By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The Travel Channel’s paranormal television series, “The Dead Files,” will debut a documentary filmed in Fairlawn and Radford Friday.
The 60-minute show will focus on a paranormal investigation that the show’s team of investigators conducted at the former St. Albans Sanatorium in Fairlawn during 2013. A synopsis of the show states that the investigation allegedly “reveals evidence of patients being mistreated in the past.”
Although the show primarily focuses on the old sanatorium, which has been the site of several paranormal investigations, Radford Police Department Lt. Andy Wilburn said the early 1980s murder of Radford University freshman Gina Renee Hall will also be briefly discussed.
Stephen Matteson Epperly is serving a life sentence for Hall’s murder, even though her body was never found. He is one of the few people ever convicted of murder without the victim’s body being found. Wilburn said the show interviewed him about the Hall case.
One rumor that circulated at the time of the murder was that Epperly had placed Hall’s body in freshly poured cement at the St. Albans facility in Fairlawn.
Epperly, 61, is being held at Buckingham Correctional Center at Dillwyn, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections website. He was denied parole in August. The Parole board cited the following reasons for the denial:
“•The serious nature and circumstances of the offense,
•The Board considers you a risk to the community,
•You need to show a longer period of stable adjustment, and
•Your record of institutional infractions indicates a disregard for rules and that you are not ready to conform to society.”
“The Dead Files” airs at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel, which is Channel 77 on Comcast Cable and 49 on Shentel Cable.