EVANSVILLE, Indiana – Holly Dunn is the sole survivor of a horrific attack by notorious serial killer Ángel Maturino Reséndiz, also known as the “Railroad Killer.” Dunn’s harrowing ordeal took place during her junior year at the University of Kentucky in 1997, when she and her boyfriend, Chris Maier, were targeted by the killer as they walked along railroad tracks after a party. Reséndiz, a Mexican serial killer and rapist, roamed the country by freight train and went by the alias Rafael Resendez-Ramirez.
Reséndiz’s crime spree spanned multiple U.S. states, including Texas, Kentucky, and Illinois, and he utilized the railways for transportation. He was eventually arrested, and Dunn became the star witness in his trial. After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury found Reséndiz guilty of first-degree, premeditated murder. Despite last-day appeals from his legal team, the Railroad Killer received a death sentence and was executed in 2006.
Before his execution, Reséndiz confessed to additional murders beyond the known nine at the time of the trial, authorities linking him to at least 15 homicides across six states. Despite the trauma and physical injuries inflicted upon her, Dunn chose to use her experience to empower survivors and advocate for victims of violent crimes. She became a prominent figure in discussions about criminal justice, victim advocacy, and the psychological impact of trauma.
Dunn’s resilience and dedication to helping others have left a lasting impact. Her story has been featured in various true-crime documentaries, interviews, and media coverage. In her powerful memoir, “Sole Survivor,” Dunn shares a tale of resilience and recovery. Additionally, she established Holly’s House, a secure and supportive haven for victims of sexual violence in Evansville, Indiana, her hometown.
Dunn’s journey from victim to survivor and advocate captures the human spirit’s triumph over darkness. By sharing her harrowing experience, she has shed light on the often-overlooked struggles faced by survivors and has become a beacon of hope for those seeking healing and justice. Her legacy continues to inspire and empower those affected by violence, demonstrating the transformative power of resilience and advocacy.