Few left to remember horrific Valentine's Day killings

Cassandra Rundle Photo by The Gazette file

In January 1992, a young soldier named Philip Wilkinson walked into a police station in Fayetteville, N.C., and said his conscience was bothering him. He ended up confessing to a 6-month-old triple killing that had stunned the growing military town and left police scrambling for the person responsible.

Wilkinson, then 24, described what came next, speaking with no visible signs of remorse and in an even tone, a Fayetteville police detective said.

Through sliding glass doors, Wilkinson saw 19-year-old Chyrstal Hudson asleep on the couch of her family’s apartment. He broke inside the home and caressed her, he told police, and when she woke up, he began beating her on the head with a bowling pin that he found in the yard.

Next, he went into a bedroom and found 11-year-old Larry Hudson Jr. and his mother, 38-year-old Judy Hudson. He beat them both to death.

Both Judy Hudson and her daughter were sexually abused.

In his confession, Wilkinson — who is on death row in North Carolina — told something else that caught their attention. He said he had been peeking into people’s windows for years and that his habit began in Colorado Springs, where he was stationed at Fort Carson in early 1985.

The timeline placed Wilkinson in Colorado Springs around the time of the Feb. 14, 1985, murders of Cassandra Rundle and her two children, Detrick Sturm and Melanie Sturm.

In the latest episode of Colorado Cold Case, which airs Monday, two retired Fayetteville detectives talk about Wilkinson’s confession in the North Carolina killings and what led him to commit the attacks.

Listeners will hear about the parallels between the two crimes, which led Cassandra Rundle’s late father, Richard G. Rundle, to think Wilkinson was overlooked in the investigation of the murders of his daughter and two grandchildren.

Season 1-4 of Colorado Cold Case can be found on iTunes, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.

Reach Olivia at olivia.prentzel@gazette.com.

Twitter: @oliviaprentzel

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