BREAKING
THE LATEST: Dawsonville City Council upholds 53rd annual Mountain Moonshine Festival permit
Full Story
By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Dateline to profile Hilton on Friday
Placeholder Image

An upcoming episode of NBC's Dateline will profile accused serial killer Gary Michael Hilton who admitted killing a young Gwinnett County woman in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management area in January 2008.

Fittingly named "Mystery on Blood Mountain," Friday night's Dateline episode that will air at 9 p.m. follows Hilton as he stalked his human prey along hiking trails and lonely roads from Florida to North Carolina.

The wildlife management area was used as the backdrop for several scenes that focused on the murder and decapitation of Meredith Hope Emerson, who disappeared while hiking Blood Mountain in Union County.

Dawson County Sheriff's Lt. Col. John Cagle, a former special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who led the investigation into Emerson's disappearance, will also be featured in the grizzly documentary.

"People go to these places to relax and get away from everyday life and enjoy the outdoors," Cagle told Dateline's Dennis Murphy. "These are some of the safest places to go ... until the monster shows up."

Hilton led investigators to Emerson's body in Dawson County in exchange for state prosecutors not seeking the death penalty in the case.

Earlier this year, Hilton was convicted and sentenced to death in Florida for the murder of Sunday school teacher Cheryl Dunlap.

He has also been charged in the double murder of an elderly couple in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina and was named the prime suspect in the slaying of 27-year-old Michael Scot Louis, whose body was found at a Florida state park about the same time as the other victims.

His federal trial in North Carolina was set to begin Sept. 6 but as of Tuesday morning had been delayed until Oct. 31 to give his attorneys more time to prepare.