Under The Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history. In 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University freshman, went to a Blacksburg nightclub on a Saturday night to dance with friends. She was never seen again. Her abandoned car was found parked beneath a railroad trestle along the New River with blood and hair evidence in the trunk. The investigation led police to a secluded cabin on Claytor Lake, where there was evidence of a violent attack.
Former Virginia Tech football player Stephen Epperly was charged with murder, despite the fact that Gina's body was never found. Prosecutor Everett Shockley then embarked on a mission to gain a conviction in Virginia's first "no body" murder trial.
This feature documentary film is based on Ron Peterson Jr.'s bestselling book and directed by Scott Mactavish, a Pulaski native and director of MURPH: The Protector, an Oscar contender in four categories including Best Feature Documentary.
The movie will be shot on-location in Radford and Pulaski County and feature interviews with law enforcement officials, media and witnesses who were there, and includes new information uncovered by the author and included in a special movie edition of the book.
The film will be released in theaters in the New River Valley and Hampton Roads in 2023 and distributed globally to broadcasters, streaming platforms DVD and BluRay later in the year.
Under the Trestle - Sizzle Clip
Stephen Epperly as a student and years later as an inmate at a Virginia prison. Epperly was a suspect in other sexual assaults and a person of interest in at least one other murder.
Be a part of movie history. The production team is raising funds outside of Hollywood because Hollywood has a way of ruining things, especially when it comes to stories from Appalachia.
When will the film be completed?
The goal is to release the movie in 2023, first to theaters in the New River Valley and Hampton Roads. Later in the year, it will roll out to streaming services (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and possibly a broadcast partner. DVDs and BluRays will be also be available for those who like the old-school technology. Please understand that film distribution is a very complicated process and the release schedules are subject to change without notice.
Is the film based solely on the book?
Under the Trestle is the blueprint for the film and we'll be following the book very closely. Ron Peterson, Jr. researched the book thoroughly and the film will be based largely on the historical record as well as personal experiences of those who remember the case first-hand. We are aware of developments through the years and will include them at our discretion.
Will there be an updated version of the book?
Yes. Ron Peterson, Jr. is releasing a special movie version of the book that includes new information and updates of certain old information.
What if I have information about the case?
Please contact us via email. Please understand that any information shared with us is subject to scrutiny by law enforcement authorities.