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Thread: Specifically hikers or any female alone?

  1. #1
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    Specifically hikers or any female alone?

    Seriously Searching said to start new threads when we start to hijack old ones, so here it is (not that I expect anybody to join in)

    Quote Originally Posted by Native New Yorker View Post
    Cheryl Dunlap was an unusual victim for GMH, because she was in a car...with a flat tire...I do not think she was hiking, though her body was found in the forest....
    I guess he just got victims wherever he found them...what a sicko...
    Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear - I meant for me the connection to hiking was Meredith, the Bryants, possibly Rossana Miliani (if Hilton grabbed her, it was while she was in Cherokee to hike)

    I don't think Cheryl was in her car, I think she was hiking along the road (which runs through/along the Apalachicola). Her purse was still in her car, which was found locked. Friends said she wouldn't have taken her purse (maybe it was one of those really big ones, so she just grabbed her wallet and left the purse) Anyway, it leads me to think she got out and started walking. So no, she wasn't out in the woods on a trail, but she was in an area with few houses and lots of forest.

    Meanwhile, Hilton himself spent an awful lot of time alone on the trails - so it might more be having his victims wander into his territory, rather than him seeking them out...

    He said with Meredeth he was looking for a female alone - and Cheryl fit that description for sure. Especially if she'd left her vehicle. Or even had gotten out of it to look at the tire and he happened along at that very instant - he offered to give her a lift, she locked her car and got in with him... With Cheryl, I think it was that an opportunity presented itself to him with a big bow on top - he probably wasn't looking for a victim, just happened on a situation too good to pass up.

    I rather think Hilton has been doing this sort of thing for years, and there are a lot more missing women (and possibly older men) who were his victims. The whole story isn't told yet.

  2. #2
    Oh, I totally agree with you...she was an opportunity for him, no doubt about that...Thanks for starting the new thread.
    Someone somewhere else mentioned GMH having friends. I do not think he ever had friends...I think he felt that he was better than everyone else, and had contempt for most people. That is also why he would not have ever had an accomplice...this monster worked alone, and preyed on the weak and defenseless.

    It was not just that he was stronger than most women ( looked as if he worked out, to me), but he would have overwhelmed them with his fierceness and rage, which most of us are not prepared to deal with...most women and elderly folks would just cringe at those behaviors....
    Meredith fought him the hardest....and because of her ( and LE) he was caught...if she had just meekly gone along with him, given him the PIN #, we would likely not be on this board, and she would still be among the legions of missing persons.

    And, yes, I have no doubt that his victims were many....

  3. #3
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    I was told by the Wakulla County SO that there was zero physical evidence that Dunlap was taken from her car.

    I don't imagine she was much of a hiker - but if she were the one to be in the car when it got a flat tire, it's only a mile to walk to Glenda's to use the phone (if she had no cellphone.)

    Really, though, it's quite a bit of traffic for no one to have seen anything that day. I'm thinking she wasn't the one driving when the car got the flat.

  4. #4
    What if he caused the flat?
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

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    Maybe, in his mind, he categorized his victims in a different way than we can conceptualize. Sure, lone female is one aspect and hiker is another, but I think he has been at this a long time as you do. I think it evolved or morphed to using forest cover, and females/ hikers are the end product that we are seeing. Mr. Bryant seems the exception or a necessity, but GMH may have been losing strength over time and become unable to subdue men any longer.
    Could his confrontational behavior been compensating for his perception of his loss of strength, real or imagined?
    If he had been medicating himself, with a big "if", legally or not, some of that stuff does affect muscular strength.

    Thank you for this thread- clearly, we have more to consider and express on this topic.

  6. #6
    I think that along with the hiking M.O. that he had a prior and extensive history of using his dog as a lure in other public areas...

    But most of all I think that he had years of using his vans as the method of finding victims on the road...hitchhikers, broken down cars...probably went out "hunting" for those pretty often.
    I agree that the hiking was more recent, perhaps as his MS was getting worse he had to do his hunting closer to home....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    I was told by the Wakulla County SO that there was zero physical evidence that Dunlap was taken from her car.

    I don't imagine she was much of a hiker - but if she were the one to be in the car when it got a flat tire, it's only a mile to walk to Glenda's to use the phone (if she had no cellphone.)

    Really, though, it's quite a bit of traffic for no one to have seen anything that day. I'm thinking she wasn't the one driving when the car got the flat.
    I was going to post the same response about Glenda's being right there, and the fact that there is so much traffic on Highway 319.

