Memorial for Colonial Parkway murder victim renews calls for justice

Posted at 2:32 PM, Oct 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-12 14:32:12-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Almost four decades after a series of unsolved murders terrorized the Commonwealth of Virginia, the families of the victims are rallying in a renewed pursuit of justice.

The Colonial Parkway Murders, a chilling sequence of double homicides, remains one of Virginia's most baffling mysteries. The families, who have endured years of uncertainty and grief, say there will never be "closure,” but at least one victim will finally have a place where his life can be honored.

Keith Call, aged 20, and his date, Cassandra Hailey, 18, vanished without a trace in April 1988. Call's vehicle was discovered abandoned along the Colonial Parkway, but their bodies were never found.

Between 1986 and 1989, four similar double homicides occurred near the Colonial Parkway, a 22-mile road that connects Historic Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. In each case, a killer targeted young couples in their vehicles.

As the years passed without answers, the Call family have persistently pushed for law enforcement and the public to solve the cases.

"As time went on, I knew in my mind that he was dead. But I, in my heart, didn't want him to be,” Joyce Call, Keith's sister, told WTKR in 2016. “Some of the hard thoughts are when you're sitting there and you're wondering, ‘what in the hell has happened to your brother.?’"

Podcast host and fellow survivor, Bill Thomas, who lost his sister Cathy in the first double homicide, shares their pain and frustration. "The Colonial Parkway murders have not been solved," emphasized Thomas, dispelling the misconception that the case had been resolved.

This year, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization (CHCO) has taken a significant step by offering to place a memorial for Keith Call at his family's plot in Hayes. Their mission is to celebrate Keith's life, mark his passing, and keep the hope alive of one day being able to bury his remains.

“I just gave Joyce a phone call. I looked her up and gave her a call. She was very enthused and kind of surprised,” said Ed Taylor, President of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization.

Taylor tells CBS 6 that he was scrolling through YouTube and stumbled upon a video about the murders and thought his group might be able to help bring new attention to the cases.

“This really has got to be solved this decade because we're running out of time,” said Taylor.

With the Call family’s blessing, CHCO designed and purchased a large flat memorial marker with Keith’s picture and a description of his life, leaving space for what they hope will eventually be an internment date should his remains ever be recovered. The marker will be placed between his parent’s graves at Rosewell Memorial Garden on Providence Road in Gloucester County.

“They need a monument to show that they were here because 100 years from now when we’re all gone, a monument will at least tell people they were here. They existed and they are not forgotten,” said Taylor.

The memorial to Keith will be unveiled Saturday at 2pm in a ceremony that is open to the public. For the Call family, it will be the first occasion to mark his passing, as without a body, they’ve never held a funeral for him.

“A number of us are going to attend, not only to celebrate Keith’s life and lend support, but also show highlight our challenge to the FBI and the Virginia State Police,” said Thomas who will be traveling to Virginia for the ceremony. “We need continued resources put into these cases. This is the single greatest serial murder in the history of Virginia, and it's still unsolved.”

Click here to learn more about the Colonial Parkway Murders. For more information on Saturday’s memorial ceremony, visit the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization’s website.

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