CHASING THE SQUIRREL (2020) is the amazing true story of legendary Virginia drug smuggling pilot Wally Thrasher, a saga the Washington Post likened to "a James Bond thriller."
A blue-eyed daredevil nicknamed “Squirrel” for his elusiveness, Thrasher made millions in the 70s and 80s, smuggling marijuana and cocaine from Colombia and the Caribbean into Florida and Virginia. With his beautiful Portuguese-born wife, Olga, he lived in a mountain estate in the Virginia mountains. He owned coeanfront homes and yachts in Florida, spent weekends in the Caribbean and laundered money in Las Vegas, where he partied with Frank Sinatra's entourage.
The Feds were hot on his tail in 1984 when word came that he had died in a fiery plane crash in Belize, his body allegedly burnt to ashes. Investigators soon came to believe the crash was staged and his death was faked.
Meanwhile, his wife Olga became a federal informant, and assisted the DEA in an undercover sting to infiltrate the highest levels of his smuggling
ring. The largest drug bust in Mid Atlantic US history followed, when over $150 million in drugs and cash were seized in 1986. Thirteen international traffickers were brought to justice, including Bolivian drug lord Roberto Suarez Gomez, the world’s “King of Cocaine.”
The Feds then turned their focus back to Wally Thrasher, who US Marshals believed was living the good life in some faraway tropical land. He was recently profiled on America's Most Wanted, as federal authorities continued to chase leads around the globe in his pursuit.
UNDER THE TRESTLE (2018) is the true story of one of the most compelling murder cases in US history.
On June 28, 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University (Virginia) freshman, went out for a night of dancing at a Blacksburg nightclub. She was never seen again. Her car was discovered abandoned under a railroad trestle that bridged the New River. Police investigators found hair and blood that matched Gina's in the car's trunk.
Witnesses stated that she was last seen in the company of a former Virginia Tech football player named Stephen Epperly. The investigation led police to a secluded cabin on Claytor Lake, where there was forensic evidence of a violent attack.
As the summer of 1980 progressed, the search continued for Gina's remains, as Epperly, a man with a violent history, emerged as the prime suspect in her disappearance. Young Commonwealth Attorney Everett Shockley then made an unprecedented decision: he would prosecute Epperly for murder without the victim's body. Could he prove Gina was
Gina Renee Hall
dead and that Epperly was the killer?
Prosecutor Shockley presented an entirely circumstantial case in Virginia's trial of the century. Key witnesses against Epperly included his best friend, his mother, and a tracking dog handler later believed to be a fraud. Three former Virginia Tech football players testified, including a Hokies quarterback once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Would Epperly become the first person in Virginia history convicted of murder without the victim's body, an eyewitness, or a confession? And would authorities ever find the remains of Gina Hall?
EYES OF A MONSTER:
A detective's relentless pursuit of a serial killer
(October 14, 2021 release date)
Explores the 1981 cold case murder of beloved Hampton, Virginia schoolteacher Olivia Dare Christian. On September 4, 1981, Christian was found in her apartment, beaten in the head with an alarm clock and strangled by the cord. The face of the unplugged alarm clock told the time of death: 7:30 am.
The killer left few clues and the murder went unsolved by the original investigators.
Three decades later, in 2011, next-generation detective Randy Mayer opened the dusty case file. He became obsessed with the mystery, spending nights and weekends working the ice cold case in addition to his active case load. Mayer re-interviewed Olivia's former neighbors, friends and old persons of interest. He located a woman that was a teenager back in '81, who witnessed a suspicious man looking into Olivia's window the morning of the murder. The witness had provided a composite drawing to a sketch artist, as well as a
detailed description of the suspect's vehicle. She still remembered the man's face, which had haunted her for three decades.
Mayer then spent over a year researching other old cases, searching for an attacker with the same M.O., who matched the witness description. Finally, he found the man he believed was Olivia's killer. The suspect was a convicted serial rapist, now 62, and out of prison. As Detective Mayer dug further, he linked the man to two other unsolved homicides: the 1972 Chesapeake Avenue murder of Hampton librarian Helen Sturges and the 1982 murder of Christopher Newport
University student Linda Diane Sykes. Was this a serial killer?
Realizing the challenge he faced, Mayer then enlisted the help of FBI agent Liza Ludovico (case agent on the Colonial Parkway Murders) and heavyweight state prosecutor Phil Figura. Could the team finally bring this killer to justice? Eyes Of A Monster is in final editing stages and scheduled for a mid-2021 release date.