Cut Short

Date Published 09.08.09
Yet another couple was shot down, seemingly randomly, at a campsite, this time in Virginia. There’s no reason to believe it’s the same person or people who have shot and killed other couples in the outdoors, particularly along the Northwestern route I wrote about here, but the similarities are eerie.

Lindsay Cutshall and Jason Allen, a devoutly Christian couple set to be married within weeks, were camping on a beach north of Jenner, Ca in August 2004 when someone shot them point blank in the head as they slept in their separate sleeping bags. The crime remains unsolved. No motive has been established.

In the latest case, David Metzler, 19, and Heidi Childs, 18, had gone on the evening of August 26 to a popular hiking and camping spot in the Jefferson National Forest, not far from the campus of Virginia Tech, where they were sophomores. The couple was apparently planning to light a campfire and talk about Childs's decision to switch to pre-med. A man walking his dog found their bodies the next morning. Metzler was found inside his 1992 Toyota; Childs was found outside the car. Both had been shot.

Heidi Childs and David Metzler

Childs and Metzler, like Cutshall and Allen, were active, religious Christians. The couple was said to be involved with the group Campus Crusade for Christ.

It's almost certainly a coincidence that two young Christian couples were gunned down in the outdoors five years apart. But what the two cases share that's even more chilling than date, or place, or religious affiliation is motive, or, more specifically, the lack of one.

Montgomery County police aren't releasing many details, but they have said the murders appear to be "random." That means they didn't find any evidence of sexual assault or robbery. More importantly, that means someone is lurking in the dark around idyllic outdoor areas, taking advantage of the isolation to prey upon the one thing that he, a loner filled with rage, will never be a part of --- a happy couple.

Random, motiveless crimes are the hardest to solve. Five years later, the Cutshall and Allen case is still cold. Hopefully for the Childs and Metzler families their case will have a more favorable outcome.



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RT @emilynussbaum: The artful @hodgman's straightforward case for Hillary:
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Know what he does believe in? PAC $. Took 10K from HRC pac 2006. That means he's in her pocket.#BSLogic
@Twaikuer @pattonoswalt @daveanthony Good one. Unfortunately Bernie on record as not believing in charity.
@johnlevenstein Thanks for asking, btw. That's the kind of elevated discourse missing lately. A lot of mud slinging. #I'mNotAboveItEither
@johnlevenstein Can't convey it all thru Twitter but yes, she has flaws. Too poll-driven, burned needed bridges, trouble owning mistakes.