EVANSVILLE, Indiana – Holly Dunn, a survivor of the brutal assault by the notorious serial killer Ángel Maturino Reséndiz, has dedicated her life to advocating for victims of sexual assault. In August 1997, during her junior year at the University of Kentucky, Dunn and her boyfriend, Chris Maier, were attacked by the Railroad Killer as they walked along the railroad tracks after a party. Reséndiz, a Mexican serial killer, also known as Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, was active during the 1990s and committed crimes in multiple U.S. states.
Despite being raped and severely beaten, Dunn miraculously survived the attack and went on to become the star witness in Reséndiz’s trial. Following the jury’s decision to find him guilty of first-degree, premeditated murder, Reséndiz was sentenced to death and later executed in 2006. Before his execution, he confessed to additional murders beyond the known nine at the time of the trial, leading authorities to link him to at least 15 homicides across six states.
Instead of succumbing to the trauma, Dunn became a vocal advocate for victims of violent crimes. Through her advocacy work, she empowered survivors to find their voices and seek justice. Her experience has made a significant impact on the true-crime genre and public awareness, with her story being featured in various documentaries, interviews, and media coverage.
In her powerful memoir, “Sole Survivor,” Dunn shares her journey of resilience and recovery from the harrowing assault. She also established Holly’s House, a secure and supportive haven for victims of sexual violence in Evansville, Indiana, her hometown.
Dunn’s journey from a victim of the Railroad Killer to a survivor and advocate captures the triumph of the human spirit over darkness. By sharing her harrowing experience, she became a prominent figure in discussions about criminal justice, victim advocacy, and the psychological impact of trauma. Her dedication to helping others heal and seek justice has left a profound impact on the movement to support survivors of violent crimes. Dunn’s strength and resilience serve as an inspiration to many, setting an example of turning personal tragedy into meaningful change.