Select It Sunday: Dail Dinwiddie

This Select-It-Sunday highlights Dail Boxley Dinwiddie, a 23-year-old woman from Columbia, South Carolina who vanished on September 24, 1992, while walking home after a night out with friends. Dail had recently graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a degree in art history. (The school went coed in 2007 and renamed itself Randolph College.) She planned to attend graduate school at the University of South Carolina.

The serial killer Reinaldo Javier “Ray” Rivera is a possible suspect in Dail’s disappearance, as well as in the disappearance of another SC woman, Paula Merchant, who disappeared seven years after Dail. (She was also planning to attend the University of South Carolina.) Most of his known victims were young blonde women; Dail had light brown/blondish hair. Authorities can’t determine whether he was involved in Dail or Paula’s cases and he won’t say.

Rivera, who admitted responsibility for four murders but may have committed many more, hid his crimes behind an ordinary, even admirable facade: he was happily married and the father of two. He had been a Navy pilot and was had been selected for an elite military program (only 400 applicants are admitted every year) where the Navy would sponsor his college education and make him an officer. He was a student at the University of South Carolina and a member of the ROTC during the early nineties.

In 2004, Rivera was convicted of killing one woman — a police officer at that — and sentenced to death for her murder, and seven life terms for related crimes. The jury members, when filling out the statements saying they were convicting him, wrote not just “guilty” but “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” He is awaiting execution.

As to whether he was involved in Dail Dinwiddie’s case…no one knows for sure. Rivera says he only killed four victims. Certainly it’s possible, even probable, that he was the one responsible for Dail’s disappearance and presumed murder. But there are a lot of sexual predators out there, and many of them are still completely anonymous. Who knows what happened to her, but it probably wasn’t good.

10 thoughts on “Select It Sunday: Dail Dinwiddie

  1. Melissa Kent August 25, 2013 / 7:59 am

    You’re on fire! Select It Sunday is up and it’s still Sunday down here in Australia! Hopefully that means you’re feeling well 🙂

  2. Princess Shantae August 25, 2013 / 8:26 am

    I never knew he killed a police officer. I had thought one of the women was an Army Sergeant, not a police sergeant, but its been a while.
    He worked inspecting tires for Bridgestone Firestone during the time when they were into some shabby work and letting faulty tires be used on vehicles and later were sued all over the place. If you realy wanted to you cold say he was possibly responsible in some way for a lot more deaths.

  3. NH August 25, 2013 / 11:24 am

    Where were the bodies if the four found? If he was involved in this case most likely he followed the same pattern.

  4. Jose August 25, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    Is there any cases on Charley Project that the Mp was last seen being killed shot, stabbed, etc. and the assailant moved the body and has never been found?

    • Kat August 25, 2013 / 6:23 pm

      There are a fair amount of cases where there were witnesses, but one that comes to mind is Diana Delouise (?) Goldston. I think that is the name. And there is another one, can’t remember the ladies name, but she got in a car with her ex bf and a friend and the friend was forced out and heard the shot as the car sped off. There are others as well where the witnesses were part of the crime itself, so there is a pretty broad area of the crime being seen.

      • Jose August 25, 2013 / 6:38 pm

        I didn’t really expect to hear of case like that I thought most mps disappeared before being killed, Thank you!

      • Meaghan August 25, 2013 / 7:26 pm

        There’s several cases like that. In some instances the murder is described in detail.

  5. Princess Shantae August 25, 2013 / 7:07 pm

    She has anotherb one out of Maryland, I forget his name, but he was seen being beaten up and shot and stuffed in the trunk of a car and his body was never found.

    • Kat August 26, 2013 / 9:47 am

      I think it is Lamarst Porter. Could also be Travis Burley, but I’m pretty sure it is Mr. Porter.

  6. aphra75 August 25, 2013 / 7:43 pm

    I’m from the Columbia area and I remember when Dail Dinwiddie disappeared like it was yesterday. (I was a junior in high school, and this scared the hell out of me.) The more I read about Rivera, the more it seems like he could be a suspect, but I guess they’ve dismissed that now. It’s so weird–it’s like she just vanished into thin air. Her case is one of the SC Midlands’ oldest cases, and there are a lot of people who’d love to see this solved. Thanks for featuring her, Meghan.

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