A Rolling Stone article with the headline “Acid Crawlback Fest: Armageddon Postponed” and published Aug. 3, 1972 read: “By the middle of May, all 800 or so people in Granby expected to be overrun – by an estimated one million fanatic Christ and dope addicts coming to a blasphemous festival at Table Mountain, right smack in the middle of their park.”. The Unsolved Rainbow Murders: What Happened to Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero? While the gatherings are meant to represent peace, with music, dancing, and love, they have continuously been met with controversy. Wetle also claims that Joshua Schaefer was associated with what police described as "Rainbow Family drug rings." Their bodies were found about 9 p.m. on June 25, 1980 near Droop Mountain Park in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, by a student who was walking to a lean-to where he lived on Briery Knob. The Rainbow Family of the Living Light came down from their organic farms and Burning Man Porta Potties to grace Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest from mid-June to July 4th this year. The murders captivated the region for decades. It was supposed to … https://www.aetv.com/real-crime/rainbow-murders-unsolved-vicki-durian-nancy-santomero. When defense attorney Gerald Ruter was first appointed on Apr. Julia Huffman who grew up in Pocahontas County spent two decades looking into the case. That was the case for Amber Robinson and Joseph Capstraw, who both … Their full name is the Rainbow Family of Living Light, but you can just call them the Rainbow Family. After attending another music festival in Portland, Oregon called Vortex I in August of 1970, they decided that all the small communes, nomadic groups, and stray hippies could merge together. The Rainbow Family is a group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and world peace who hold annual festivals around the country in national parks at the beginning of July. In the most serious incident, two women were murdered at a Rainbow Gathering at Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia in 1980 after there had been brewing tension between the Rainbow Family and the locals. A day before the murders, she had an uneasy feeling and parted ways with her friends at a Virginia truck stop. Eventually, after enough members joined, they set up a community of about 40 tribespeople just outside Eugene, Oregon and became a legal corporation. Once the Rainbow Family of Living Light was established, the next step was to put together a gathering. Thirty-eight years ago, on June 25th, in the dusk of early night, the still-warm bodies of two females were discovered by a horrified camper. Murders On May 25, 2002, the Sifrits, both 24 at the time, met another couple, Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley, a vacationing couple from Fairfax, Virginia . Rainbow Gathering welcome sign at Cranberry, WV. On June 4, 1993, a jury convicted Beard in the killings of Durian and Santomero and sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Wikimedia CommonsRainbow Gathering welcome sign at Cranberry, WV. They were together at a rainbow family gathering in the woods. Origins and practices. A Rainbow Family gathering in the summer 2007. The loose-knit Rainbow Family gathers periodically in secluded areas for several weeks. The murder of two young women in the summer of 1980 rocked Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Fox 411: Dianne Lake, now 64, chronicles her years with Charles Manson and how her life forever changed after the brutal Tate murders in 1969 in her memoir titled 'Member of the Family.' Joseph Capstraw is charged in the murder of Amber Robinson. All Rights Reserved. Rice was indicted for murder in 2001, only to have the case fall apart in 2004 with insufficient forensic evidence. A teenage girl who was murdered by a man she met at Georgia's Rainbow Family counterculture festival had been beaten so badly she had to be identified by her dental records, it has been revealed. The Rainbow World Gathering 2004 in the south of Costa Rica. Five of the men, including Beard, were indicted again in January 1993. A year after the conviction, Joseph Franklin, a white supremacist serial killer on death row, confessed to the Rainbow Murders. A serial killer, Joseph Paul Franklin, then admitted to killing the women, but later said he had actually just read about the murders. Plunker and Garrick, who called themselves prophets, peddled leaflets and newsletters around. Prosecutors eventually dismissed all charges, except those against Beard. if you all don't know me my names Jade im a foodie, art loving, dancing, gypsy, hippie martian and this is my Youtube channel Girl of the Hour. After a night of partying together at the Seacrets nightclub in Ocean City , Maryland , the two couples went back to the Sifrits' condominium