Three College Cheerleaders Kidnapped After A Basketball Game …

“If we die, we might as well die together and die fighting,” said one of the two survivors to their friend.

On a cold night over 40 years ago, three cheerleaders at a Southern school fell victim to a man who held them hostage – and only two of the three survived the terrifying ordeal.

Around 7:30 p.m. On December 3, 1980, North Carolina Wesleyan College students Dawn Killen, 19, Yolanda Marie Woods, also 19, and Whelette Collins, 20, left the gymnasium of their Rocky Mount school after a basketball game.

Outside, a man, later identified as 23-year-old Kermit Smith, Jr. identified, stopped the coeds at gunpoint, United Press International reported at the time.

After putting Killen and Woods in the trunk of his vehicle, Smith forced Collins to the floor in the back seat. He drove about 30 miles to an abandoned gravel pit in Weldon, where Smith reportedly terrorized and raped Collins and then killed her by crushing her skull with a cinder block.

Fearing the worst for their friend, the other two cheerleaders, Killen and Woods, decide they must do whatever it takes to survive.

The Associated Press reported that Woods later recalled telling his friend, “If [Collins] doesn’t come back, we shouldn’t part. If we die, we might as well die together and die fighting.”

Around 4:30 a.m., on December 4, the women got their chance when Smith let them out of the trunk and attacked him with a hatch key they found. “I started hitting him on the head as hard as I could,” Woods said, according to the AP.

They also restrained Smith with safety pins, which they straightened during the standoff, and Woods, the AP reported, said at one point that she punched her captor in the stomach in what she called a “Charlie’s Angels kind of move.” ” called.

In the chaos, the pair wrestled Smith’s gun away from him – only to discover it was a cap gun.

Still in their cheerleader uniforms, the women managed to escape their captors and hide. They then walked along a riverbank for hours, until they were finally able to overtake a motorist who alerted the police.

According to then-Halifax County Sheriff W.C. Bailey, Woods and Killen did not suffer serious physical injuries, but both “were really cold and scared.”

After the incident, Smith told his mother that he was injured when he was robbed. After receiving medical attention for his wounds, Smith returned to the gravel pit pond where he saw Collins’ naked body in the water. He pushed the college freshman’s legs through cinder blocks and threw her back into the water.

Around the same time, one of the two surviving cheerleaders was driving into the pit with the sheriff, and she saw her captor’s white Camaro. Bailey stopped and arrested Smith at gunpoint and charged him with murder, rape and robbery.

The sheriff said Smith’s hands, coat and car were soaked in blood. “He was barefoot and soaking wet,” Bailey recalled, noting that the killer’s bloody hands “looked like he’d killed pigs,” UPI reported.

Smith was convicted of first degree murder, second degree rape, and common robbery, and he was sentenced to death.

At 2:12 a.m. on January 24, 1995—14 years after he stole Collins’ life—Smith died at the age of 37 by lethal injection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *