National Forest Serial Killer /// Part 1&2 /// Episodes 77 // 78

National Forest Serial Killer /// Episodes 77 // 78

trueCrimeGarage.com 

They called him the National Forest Serial Killer. He liked to hunt women in the woods. For two years Gary Hilton stalked the backcountry paths of the southern United States. In 2007 he abducted and killed John and Irene Bryant in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. Later that year he attacked and killed Cheryl Dunlap in Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest. Then in 2008 he attacked and killed Meredith Emerson in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. Gary Hilton is one of the rarest breeds of serial killers waiting until he was in his sixties to start killing, or did he?  

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12 comments

  • Nancy

    Nancy Salt Lake City, Utah

    So I gotta know, did the bad ass that called 911 about Gary Hilton get a reward? He was so great. I hope he got something for being willing to take the old guy down. Look how many crimes he solved by being a news-watching BAMF.

    So I gotta know, did the bad ass that called 911 about Gary Hilton get a reward? He was so great. I hope he got something for being willing to take the old guy down. Look how many crimes he solved by being a news-watching BAMF.

  • Sarah

    Sarah Tallahassee

    I have lots I could say, but for now - during the Cheryl Dunlap murder case it came out that she had been sitting at the Leon Sinks Geological Area state park reading a book. Her car was found on the shoulder of the highway not far from the entrance to the park. There are two likely scenarios - he either spotted her at the park, slashed her tire, and abducted her after she pulled over or he abducted her in the park, placed her car on the shoulder and slashed the tire to stage it, and walked back through the woods to his van and Cheryl.

    I have lots I could say, but for now - during the Cheryl Dunlap murder case it came out that she had been sitting at the Leon Sinks Geological Area state park reading a book. Her car was found on the shoulder of the highway not far from the entrance to the park. There are two likely scenarios - he either spotted her at the park, slashed her tire, and abducted her after she pulled over or he abducted her in the park, placed her car on the shoulder and slashed the tire to stage it, and walked back through the woods to his van and Cheryl.

  • Bonnie

    Bonnie Reno

    I work with people who have had concussions and head injuries. It would not be uncommon for there to be significant problems with impulse control which can lead to violence. Add a teaspoon of abuse and you could very well end up with Gary.

    I work with people who have had concussions and head injuries. It would not be uncommon for there to be significant problems with impulse control which can lead to violence. Add a teaspoon of abuse and you could very well end up with Gary.

  • Shell

    Shell Cincinnati

    Thanks Captain, my new favorite word is Douche-Cancoe after this episode. Don't worry, reserve it for serial killers and people who tailgate on the highway.

    Thanks Captain, my new favorite word is Douche-Cancoe after this episode. Don't worry, reserve it for serial killers and people who tailgate on the highway.

  • Karen

    Karen Atlanta

    This is the case that sparked my interest in true crime. I still think about Meredith Emerson and her family often.

    This is the case that sparked my interest in true crime. I still think about Meredith Emerson and her family often.

  • OK. Here's the thing. I've never ever been so pissed at a murderer that I couldn't hear another word about him. I'm usually just grossed out enough to stay interested but this creep just leaves me speachless. And I work with extremely violent mental health patients. I've seen a lot that I'd rather not have seen. I credit this to your great reporting. Keep up the good work guys!! Always a good show.

    OK. Here's the thing. I've never ever been so pissed at a murderer that I couldn't hear another word about him. I'm usually just grossed out enough to stay interested but this creep just leaves me speachless. And I work with extremely violent mental health patients. I've seen a lot that I'd rather not have seen.
    I credit this to your great reporting. Keep up the good work guys!! Always a good show.

  • Carol

    Carol Arkansas

    In part 2, while going over possible victims, you mentioned Melissa Witt. She is from my hometown and not much older than me. Melissa Witt did not go missing in Franklin County. She was only found there. She was abducted from Bowling World in Fort Smith in Sebastian County. Although, I don't think she fits for this killer, she would be a good case to cover. This case is still unsolved.

    In part 2, while going over possible victims, you mentioned Melissa Witt. She is from my hometown and not much older than me. Melissa Witt did not go missing in Franklin County. She was only found there. She was abducted from Bowling World in Fort Smith in Sebastian County. Although, I don't think she fits for this killer, she would be a good case to cover. This case is still unsolved.

  • True Crime Garage

    True Crime Garage

    Thank you for the insight Carol. That is one that we should probably look into again. Cheers, Nic

    Thank you for the insight Carol.
    That is one that we should probably look into again.
    Cheers,
    Nic

  • Emma B

    Emma B Knoxville TN

    This case really shook me. I hike often with just my dog thinking that he will protect me if I get into a bad situation. Blood Mountain is on my list to hike this summer (doing the AT in reverse) and I will be sure to pay homage to Meredith while we are there. I'm so thankful they caught this monster. Great work Nic and Captain, you guys make my work drive so much eaiser and have kept me safer with this story.