    So that leaves the question. . . just where was she picked up? Not an avid outdoors woman, by any description I've seen. Did she maybe stop for gas at Glenda's? I haven't seen that one asked or answered anywhere. Reason I ask is the thought that he could have put something under her tire to make it go flat (something as simple as a nail sticking up), sat at Glenda's in his van for a few minutes, then just headed down the road until her saw her broken down. This same thing could have happened if she'd stopped somewhere in Crawfordville for gas. Just took longer for the air to leak out of the tire.

    Scenario two: He got her at her house or leaving her house, took her in his van to Hwy 20, dumped her body there and then did what? Drive back to her house, pick up her car and drive it over the Wakulla/Leon County line to screw with LE? But his MO isn't neighborhoods, it's state forests, so I'm perplexed.

    As bad as this sounds, with all of the good fortune and dumb luck that Hilton had on his killing spree, the randomness of the tire going flat when he's driving it just doesn't ring as possible to me.

    Sorry for the hijack, but this stuff has been bugging me.

  8. #8
    Very simple...she got a flat, a real flat, he stopped to "help her", offered to take her to get help, she refused, he grabbed her.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Native New Yorker View Post
    Very simple...she got a flat, a real flat, he stopped to "help her", offered to take her to get help, she refused, he grabbed her.....
    Yes, and I'd agree. . . but LE is pretty insistent that there's no evidence that she was even even in her car. Your scenario seems right to me, but LE is in disagreement.

    I travel Hwy 319 several times a week. Whether it's morning or afternoon, there are always cars nearby. It's the main road in and out of Crawfordville. Not only that, but between Glenda's and where the car was found is New Light Church Road, where there are MANY homes, albeit not right at that corner, but lots of traffic coming in and out.

    She would have had to willingly get into his van with him. My theory, that I've held from the beginning, is that she somehow knew him as a friend of a friend kind of deal. I just don't see her hopping into that van with a stranger. Churches are really big around here in helping out with the downtrodden. . . fishermen, families messed up by Hurricane Dennis, drifters coming through. Churches. And church played a big huge part in Cheryl's life.

    If he grabbed her and yanked her into the van, there would have been some sort of commotion. Everyone is in everyone else's Kool-Aid around here. If some Bubba had seen this happen, he'd have been pulled over defending her honor with a shotgun. If a woman had seen it happen, she'd be following the van with a cell phone to LE and a lead foot. The logistics would be him knocking her unconscious, pulling her into the van and loading her up. My feeling is that he wouldn't have time to do this with all of the traffic. Someone would have seen it happen.

    So I'm still shrugging down here, and wondering.

  10. #10
    What time of day do they think the abduction of Cheryl took place?

    The reason I ask is if this road is an unlit road, in the darkness it would be hard for a passing car to see exactly what was going on and they may have felt someone was merely helping her.

  11. #11
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    I think Native New Yorker's theory of the dog lure might have been in play here. Say you are both right and she was approached by the van. He could have pulled alongside with an offer to take her down the road, but she'd have to put up with his big ol' buddy dog, Dandy, here. Again, older man with his dog scheme. I would not be astonished to learn that he had passed her walking, turned around and pretended to just see her. I recall a hiker's journal entry describing similar behavior with the van.
    BTW-did LE say she had a flat tire?

  12. #12
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    Never mind the flat tire question-I was unable to access that link in the other thread for some reason. Had a flat tire.

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    There are a lot of puzzles about Cheryl's car... One is that it was parked on the south side - heading toward Crawfordville. I've heard it was found on the far side of the ditch by the road, a good 20 feet from the pavement. (maybe that's reason the LE originally said that they thought the car was "placed" there? I think they assumed she wouldn't have put it so far from the road herself?)

    Now, Hilton may have moved the car to get it further off the road, make it less noticeable, after he'd gotten her into his van. On the other hand, that adds time at the crime scene. And why lock it and leave her purse behind if he's the one that moved it? It's all very strange...

    She was last seen / heard from (?) on Saturday morning. She was missed on Sunday, her car was found on Monday. I don't know if anybody knows when exactly she went missing. So it could be that darkness did help hide the crime. No, no streetlights along there.

    Also, I don't know that anybody noticed the car sitting there between Saturday and Monday. Glitchwizard or FLMom - have you heard?

  14. #14
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    And don't forget the long bed black pickup truck they're looking for. I guess they had originally thought it had something to do with the crime, but with Hilton being what he is, now I guess they think the pick up truck driver may have seen something...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytowngirl View Post
    And why lock it and leave her purse behind if he's the one that moved it?
    I find it hard to believe that Hilton was ever even in her car - or near her car for that matter. If he was in her car, he surely would have taken her purse, or ransacked it to look for money or credit/debit cards. I think it's possible that she got a flat tire, parked her car, locked her purse inside, and went walking down the road. Maybe Hilton didn't even know she had a car parked down the road - if he did, I would think he would have taken her back to the car to get whatever valuables she may have left inside. It is all very strange.

