Angel's Rest. You probably did see him.

sofaking
05-21-2008, 00:46
when i lived in b-burg ('93-'01) i remember being up at angel's rest and hanging out with goats. they'd hop around from ledge to ledge, were those yours?

jstmean
05-21-2008, 00:46
Hikerhead: of course I'm mean...I'm a real estate broker who lived next to a serial killer :mad:

jstmean
05-21-2008, 00:49
Rick B: according to local cops (who I think have some credibility), they think there may be more killings by him.

jstmean
05-21-2008, 01:03
I can't figure out where my posts go, so if this one is redundant...apologies and...oh f*** well. :p

I am the "Robin Stephen" in the Roanoke Times article that is being referenced. I dealt with him for over 7 years. He walked my land every day...the Appalachian Trail ran across the entire top of my land. Anyone with questions can ask. I don't like the fact that they released him from the hospital in the deplorable condition that they did. He couldn't walk, couldn't even hold his head up and they never would have released anyone else in that condition. Then they threw him in a cell to watch him die. The problem here is, aside from the violation of human rights (yes, I know he was a cold blooded murdering SOB that would have eventually tried to kill me too)...we all needed answers and that was taken away. Who knows if there were other victims...anyone with a missing family member or an unsolved murder near the Trail...the families will never know if the murderer was caught or still at large. The negligent hospital and/or jail (ever heard of suicide watch 24/7...?) took that away from everyone who needed or wanted to know. For the person that said he "would have gotten the death penalty"...uh...he didn't kill the fishermen...he wounded them.

For the person that said "his house is for sale!"...no it is not, however, the land I owned when we were neighbors, that he used as access to the Trail, is for sale. It is 98 acres for approx $150k. He actually tried to buy an acre from us to "put a trailer up right next to the Trail" so that he could live there. He talked alot about "being able to live off the land for a long time" and going undetected. I am certain he followed me a few times when I went up on the mountain alone. I was heavily armed, but at the time I did not know just how much danger I was really in.

I might be able to answer alot of questions people may have. I think he thought my (ex) husband was his best friend. He talked to him endlessly and tried to manipulate him...to the point that I pretty much had to forbid him from walking the mountain with this guy. Smith was a full blown sociopath.

jstmean
05-21-2008, 01:17
Sofa, if you are talking to me...no, they were not my goats. I have not heard of wild herds of goats, but I guess it is possible.

sofaking
05-21-2008, 01:20
Sofa, if you are talking to me...no, they were not my goats. I have not heard of wild herds of goats, but I guess it is possible.
they were all over the ridge just south of angels rest for awhile...had 'runs' all beaten through the brush and would hang out on the ledges overlooking the valley to the southwest? before the powerlines, i remember that much...