    This case really shook me. I hike often with just my dog thinking that he will protect me if I get into a bad situation. Blood Mountain is on my list to hike this summer (doing the AT in reverse) and I will be sure to pay homage to Meredith while we are there. I'm so thankful they caught this monster. Great work Nic and Captain, you guys make my work drive so much eaiser and have kept me safer with this story.

  • Michelle L

    Michelle L MA

    Hi guys! LOVE the show, your podcast was recommended to me by a friend about 3 weeks ago and I've listened to almost all the episodes available through CastBox, I might be obsessed a little ;0) Something I wanted to comment on.. in episode 2, near the end of the episode Nic starts reading word for word part of what Hilton says in his confession. What I found interesting and incriminating is that at the beginning Hilton is using the phrase "she" referring to Meredith, then he switches to "them".. killing "them".... I'm not sure about the full context of the conversation, meaning if this was when they only knew about Meredith or after they linked him to Dunlap and the Bryant's, but if they hadn't.. right there is your key that he's done this before. I believe there is more victims than what we know and I think pure stubbornness will keep him from confessing to any others, unless of course he takes the Ted Bundy route, which I really hope he does. I do think he killed the Patrice women you mentioned, if he was as serious about hiking to call his clothes gear, then she was the perfect target for him, he got her to buy him a bunch of gear for his "dog walks", bought him a place to stay for a month, and now that the robbery was done, there is only 1 thing left for him to do.... Sick Bastard... Side note about the Chi Omega episode.... the only difference I noticed from all of his other killings to this one is that when he went to the club that was next door....this was the first time he was rejected by women... do you think that was enough to send him over the edge and prompt the killing spree? I mean everything about this killing was different than the rest, it's like he just gave up at that point, he was so meticulous and then like a switch it all changed.

    Hi guys! LOVE the show, your podcast was recommended to me by a friend about 3 weeks ago and I've listened to almost all the episodes available through CastBox, I might be obsessed a little ;0) Something I wanted to comment on.. in episode 2, near the end of the episode Nic starts reading word for word part of what Hilton says in his confession. What I found interesting and incriminating is that at the beginning Hilton is using the phrase "she" referring to Meredith, then he switches to "them".. killing "them".... I'm not sure about the full context of the conversation, meaning if this was when they only knew about Meredith or after they linked him to Dunlap and the Bryant's, but if they hadn't.. right there is your key that he's done this before. I believe there is more victims than what we know and I think pure stubbornness will keep him from confessing to any others, unless of course he takes the Ted Bundy route, which I really hope he does. I do think he killed the Patrice women you mentioned, if he was as serious about hiking to call his clothes gear, then she was the perfect target for him, he got her to buy him a bunch of gear for his "dog walks", bought him a place to stay for a month, and now that the robbery was done, there is only 1 thing left for him to do.... Sick Bastard...
    Side note about the Chi Omega episode.... the only difference I noticed from all of his other killings to this one is that when he went to the club that was next door....this was the first time he was rejected by women... do you think that was enough to send him over the edge and prompt the killing spree? I mean everything about this killing was different than the rest, it's like he just gave up at that point, he was so meticulous and then like a switch it all changed.

  • LaDonna Humphery

    LaDonna Humphery Arkansas

    Hi - my name is LaDonna Humphrey and I am the Executive Producer of the Documentary "Uneven Ground: The Melissa Witt Story" -- we have a Facebook page dedicated to this project at: facebook.com/whokilledmissywitt. I was surprised to see Melissa Witt's name mentioned as a possible victim of Gary Hilton. What leads anyone to think that? Because her body was found in the national forest? I'm just curious to the reasoning -- mainly because I have not been able to find any evidence that Hilton was ever in Arkansas. Does anyone know if that is a possibility? I can be reached at whokilledmissywitt@gmail.com. I would love to chat with someone more. Keep up the good work you are doing!

    Hi - my name is LaDonna Humphrey and I am the Executive Producer of the Documentary "Uneven Ground: The Melissa Witt Story" -- we have a Facebook page dedicated to this project at: facebook.com/whokilledmissywitt.

    I was surprised to see Melissa Witt's name mentioned as a possible victim of Gary Hilton. What leads anyone to think that? Because her body was found in the national forest? I'm just curious to the reasoning -- mainly because I have not been able to find any evidence that Hilton was ever in Arkansas. Does anyone know if that is a possibility? I can be reached at whokilledmissywitt@gmail.com. I would love to chat with someone more.

    Keep up the good work you are doing!

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