located in The Rainbow on 112th Street. Hey Guys! Unlike many of the hippie groups that saturated the 1960s before fading away, the Rainbow Family lives on, holding annual Rainbow Gatherings. Hundreds of members had assembled in the woods for the group’s annual Rainbow Family Gathering. The unofficial Rainbow Family Web Site. A trial judge deemed Franklin’s confession unreliable and blocked Beard’s lawyers from presenting it as evidence. LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga. - The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office is working to identify a woman police say was murdered by someone she met at the Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering. Wikimedia CommonsA Rainbow Family gathering in the summer 2007. By Van Smith. Around 9 p.m. on June 25, 1980, a college student noticed two people lying on the ground when he exited his vehicle at the edge of Droop Mountain Park in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. Wikimedia CommonsThe Rainbow World Gathering 2004 in the south of Costa Rica. Police and his family are concerned about C.J. The name “rainbow” signifies the diversity of people involved. The National Park Service is still investigating and has offered an award for tips leading to the murderer’s arrest and conviction. Despite the controversies, the Rainbow Family still exists and the Rainbow Gatherings still happen. Someone had shot hitchhikers Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, at close range, and left their bodies in a remote clearing. THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia. By Emma Copley Eisenberg. Never miss a story by signing up for the newsletter now. The Rainbow Family returned to West Virginia for a gathering in the Monongahela National Forest in 2005. The Rainbow Family was created out of the Vortex I gathering at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon (30 miles south of Portland, Oregon), from August 28 to September 3, 1970. During the second call, which authorities tapped, Beard referred to local investigators as “small-town” and “not the brightest bulbs in the box.” He urged Durian’s father to get the FBI involved. With Julia Huffman. Following the allegation of improper police procedure, authorities voluntarily dropped all charges. The Rainbow Family is a counter-culture group started in the 1960s, but their famous Rainbow Gatherings have attracted drugs and violence. I see this periodically where people will say that Fuze killed his family as part of his lore (the inconsistent explanation are enough to make me disbelieve this, but the most often cited reason is that it was with a prototype cluster charge) but I simply cant find anything to support this. The bodies of two young Grateful Dead fans, who had been beaten and shot to death, were found in the San Francisco Bay during the summer … The Rainbow Family has also been scrutinized for not properly cleaning up after their gatherings. It’s very nice to hear the explanation of the court process, to some extent, and I love the host’s voice. A parvovirus outbreak amongst the dogs at a 2006 Rainbow Gathering in Big Red Park required 200 doses of vaccine and cost the Routt County Humane Society $800. 2005. From Peace And Love To Murder And Drugs — The Story Of The Rainbow Family. Published reports at the time said that a spokesman for the group had told the … In the weeks before the 1980 gathering and the murders, West Virginia Secretary of State A. James Manchin and a group of Marlinton residents filed suit to bar the Rainbow Family from Monongahela National Forest. “I knew Vicki as ‘Bright Star.’ I took to her warmth immediately,” she says. Directed by Julia Huffman. Franklin, who killed mostly interracial couples, African Americans, and Jewish people, said, “I committed the Rainbow Murders, you know, The Rainbow killings were a little different ’cause I just picked them up hitchhiking.” Nothing materialized from this initial lead. They were on the way to the Rainbow Family Gathering, an annual meeting of hippies and other like-minded people that celebrate peace, harmony and freedom held at different national forests across the country. The double murder of hitchhikers Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero in the summer of 1980 shook Pocahontas County, West Virginia. He later filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit and was awarded a $2 million settlement. On June 25, 1980, Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero were killed in Pocahontas County. The still-unresolved “Rainbow Murders” blanketed the local community in suspicion and continue to haunt this part of rural Appalachia America. Rob Savoye, a “Rainbow” who has been attending the gatherings for over 30 years said, “People are tolerant, accepting of different stuff” and that “A lot of us have had rough family lives, and the Rainbow has sort of filled that void for us.”