Case Closed?

After years of investigation, these fatal mysteries—from a trailside murder to the fate of a missing snowboarder—are now filed under "solved"

Oct 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

THE CASE: Best friends Raffi Kodikian, 25, of Pennsylvania, and David Coughlin, 26, of Massachusetts, got lost while hiking in the arid canyonlands of southern New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park in August 1999. When park rangers found their campsite four days later—just a mile from the trailhead—Coughlin was dead, and Kodikian confessed to killing him.
THE LATEST: At a May 2000 trial, Kodikian claimed that after several days without water, both men had become dehydrated and delusional. When Coughlin allegedly begged to be put out of his misery, Kodikian obliged and stabbed him twice in the chest with a folding pocketknife. Kodikian served 18 months for second-degree murder in a New Mexico prison and was released in November 2001.

THE CASE: In 1998, when federal investigators fingered Eric Rudolph in a series of bombings—including the 1996 incident that killed one and injured scores more at the Atlanta Olympics—the 31-year-old carpenter headed deep into the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The feds combed the Nantahala National Forest on foot, with bloodhounds and heat- and motion-detector-equipped helicopters, but the wily Rudolph eluded capture for nearly five years.
THE LATEST: In May, a rookie cop busted Rudolph digging through a dumpster in Murphy, North Carolina. The grizzled survivalist has pleaded innocent to charges of bombing an Alabama abortion clinic. He'll go on trial in early 2004.

THE CASE: Hikers Lollie Winans, 26, of Maine, and Julianne Williams, 24, of Vermont, were found bound, gagged, and stabbed to death at their creekside campsite near the Appalachian Trail in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park in June 1996. The FBI interviewed thousands of locals and hikers, to no avail—and anxiety levels in the area soared.
THE LATEST: After nearly five years of investigation, in April 2001, federal prosecutors charged Darrell David Rice—a Virginia prison inmate serving 11 years for attempting to abduct a female cyclist in Shenandoah National Park in July 1997—with the 1996 AT murders. His trial is scheduled to begin October 20.

THE CASE: Twenty-three-year-old Duncan MacPherson, a professional hockey player from Saskatchewan, took a beginner's snowboarding lesson at Austria's Stubaier Glacier resort on August 9, 1989. Afterward, he had lunch with an instructor and got on a nearby chairlift. MacPherson's car was found later in the resort's parking lot, but he was never heard from again.
THE LATEST: In July 2003, a Stubaier resort employee found MacPherson's frozen and partially buried body near a chairlift, at 9,800 feet. An autopsy is pending at press time.