I grew up in Alexandria and left when I joined the Navy in the mid 70s. Shortly after, sometime between Class A School in Great Lakes and the time I transferred to my second ship in San Diego (1975-76) there was a series of murders in Alexandria that made the national news. I really don't remember much else, the victims were male adolescents, and my recollection there were three at the time these crimes made the news; leading police to conclude a serial killer was at large. The murders were in the SoCal news because they appeared similar, in victimology, to a series of strangling murders around Long Beach CA. I had been stationed there for a short while on a reserve ship. Later, the L.A. County murders were connected to the gay community and I can't even tell you if those were solved. But the victims in Alexandria were just kids, like I was before I left, pre-teens or teenagers. What got my attention was that one of the bodies was discovered in the vicinity of a tunnel that pretty much every kid used to use as a short cut between Beauregard and North Van Dorn, when Holmes Run was high it was the dry way under 395, comes out around Brookville, Northeast of Landmark. I never heard if those crimes were solved. There's nothing on the Alexandria Cold Case website. That and the Gwen Ames case in Reston always stuck in my head. One of the kids in my circle moved out to Reston just prior to that murder and we used to see the posters, especially around Lake Ann. In fact, those posters stayed up for years afterward. It was so out of sorts with Reston at that time, it was, at that time, the coolest place to hang out. Matter of fact, it was out of sorts for Alexandria as well. If you're not from there it's hard to explain to anybody who is familiar with Alexandria today - but back then it was very provincial. I was at Hammond High School when the whole, "Remember the Titans" integration thing happened and every junior/senior from Seminary Valley was transferred to T.C. Williams. I was in the class of 73. Having been so close to a killer in those two cases, and again bar crawling around the strip in Long Beach convinced me that I wanted to be a cop and fight crime for a living. Both joining the Navy (though Alexandria has a strong Navy tradition, ala "Hammond Admirals" et al) and deciding to be a cop were out of character for most kids growing up in the D.C. metro area in those days. As it turned out, by the time my enlistment was coming to an end in 78 I decide to make the Navy a career. Got into the intelligence world, never looked back. I retired in the late 90s and work for the government now. My wife being from SoCal I never left. Does anybody know anything about the Alexandria murders? Was it serial, was anybody ever arrested? You have to wonder, even though it's a fairly big town now, it wasn't then and the chances I crossed paths with a killer are fairly high. Not long before I left, in the summer of 72 my friends and I all got into high powered slingshots. Just a goofy phase, a fad, like Beatle Boots - if you're from Northern Va and reminded of the times by this post - you remember these things. Bass Weejuns, Swank medallions, Flag Bro. Beatle Boots - the whole nine yards. Anyhow, one day I was out shooting my slingshot in and around Holmes Run and the trail in the woods between the Beauregard side of what was 95 and Seminary. I lived in Seminary Towers at the time. As I emerged from the woods to walk up Beauregard a late model sedan pulled up at the corner of Beauregard and Sanger. The creep inside was trolling me and exposing himself. I was wearing the ubiquitous army field coat and had the sling secured to the handle of the slingshot up my sleeve, so I took my hands out of my pocket and drew the sling back to my cheek, pointing the 30 caliber steel ball right at this guy's, uh, most apparent object and he peeled out. About a year earlier we lived in that area, in some garden apts, where I could literally walk out my front door and cut under 95 through that tunnel. One day, at dusk, as I entered the tunnel a dark figure seemed to appear from nowhere at the opposite end, framed in that light I couldn't make out any features, but it was a male adult, about six feet 200 lbs. On many occasions I would pass other fellow travelers in that tunnel, for some reason I got creeped out this time and decided to turn back. Likewise, we were all over Lake Ann. Between Golf Course and Lake Ann there's a path that goes over a little wooden foot bridge to the lake. I've always had the creepy feeling we passed a killer on that path some summer's eve. And just maybe, I turned away from one that evening in Alexandria. The guy never came out on my side, and when I went back to look, he was gone.