Serial Killer Once Had Finger on Nuclear Trigger

The most terrifying part of one convicted serial killer is the revelation that at one time he had his finger on the trigger of nuclear weapons. INSIDE EDITION talks to the author of a new book on the killer.

He's a bloodthirsty serial killer, convicted of murdering two people and accused of killing two others. But Gary Hilton's body count could have been much, much higher, if fate had taken a different course.

"He had the ability to fire a nuclear weapon any time he wanted to," said former New York Times columnist Fred Rosen.

That's right, this serial killer was once in a position to launch nuclear weapons.

Hilton was convicted of killing two hikers in America's pristine National Forests four years ago. He's also awaiting trial in the murders of two elderly hikers.

But before his life of crime began, Hilton had served in the U.S. Army. Hilton was trained to use a portable nuclear rocket, according to Rosen.

"A future serial killer had his finger on a nuclear trigger," said Rosen.

Before Hilton could ever use the nuke, he was discharged from the Army.

In a new book called Trails of Death, Rosen also writes of a freak accident involving a Murphy bed that Hilton suffered as a child.

"A Murphy bed falls on his head, scalps him, he needs over 200 stitches to close the wound. It left him with permanent frontal brain lobe damage," said Rosen.

Hilton would go on to prey on unsuspecting hikers in our National Forests.

Victim number one was nurse Cheryl Dunlap. Victim number two was hiker Meredith Emerson. Both were beheaded.

Hilton is also due to stand trial in October for the murder of 84-year-old hiker Irene Bryant and her 80-year-old husband John.

Believe it or not, Rosen says Hilton once wrote a script for a movie called Deadly Run, about a serial killer.

"He writes the story which is about a man hunting women in the woods and killing them, and then he basically did the same thing," said Rosen.