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Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
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Entertainment
Historic Unedited Photos They Don’t Want You To See
Publication: Historical History.
Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Newly-Engaged Couple Meets Sinister Fate

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Where:
Appalachian Mountains
When:
1990-09-01
Summary:
Hikers Molly LaRue and Geoff Hood were murdered on Cove Mountain (seen in the background) in 1990

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Newly-Engaged Couple Meets Sinister Fate



  Where:
Appalachian Mountains

  When:
1990-09-01

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People use hiking as a common activity to relax and connect with nature, and you don’t expect tragedy to happen when you’re hiking through the mountains. This is especially true when you’re going through the Appalachian Mountains, which is one of the more popular destinations for hikers to visit in all of the United States.Advertisements:


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Unfortunately for Molly LaRue and Geoffrey Hood, the unexpected would happen when they visited the Appalachian Trail. The engaged couple tried to make a hike of more than 2,000 miles in September of 1990 when they encountered Paul David Crews. Crews had already been wanted for a murder that he committed four years prior when he came across LaRue and Hood close to the Susquehanna River.

LaRue and Hood were resting at the Thelma Marks Shelter at the time on top of Cove Mountain when Crews entered the shelter. Crews had committed a grisly murder when he encountered the couple, sexually assaulting LaRue before stabbing her, while also shooting Hood. Crews fled the area and went back on the hiking trail while wearing some of Hood’s clothing.

The next day, other hikers that had visited the shelter with hopes of staying there made the grim discovery of the two hikers’ bodies. The search for the killer was on when word spread of the deaths of LaRue and Hood, and that’s when police discovered Crews. He was in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia when hikers alerted authorities about a man that was carrying a backpack, but not in the same way that a hiker normally would.

When the police found out that the man they were looking for had already been previously wanted for murder, it seemed that they knew they found their man. The arrest and trial of Crews had made headlines, which caused a lot of people to dig through his backstory. Unfortunately, what they found was that Crews had problems in the past.

Crews’s adoptive mother, Susan, said that “He had mental problems. He had signs of being manic depressive.” Crews had ran away from home several times as a youth, and was first detained by police when he was only 12 years old for carrying a knife. His former wife echoed those sentiments, saying that “He was very secretive, very quiet. I don’t think he cared for commitment or responsibility. It was too much for him.”

There was a lot of outrage directed toward Crews for his actions, with many suggesting that he receive the death penalty. The South Carolina native was indeed sent to prison for two counts of first degree murder, and the judge had sentenced him to death. However, a resentencing would remove the death penalty for Crews.

This time around, the judge had ordered two consecutive life sentences in prison with no possibility for parole. He would also be unable to appeal his conviction in exchange for eliminating the death penalty in his sentencing. These days, Crews is still in prison for the crimes he committed those many years ago.

One person that was originally looking to give Crews the death penalty was R. Scott Cramer, a prosecutor that took on the original case in 1991 in Perry County, Pennsylvania. Cramer said that “This might have to do with my age, but I find I get more emotional about it now. I get choked up thinking about Molly and Geoff. These were good kids. They were going to make a difference. All the indicators suggested that. And to have their lives snuffed out at that age – it’s a tragedy beyond words.”

Crews’s second wife, Karen Brock, also issued some haunting statements about her former husband. “He’s evil,” she said. “He always had a hatred for women.” She had already alerted police about Crews when he attacked her and held a knife to her throat in the past when they were married.

Some were nervous to hike the Appalachian Trail for quite some time after the murders of Hood and LaRue in fear of a copycat killer. Those that were much into hiking, though, said that the trail was as safe as ever and a one-off occurrence. Travel writer Phoebe Smith said that “You are much more at risk by getting caught out by the weather or not having the right kit than you are being attacked by someone.”

There have been more than 10 murders on the Appalachian Trail over the past 45 years, which does still keep some people away from hiking the most famous American trail. The most recent murder came in 2011 when a man was choked to death. Still, it’s the story of Crews that remains the most notorious on the Appalachian Trail.

When talking about the murder of his son, Geoff’s father Robin said that “Molly and Geoff were prepared for bears and snakes and other wildlife. They didn’t know their worst enemy would be man.” The families were present for the trial of Crews and had to see their children’s killer in the flesh. It was a hard moment for them and a tough reminder of what can happen when the wrong person comes around you, in one of the most tragic stories that you’ll ever hear.

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