Could there be a tie between Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington?

Here’s the basic story on Hannah Graham: she sent a text to friends around 1:20am on Saturday claiming she was lost (in an area she supposedly knows well). It appears she was “visibly intoxicated” at a bar called McGrady’s around 12:45am, and the location of the sent text is a 14-minute walk from there — but, as you can tell via elementary math, there’s a 35-minute gap in timeline (12:45 to 1:20). There’s also rumors / facts she was in the Preston Avenue area of Charlottesville as well:

The family is saying this:

We have a distressing situation here, as a result. She’s been missing since Saturday evening — as I write this post, it’s later on Tuesday afternoon in Virginia. She was 18 and likely intoxicated. Could she have run across the wrong person / people?

This is obviously doubly distressing because of the Morgan Harrington case, which unfolded in the same way in the same town several years ago. Harrington was found murdered, and DNA on her had a link to a 2005 case. No one has been arrested, though. Harrington’s mother often said that her daughter’s killer would strike again, and she’s even spoken out on the Hannah Graham case too (hoping for the best).

You hope there’s not a tie between these two cases, but if so, you hope the guy (or woman, I suppose) responsible for both is brought to justice.

There are also some similarities here with the Lauren Spierer case in terms of an under-aged girl being intoxicated and being seen a couple of times on grainy surveillance footage. That case, alas, has also never been solved.

The FBI is also involved at present. Let’s try to break this down a little bit, insofar as a person can who’s only been to UVA’s campus once.

The Map

If you walk about 14-15 minutes east of McGrady’s, you get into a downtown C-Ville area, or so it appears:

As has been noted on a few other threads, the entire walking route is fairly populated with people — and unless the 1:20am text of her being lost was sent by someone else, we know she arrived in the area she was lost in.

(Apparently the area is 14th and Wertland, FYI.)

Other Disappearances

In addition to Harrington, there’s also this sobering note:

At least three other young women have disappeared in the area in the last five years. Nineteen-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke, who vanished after leaving her Orange County townhouse in September 2010, and 19-year-old DaShad Laquinn Smith, who disappeared in Charlottesville in November 2012, remain missing.

Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, disappeared from the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena while attending a rock concert in October 2009. Her remains were found three months later in a rural area. No arrests have been made.

Northeast of UVA

There were apparently new tips leading a bloodhound search to an area northeast of UVA, but that search turned up nothing.

Centering On The Bar (McGrady’s)

Here’s what we basically know, right?

  • She was at a party with a male friend around 9pm — that’s the surveillance you typically see with her showing midriff
  • She was at a bar by 12:45am
  • She was lost by 1:20am
  • The male friend from the party offered to walk her home and she declined

So, if you put those elements together, there’s a good chance she was drunk at the bar and got noticed by someone. That happens all the time. It could have happened in the Spierer case, although in that case it does seem like maybe one of her friends is involved in some form of cover-up (that’s just me guessing). If someone saw she was drunk and followed her as she stumbled away, well … that’s your story right there.

If you have additional context and come across this post, definitely add to the comments, just so we can build out the story a bit more. 

Ted Bauer


  1. Has anyone else noticed that Hannah Graham went missing EXACTLY 4 years after Samantha Clarke? September 13th 2010 & 2014.

  2. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the same perp. He is an opportunist. He is very familiar with the charlottesville area and is possibly a resident who is disgruntled and annoyed by the college crowd. Both Morgan and Hannah were intoxicated. It could very well be another Ted Bundy type of deal. A college student or attractive man offering a ride home. You need to go back to the first missing person in that area and map off the area where Morgan was seen and the other missing girls. Ask local bars if they have men who are regulars and seem to hit on these intoxicated young women. So much work to do. I would love to try studying criminal profiling. I have studied serial killers all my life and in depth. This case definitely stinks of a serial killing.

    • I’ve thought about that, although that perp is a long time ago — so maybe not. But I do remember seeing that case on Unsolved Mysteries back in the day. Wasn’t there a whole concept of a Route 29 killer?

  3. This whole ordeal screams “we have a serial killer problem.” The victims we know about have people who care if they go missing. If you only knew the number of girls that nobody would notice if they went missing it would make you sick. It’s so easy to hop in a rig with a trucker and be dropped off in another state half the country away. If you were a problem child with crap parents no one at home would even report you missing. Anyway, it’s either someone you know or someone with a serial problem. Rapers and killers don’t go around doing that stuff to strangers and only do it once. I hope she is found like the runaway bride. I really do.

  4. Did you know that Morgan Harrington’s suspect had also been spotted near the area two weeks prior. I think the disappearing a are connected.

  5. Morgan’s Pantera T-shirt was found on a bush outside of an apartment complex on the corner of 15th and Grady and Hannah’s apartment is right down the street a walk of just a couple minutes.

      • The suspect in Hannah’s case Jesse Matthew was living in Charlottesville in 2009. I believe he has lived there for a long time maybe his whole life. He was working as a taxi driver at the time then in 2012 he got a job at the UVA medical center as a patient transporter. Basically he transports patients to the operating room.

        In 2009 he was also involved in an assault. He was working as a taxi driver and cut a guy off in traffic and the guy honked his horn and Jesse basically got out of his car mad and the other guy got out of his car and Jesse assaulted him. Looks like he may have a violent temper.

        According to the wanted poster he has associates in Washington DC which is right next to Fairfax, Virginia which is where the 2005 sexual assault took place that has the same DNA as the Harrington case.

  6. I would offer that most often a serial killer murders those within his race (Caucasian kills Caucasian, Asian kills Asian, and so on). It is rare, but not unheard of, for interracial serials to occur. This bears closer scrutiny

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