Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.
Laura Gaddini Xerogeanes and Janet Gaddini Cubley were in seventh and fifth grade, respectively, when their father Robert Gaddini began work on the Trailside Killer case.
The two recall that the the investigation took a terrible toll on their father, who died of cancer shortly after the killer was caught.
“He was so busy with the case and working so tirelessly,” Janet told Here & Now. “We’d see him on TV and we’d know why he was in the distance more than usual … For me, it was the beginning of him disappearing, and then ultimately dying.”
The case continued to overshadow their lives. Laura eventually wrote to the Trailside Killer and visited him in in prison.
“I certainly was hoping to learn something about my father,” she said. “And I did have a secret desire to get a confession out of him.”
But it was a disappointing visit — she didn’t get a confession, and she didn’t learn about her father.
“It was a silly little drive,” Laura said.
But her sister views it differently.
“I have to say I am really proud of Laura,” Janet said. “At first I was a little bit, not upset, but I didn’t understand Laura. I think we can all understand something driving us to do something that we personally don’t understand ourselves.”