. Around since the early 1970s, this counter-culture group was heavily inspired by the famous 1969 Woodstock Festival as well as the anti-war, pro-love movements. The Rainbow Family is a group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and world peace who hold annual festivals around the country in national parks at the beginning of July. According to Eisenberg, there had been very little evidence recovered at the scene, and no witnesses or statements had been given until 1983 and 1984. Disputes with locals have been a repetitive problem as well. When Durian’s father answered the first call, Eisenberg writes, the unidentified man said he was calling from Pocahontas County and that he was sorry Vicki had been killed where he lived. A court order was issued against the Rainbow Gathering at its initial location, but a local developer named Paul Geisendorfer offered the group his nearby site at Strawberry Lake. The Rainbow Family is a group of individuals committed to principles of nonviolence and world peace. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. On April 16, 1992, murder charges were brought against Beard and six other men from the Pocahontas County area. “So many people, including locals who were accused or incarcerated for these crimes as well as their families and the families of local investigators, may not have been directly affected by these events but they were definitely traumatized,” Emma Copley Eisenberg, author of The Third Rainbow Girl, tells A&E Real Crime. Beard’s lawyers petitioned the state, presenting both Franklin’s original confession and new eyewitness testimony that placed Beard elsewhere on the day of the murders. They were on the way to the Rainbow Family Gathering, an annual meeting of hippies and other like-minded people that celebrate peace, harmony and freedom held at different national forests across the country. “The quest to bring justice in this case morphed at some point into a larger quest to redeem and purify their community through rooting out who they perceived to be its ‘bad apples.'”. Their goal was to create, as one later member described it, “the largest best coordinated nonpolitical nondenominational nonorganization of like-minded individuals on the planet.”. The Rainbow Family is a group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and world peace who hold annual festivals around the country in national parks at the beginning of July. Eisenberg believes investigators did everything they could to help solve the case and find the killer, despite some evidence suggesting that the local sheriff’s department and West Virginia State Police did not always work well together. With murder dictionary, I love the talking about the psychology and the impact of the crime on not only the victims but the secondhand victims (like the family of the victim) and the amount of detail while seeming like such short episodes. At first, he thought it was a couple having “intimate relations,” but as he walked closer, he realized the gravity of the situation. In January 1999 the conviction was thrown out and a new trial ordered. “That [uneasy feeling] wasn’t a very logical reason to change course, so I remember making a collect call to my brother in Vermont and him telling me that our dad was getting married that next weekend,” Johndrow tells A&E Real Crime. With Julia Huffman. Hundreds of members of the Rainbow Family were camping in the Apalachicola National Forest when the murder and attempted murder occurred. The murders captivated the region for decades. Looking forward towards planning for a safe Annual Rainbow Gathering. Almost a decade after the murders, however, investigators finally constructed what they believed to be a solid case after “information just started coming our way,” according to an interview Sheriff Jerry Dale gave The New York Times in 1992. Wikimedia CommonsA Rainbow Gathering trader circle. ... As of now, the killers have not been caught and an upcoming documentary titled The Rainbow Murders explores the incident and the Rainbow Gathering at … Maybe by default, it’s also a family for people who don’t have one. Maybe by default, it’s also a family for people who don’t have one. Franklin, whose confession in the Rainbow murders was challenged by some law enforcement offcials, was executed in Missouri in November 2013 for an unrelated murder. It’s possible Durian and Santomero had felt the rush of hitting the open road when they left Iowa City, Iowa in mid-June of 1980 destined for Monongahela National Park in rural West Virginia. It’s an embarrassment,” he said. But they’ve often been criticized as most participants’ values lie in hanging out in the woods and getting free drugs. Their plan was to hitchhike to the Rainbow Gathering, a counter-culture peace festival being held at Monongahela