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    Bolding in red is mine. . . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaDawn View Post
    What time of day do they think the abduction of Cheryl took place?

    The reason I ask is if this road is an unlit road, in the darkness it would be hard for a passing car to see exactly what was going on and they may have felt someone was merely helping her.

    Cheryl last left a message for a friend late morning. The friend tried to return the call and the cell seemed dead. IIRC, the friend said that Cheryl was bad about keeping her phone charged. She was going to the library at FSU in downtown Tallahassee to email some pictures to one of her sons.
    Quote Originally Posted by panglossian View Post
    I think Native New Yorker's theory of the dog lure might have been in play here. Say you are both right and she was approached by the van. He could have pulled alongside with an offer to take her down the road, but she'd have to put up with his big ol' buddy dog, Dandy, here. Again, older man with his dog scheme.

    And Cheryl was a dog person as she owned a Chihuahua. But can you imagine what the inside of that van looked and smelled like? That's one reason I can't see her willingly getting into the van.

    I would not be astonished to learn that he had passed her walking, turned around and pretended to just see her. I recall a hiker's journal entry describing similar behavior with the van.

    Very likely scenario, if the prior acts are true. Hikers have a kinship with other hikers, and might hop a ride with another fellow hiker. That's what bugs me. Cheryl was in her element of Crawfordville, friends just a phone call away on a afternoon of errands. There was no reason for her to be in a hurry to get anywhere, if you know what I mean. No pressing issue for her to not just walk barely a mile back down the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytowngirl View Post
    There are a lot of puzzles about Cheryl's car... One is that it was parked on the south side - heading toward Crawfordville. I've heard it was found on the far side of the ditch by the road, a good 20 feet from the pavement. (maybe that's reason the LE originally said that they thought the car was "placed" there? I think they assumed she wouldn't have put it so far from the road herself?)

    From what I understand, there were never any sightings of her at FSU that day. The car was pointed as if she were going towards Crawfordville. If she was in the car and got the flat, maybe she felt it flopping and went to do a u-turn to go back to the store? Odd place to do it, but in an emergency situation it's a possibility. Maybe she couldn't maneuver it that well with a flat, or drove well WELL off the road to get to where the ground would be flat? Dunno.

    Now, Hilton may have moved the car to get it further off the road, make it less noticeable, after he'd gotten her into his van. On the other hand, that adds time at the crime scene. And why lock it and leave her purse behind if he's the one that moved it? It's all very strange...

    There wasn't really a "less noticeable" to parking the car there. If anything, it'd be a bit more obvious. You'd think if HE was the one who'd left it there, he would have done what every other con does. . leave the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition so someone else would steal it.

    She was last seen / heard from (?) on Saturday morning. She was missed on Sunday, her car was found on Monday. I don't know if anybody knows when exactly she went missing. So it could be that darkness did help hide the crime. No, no streetlights along there.

    The best guess is Saturday afternoon. I think maybe the reason they think that is the Chihuahua at home. Maybe LE saw that it hadn't been walked or fed, and that's how they decided on Saturday for sure? Again, dunno.

    Also, I don't know that anybody noticed the car sitting there between Saturday and Monday. Glitchwizard or FLMom - have you heard?

    I haven't heard any scuttlebutt. . . I've just been going by what LE had to say. Hmmm.
    [quote=aj1020;1966191]I find it hard to believe that Hilton was ever even in her car - or near her car for that matter. If he was in her car, he surely would have taken her purse, or ransacked it to look for money or credit/debit cards. I think it's possible that she got a flat tire, parked her car, locked her purse inside, and went walking down the road. Maybe Hilton didn't even know she had a car parked down the road - if he did, I would think he would have taken her back to the car to get whatever valuables she may have left inside. It is all very strange.

    I'll have to go back and look, but I think she had her wallet with her, but her purse what still in the car. IIRC, her sunglasses were gone too.[/quote]

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    This is snipped from Cheryl's thread, to answer previous questions.

    "Dunlap, 46, is 5-foot-4 with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen at her Crawfordville home Dec. 1. She didnít show up for church the next day. She was reported missing that Monday when she didnít show up for work at the Thagard Student Health Center at Florida State University.

    Her car was discovered Dec. 3 on the south shoulder of U.S. Highway 319. It had one flat tire. Investigators have not released any more information on the car or its contents."

