Meredith Emerson used her wits and martial arts training when she was attacked in the north Georgia mountains by a drifter who eventually killed and decapitated her, the convicted killer told investigators.
Gary Michael Hilton described his four days with Emerson, and how she fought him from the moment he tried to overpower her as she hiked with her dog, Ella, according to the interviews that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
"She was doing everything she could to stay alive," GBI Director Vernon Keenan told the newspaper. "It's not something you can train for. Instinct kicks in ... She nearly got the best of him. She's very much a hero."