National Forest, but they never arrived at their destination. However, Savoye also said that the general vibe of the group has changed over the years, with heavier drug use and incidents of violence. That was the case for Amber Robinson and Joseph Capstraw, who both grew up in foster families, according to cops and friends. Though the Rainbow Family removes its trash after a gathering, the Forest Service has criticized their cleanup efforts as being only "cosmetic" and "not rehabilitation by any stretch of the imagination." Police believed that the women were shot to death by a group of local men, one of whom was convicted though later exonerated. On June 25, 1980, Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero were killed in Pocahontas County. Since the foundation of the Rainbow Family included no formalized membership or officials leaders of any kind, anybody was invited to what would become known as Rainbow Gatherings. This sites contains much information on the Rainbow Gatherings and the Rainbow Family He told Eisenberg that after reading an anniversary piece about the case in the local newspaper, he became consumed with thoughts of the murders. 16 to represent Rainbow Lee Williams, a 30-year-old co-defendant in the Black Guerilla Family prison-gang federal-conspiracy case, Ruter sounded like he thought there was more to Williams than met the government’s eye. The case went cold until July 1982, when 36-year-old Jacob Beard, a local farmer, fell under suspicion after placing several calls to Durian’s parents. Johndrow calls the case “too muddled,” while Eisenberg says it is likely as “solved” as it’s ever going to get. Joseph Capstraw is charged in the murder of Amber Robinson. Then he blacked out and allegedly killed her, he told the cops. As of now, the killers have not been caught and an upcoming documentary titled The Rainbow Murders explores the incident and the Rainbow Gathering at which it happened. Then take a look at these Woodstock photos from the summer of love. While Beard awaited trial, his lawyers learned that in 1984, Joseph Paul Franklin, a convicted serial killer known for shooting and paralyzing Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, claimed he had murdered Durian and Santomero. © 2020, A&E Television Networks, LLC. However, it almost didn’t happen. The coalition of proud Birkenstock enthusiasts identify as a loose connection of hippy misfits, who proudly subscribe to no leadership, no organization, and no […] A planned month-long Rainbow Gathering in the Apalachicola National Forest, the eighth such get-together of peace-loving vagabonds in as many years, was cut short violently in the early morning of March 5, when a simmering feud beside a campfire erupted in gunfire. Even so, neither Johndrow nor Eisenberg believes there will ever be justice for Durian and Santomero. “I took that as a good reason to change my plans and headed north instead of continuing to the Rainbow Gathering.”, Johndrow, now in her 50s, describes Durian and Santomero as vibrant, fun-loving individuals. Barry Plunker and Garrick Beck were in their late 20s when they had a prophetic vision. Julia Huffman who grew up in Pocahontas County spent two decades looking into the case. Each year, an estimated 8,000 to 20,000 people attend the gathering held typically at national forests. Nancy was more serious, but really curious and wanting to try new things.”, After Going Cold, the Rainbow Murders Case Gains Momentum. murder charges were brought against Beard and six other men. The Rainbow Family of Living Light is supposed to be a chosen family for travelers who believe in peace, love and anti-capitalism. Regional Rainbow gatherings can attract as many as 5,000. The Delphi Murders: Why Police Have Not Released Details on the Murders of Libby German and Abby Williams, The Cases That Keep Retired Detectives Up at Night, Murders in the Wild: Cold Cases in U.S. National Parks. The U.S. annual rainbow gathering occurs around July 1-7th, but people come up to a month earlier to help set up (this is known as "Seed Camp") and remain on site up to a month later to participate in cleanup and to perform site restorations. Nearly 40 years later, the Appalachian community is still haunted by the unsolved case, now known as the 'Rainbow Murders.' “A lot of these kids end up hanging out more in town and causing trouble with the locals. The Rainbow Family of Living Light wants to hold its annual druggie love-fest in the Black Hills, but a local Native American group is fighting back. Directed by Julia Huffman. Welcome to my channel. The following prisoner, natives, were charged with the murder of Mrs. Rainbird, and her two children, committed on Monday, 11th March, 1861:—Tan[? The Rainbow Family has governed Gatherings of up to 30,000 people. How Elvita Adams Jumped From The Empire State Building's 86th Floor And