  18. #18
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    FLMom, I agree with you I think that Cheryl left her car. I read the reports that say it was determined that she had a blow out...not just a flat tire.

    That might explain the position that her car was found it. She was attempting to stear the car when it was out of control. It might have have ended up way off the road.

    Once the car was stop, she couldn't reposition it with a flat tire. She tucked her purse up under the seat. ( I do this and alot of women do this...when they plan to leave the car and secure their purse.) She must have either taken her wallet or maybe just her debit card in hand. The car doors were locked so she must have also taken her keys.

    Just how she met up with Hilton or how he got her into his van is still a mystery to me, but I believe she left her car by herself.

  19. #19
    I thought I had read oringinally that her car was locked with both her purse and keys in the car. If that is the case I thought that was what made LE oringally think that foul play was involved. I could be wrong though.

    But back to the subject of this thread....did he just prey on hikers ..no..I think Hilton was able to ascertain vics very quickly, by their actions, speech and situation. I believe he has done this for many years and was very astute at sizing up possible prey in no time flat. I think that there are many vics out there and we need someone in LE to get involved with him that is able to BS thier way into his confidence and find out who, where and when these other crimes took place. He didn't just start this up at age 61 because he needed cash..he has been doing this, in my opinion, since his mid 20's on. And he would have been more prolific in his 30's and 40's' then he would be today. Again JMHO

  20. #20
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    Just to respond to the people who heard the car was a good ways off of the pavement - 20 feet or so. If the car was 20 feet off the pavement, it would have to be in a tree. There isn't THAT much room before the edge of the pine trees, and no real "ditch". It's just a regular side of the road, where you'd pull over if you had to stop for any reason. If someone needs a photo, I could take one next time I pass by there in the light. (No flash on cellphone camera.)

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    Here's a link to a photo that gives an idea of where the car was and what the road looks like.

    As for the keys being in the car - the police, so far as I know, have not reported what they found (or didn't find) in the car... so nothing is official. I learned about the car being locked and the purse under the seat from an article that quoted a friend of Cheryl's, who was one of the people who found the car on Monday morning. She said the purse was there but the keys and cell were not, and the car was locked. However, the same newspaper and journalist had printed incorrect information in a previous article and had to retract it... so whether this info. is correct, I don't know for a fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytowngirl View Post
    Here's a link to a photo that gives an idea of where the car was and what the road looks like.

    As for the keys being in the car - the police, so far as I know, have not reported what they found (or didn't find) in the car... so nothing is official. I learned about the car being locked and the purse under the seat from an article that quoted a friend of Cheryl's, who was one of the people who found the car on Monday morning. She said the purse was there but the keys and cell were not, and the car was locked. However, the same newspaper and journalist had printed incorrect information in a previous article and had to retract it... so whether this info. is correct, I don't know for a fact.
    I'd be more apt to go with information you hear directly from someone involved (person who found the car, as you said) since the information from the people who found her body was all accurate and the rest of the information sources kept on either denying it or just not saying.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytowngirl View Post
    Here's a link to a photo that gives an idea of where the car was and what the road looks like.

    As for the keys being in the car - the police, so far as I know, have not reported what they found (or didn't find) in the car... so nothing is official. I learned about the car being locked and the purse under the seat from an article that quoted a friend of Cheryl's, who was one of the people who found the car on Monday morning. She said the purse was there but the keys and cell were not, and the car was locked. However, the same newspaper and journalist had printed incorrect information in a previous article and had to retract it... so whether this info. is correct, I don't know for a fact.
    Thank you for that photo link. One picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it?
    They most likely won't release the police report, yet, which would have a sketch done by the arriving LE showing exactly where and how the car was positioned. Not that those are always accurate, as I found when a car flipped into my yard and it was credited to 3 houses down, causing arguments with insurance adjusters... But your photo leaves little to the imagination, Tallytowngirl!

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    Do a lot of people abandon cars on that road? Are there a lot left there with that pink or orange sticker the police tag them with when they see them? Maybe if it was out of the way enough, who parked it would figure people thought it was one of those abandoned cars that are on highways time to time. I would see them on I-95 a lot and some other roads. I never knew what the story was with all of them, yet there was enough of them there.

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    Gary Hilton appears to have supported himself between jobs by stealing money from his victims. If theft was his primary motive, then he likely chose his victims based on the ease with which he thought he could overpower them, the likelihood that they had cash and/ or a bank card and the fact that they were in a place where no one else would see him kidnap them.

    Thieves do not always have the sort of similarities between victims that serial killers typically have. I believe Gary Hilton is a sociopath who has so little regard for human life that he killed people just so there would be no witnesses to testify about his thefts.

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