Thinking back to Reston's ur-creation myth, we all know that Bob Simon created our earth-toned community out of a clump of russet brown Virginia clay and a fistful of oil company dollars back in the freewheeling 1960s.
Before that momentous event, the area's only residents were a bunch of squirrels (but not Earl), the remaining residents of the drunken village of Wiehle, which had been founded around the turn of the last century.... and, it turns out, another sort of "new town" with its own distinctive rules that residents were expected to follow to the letter.
An HOA? Not quite. Reston, it turns out, used to be home to a nudist colony, which in turn was home to a homicidal maniac who killed his wife and infant child back in 1949!
The book recounts the major crime incidents in Fairfax between 1921 and 1990. They include Charles Holober's murder of his wife and child in 1949 in the nudist colony that is now Reston.Wow. First of all, we plan to change the return address on all our voluminous correspondence to "The nudist colony that is now Reston, Va." Second of all, we literally leapt to the Google machine to try to learn more about this mid-century garden of
Unfortunately, there's not much out there about the nudist colony.
The Green Forest Nudist Colony was located in Pender (modern day Reston), off Lawyers Road, overlooking the Snake Den Lake. It was open at least from 1940 to 1949. It was the site of the murder of Frances Holober and June Holober on February 24, 1949. It was also known as the "Green Foresters Club".There's more information about the murder itself, thanks to Fairfax County Public Library Historian-Archivist Brian A. Conley, who explored the incident as part of a larger study on the county urban legend known as the "Bunny Man."
It would be hard to imagine a more disturbing event for a growing community like Fairfax than the gruesome murders of 37-year-old Frances Holober and her eight-month-old daughter, June. On Thursday February 24, 1949 Mrs. Holober and her daughter drove to Fairfax County in the company of her estranged husband Charles. All were residents of the District of Columbia. Charles Holober later told police that they had come to see the new lodge at a nudist colony to which Mr. Holober belonged.Initially found guilty and sentenced to die in the electric chair, Holober was later found not guilty by reason of insanity -- in part because he kept his dead pet fish in a drawer -- and sentenced to a mental institution. For that reason, Conley concluded that Holober was not a "likely candidate" to be the "Bunny Man," the spooky guy in a rabbit suit who has creeped out generations of Fairfax County teenagers.
Upon leaving the lodge the car became mired in some mud. The couple quarreled and Mrs. Holober took the child and walked away from her husband and never returned. Charles Holober spent the night in the car and got a ride back to Washington the next day. He returned with his brother-in-law and a friend to retrieve the car. Still finding no evidence of his family, the police were finally notified. An intensive search of the area was organized involving Fairfax County Police, Washington Detectives, and Boy Scouts.
About 5:00 p.m., just as the searchers were about to give up for the night, one of the detectives noted that the ground on which they were standing was very soft. Both mother and daughter were found in a shallow grave next to the lodge and less than 200 yards from where Charles Holober's car had been stuck. Frances Holober had been beaten and then shot once in the head and once in the heart. The baby girl had been buried alive.
The local community was shocked and horrified by the cold brutal character of the crime, especially when the investigation identified Charles Holober as the prime suspect. Holober later confessed to investigators that he had planned the murder for three weeks and had not intended to report the disappearance of his wife, but changed his plan when the car got caught in the mud.
But there's one little problem. The only legitimate documented Bunny Man incidents all happened around 1970. Holober was released in August 1968!
Be afraid. Be very afraid. And if you want to be really afraid, or at least lose all faith in your fellow man, try doing a Google Image Search for "bunny man," the end.