Lived To Tell About It, How This Cartoonish-Looking Gun Decimated America's Duck Population, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. The group’s values claimed to be noble, aimed at creating a better society and contributing to world peace. Plunker, who had previously lived in a commune on Haight Street in San Francisco, used various Eastern and Western philosophies to attract members to the Rainbow Family. The first official Rainbow Gathering was held in Granby, Colorado in 1972 at Strawbery Lake. Their bodies were found about 9 p.m. on June 25, 1980 near Droop Mountain Park in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, by a student who was walking to a lean-to where he lived on Briery Knob. For instance, he’d mention Tao or the Book of Revelation, quoting sections like “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth.” He’d even use Native American folklore to say that the Rainbow Family was, in a way, a reincarnation of dead warriors reclaiming the earth. According to the coroner’s report, neither woman was sexually assaulted. Arrested in 1992 for the 1980 murders of two women attending the Rainbow Family gathering in Pocahontas County, a Greenbrier County jury convicted him … The murder of two young women in the summer of 1980 rocked Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Your curiosity knows no bounds. Today, the crime, known as the Rainbow Murders, continues to raise questions, and a … “Through my research and reporting, I learned the investigators, who were [also] local, felt that their home place was somehow… responsible for these acts of violence,” says Eisenberg. Franklin later denied involvement and refused to speak any further about the Rainbow Murders. Published in City Paper, May 1, 2009. Initially, the participants were meant to get together and pray or meditate for world peace. The Rainbow Murders Briery Knob is one of the highest points in West Virginia, once the site of a fire lookout tower and popular hangout for teenagers seeking Appalachian and Allegheny views. With murder dictionary, I love the talking about the psychology and the impact of the crime on not only the victims but the secondhand victims (like the family of the victim) and the amount of detail while seeming like such short episodes. Though the Rainbow Family boasts that it has no leader, there were two men largely credited for starting it. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. The Rainbow Family has no official website, making it difficult to keep track of any official numbers in regards to the increase or decline or participants. If you found this article on the Rainbow Family and Rainbow Gatherings interesting, you may also be interested in these vintage hippie photos. Liz Johndrow was a third companion, or third Rainbow Girl, traveling with Durian and Santomero. They’ve received complaints by the Forest Service and public officials for leaving garbage behind, thus leaving a detrimental impact on the environment and large costs to local governments. A Strange Twist Leads to an Unexpected Outcome. The Rainbow Gathering drew in thousands of people from all over, but because the bodies of the two women were found in such an isolated place, law enforcement zeroed in on locals who would have familiarity with the area. Police and his family are concerned about C.J. Unfortunately, it’s not all peace and love. Two of those charged implicated Beard as the shooter, but later, at a pre-trial hearing, one of the men claimed a police officer had physically threatened him during questioning. Every year since 1972, the Rainbow Family has held unofficial gatherings in national forests dedicated to peaceful, communal living. Costs were covered by donations and days were spent going to workshops, sitting in women’s circles or drum circles, going for walks, and practicing yoga or tantra. 2005. The avocation of a snitch is hard to keep secret, and while we do not know the details, John Grange of Portland, Oregon may have been caught in the same trap as Nick, and now Joshua - turn informant or spend most of the rest of your life in prison. Neither do we. The Rainbow Family of Living Light is supposed to be a chosen family for travelers who believe in peace, love and anti-capitalism. A year after the conviction, Joseph Franklin, a white supremacist serial killer on death row, confessed to the Rainbow Murders. The mystery haunts Julie’s family, who created a … In an interview with state police, Beard said he had only called Durian’s family to express his sympathy—and didn’t know anything else. Of course, to have the Rainbow Gatherings, there would have to be a space to accommodate all the like-minded individuals. The jury acquitted Beard on May 31, 2000. Of course, attendees would also smoke marijuana and dabble with psychedelic drugs. 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