A serial rapist from Ohio is believed to have killed a college student from Maine and her girlfriend nearly 30 years ago.

The Two Woman Were Hiking in Virginia When They Were Murdered

Laura 'Lollie Winans was originally from Grosse Point Michigan and was a student at Unity College in Maine. Williams was from St. Cloud, Minnesota and was a student at Carleton College. The two women were hiking in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia when they were reported missing on May 24, 1996. A search was launched that led authorities to their campsite, where they both were found, bound and gagged, with their throats slashed. At first, officials believed it may have been a hate crime, because the women were in a romantic relationship, but the FBI has since said they don't believe that was the case.

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A DNA Match Led Police to a Serial Rapist

The murders were investigated for years, with no clear indication of who committed the crimes. But just recently, a private lab successfully pulled DNA from several items of evidence and submitted them to the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). A positive match was made to Walter Leo Jackson Senior, a convicted serial rapist who was originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area. The FBI reports he had a lengthy criminal history, including kidnappings, rapes, and assaults. Jackson had worked as a residential painter, and was an avid hiker who was known to visit Shenandoah National Park. Investigators say it was gratifying to finally be able to bring some peace to the women's families, after all these years.

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Federal Agents are Investigating Any Links Between Other Cold Cases and Jackson

FBI Officials say they will continue to work with local police to determine if Jackson is responsible for other unsolved crimes. Anyone with information on Jackson is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online.

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