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Randall Brent WOODFIELD

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "
The I-5 Killer" - "The I-5 Bandit"
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Serial rapist - Robbery spree
Number of victims: 3 - 18 +
Date of murders: October 1979 - February 1981
Date of arrest: March 7, 1981
Date of birth: December 26, 1950
Victims profile: Women aged between 14 and 37 years
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Oregon/Washington/California, USA
Status: Sentenced to life + 90 years in prison in Oregon in October 1981
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Randall "Randy" Woodfield (b. December 26, 1950) is an American serial killer dubbed The I-5 Killer or The I-5 Bandit for the I-5 Highway running from Washington to California, where he committed multiple sexual assaults and murders. A native of Oregon, he was convicted of three murders and is suspected of killing up to 18 people. Woodfield is incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary.

Early life

Born in Salem, Oregon, Woodfield came from a middle class family with no evident signs of dysfunction. He was popular among his peers, and was a football star at Newport High School on the Oregon Coast and at Portland State University.

Beginning in adolescence, however, he began to exhibit antisocial sexual behaviors, primarily a penchant for indecent exposure. Upon his first arrest for this crime in high school, his football coaches hushed it up so that he wouldn't be kicked off the team.

Three arrests in the early 1970s for petty crimes such as vandalism and public indecency did not prevent Woodfield from being drafted by the Green Bay Packers, but he was dismissed from the team in 1974 after more than a dozen arrests for indecent exposure.

Rape and murder spree

The following year, Woodfield robbed and sexually assaulted several women at knife point. He was eventually caught by an undercover female police officer, however, and went to prison for second degree robbery. He served four years of a 10-year sentence.

In 1979, Woodfield embarked upon a two year robbery spree, holding up gas stations, ice cream parlors and homes along the Interstate 5 freeway. Several of his female victims were sexually assaulted, murdered, or both.

In March 1981, police investigating a shooting death in Beaverton, Oregon encountered Woodfield, who was a casual acquaintance of the victim. Citing his history of sexual assault, police searched his home and found evidence linking him to the murder, as well as the attempted murders of two young women. Woodfield was arrested and charged with the Beaverton murder and a double murder of a wife and daughter in Redding, California.

In October 1981, Woodfield was tried in Salem for the murder of Shari Hull, as well as charges of sodomy and attempted murder. Chris Van Dyke, son of actor Dick Van Dyke, was the district attorney of Marion County, Oregon at the time and prosecuted the case. He was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison, and sentenced to an additional 90 years for convictions of the other crimes.

Prior to a later 1981 trial, Woodfield’s counsel attempted to move the trial from the Willamette Valley due to the publicity the case received in an effort to ensure a fair trial. The judge in the case denied Woodfield’s request, along with a request to hypnotize a prosecution witness in an effort to determine if that witness had been influenced by the media coverage. He is serving the sentences at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. While he was charged with four murders, it is estimated that Woodfield committed as many more, as well as upwards of 60 sexual assaults.

Prison life

In October 1983, Woodfield was injured at the prison during a disturbance by another inmate. In April 1987, Woodfield filed a $12 million libel suit against author Ann Rule. True crime author Rule wrote The I-5 Killer, a best-selling non-fiction account of Woodfield's life and crime spree in 1984. Oregon’s federal court dismissed the lawsuit on statute of limitations grounds in January 1988.

By 1990 he was suspected in at least 44 homicides. In 2001 and 2006, DNA testing linked Woodfield to two additional murders in Oregon from 1980 and 1981.

Woodfield married three times and was divorced twice during his time in prison. Some letters he wrote from prison were eventually sold online.

Woodfield wrote the following on his MySpace account in 2006: "I'm Randy, I'm 55. I spend the remainder of my days in prison because I have committed a murder along with many other crimes. I once tried out for the Green Bay Packers. The only reason I didn't make it is because the skills I had to offer they didn't need at the time."

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Randy Woodfield

Randy Woodfield was once a college football star and even had the opportunity to try out for the Green Bay Packers in the early 1970's. Less than a decade later he would be arrested in a string of rapes, robberies, and murders that were committed near the I-5 freeway from Washington through northern California.

In addition to a suspected sixty or more sexual assaults, it is estimated that Woodfield committed as many as eighteen murders of women along Interstate 5 in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Police investigating a Beaverton, Oregon, shooting death came across Woodfield, who was a casual acquaintance of the victim. Woodfield had a history of sexual assault and when police searched his home they found evidence linking the ex-jock with the murder and attempted murder of two young women whom Woodfield had shot in the head. The surviving victim, Lisa Garcia, testified that Woodfield was her attacker at the subsequent trial. The I-5 killer was found gilty on both charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Woodfield was also tried and convicted in the Beaverton killing and a double murder of a wife and daughter in Redding, California. Though police have no doubt he was the perpetrator in many more killings no further charges were ever filed.

 
 

Randall Woodfield

Born at Salem, Oregon, in December 1950, Randy Woofield was the classic, all-American boy next door. He made good grades, and high school coaches recognized his natural athletic talents, making him the star of Newport's football team. When woodfield started to expose himself in public, everybody laughed it off at first, and members of the coaching staff supressed his first arrest to keep him eligible for the squad.

In August 1970, attending college in Ontario, Oregon, he was picked up again, this time for vandalizing an exgirlfriends apartment. Two years later, in Vancouver, Washington, he logged his first adult arrest on charges of indecent exposure, receiving a suspended sentence. A similar arrest in Portland, earned him more suspended time in June of 1973.

Woodfield got a break that year, when he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, but he could not shake his problems with a trip across the country. In 1974, after a dozen "flashing" incidents called unwelcome attention to Randy, the Packers gave up and sent him home. The local boy-made-good was coming home in failure, a disgrace.

In early 1975, several Portland women were accosted by a knife-wielding young man, forced to perform oral sex before they were robbed of their handbags. Policewomen were staked out as decoys, and Woodfield was arrested on March 3, after stealing marked money from one of the officers. In April, he pled guilty to reduced charges of second-degree robbery, receiving a sentence of ten years in prison. Four years later, in July 1979, Woodfield was freed on parole.

On October 9, 1980, a former classmate of Randy's Cherie Ayers was raped and murdered in Portland, bludgeoned about the head and stabbed repeatedly in the neck. Woodfield was routinely questioned and refused to sit for polygraph examinations. Homicide detectives found his answers generally "evasive and deceptive," but his blood type did not match the semen found inside the victim's body, and he was not charged.

A short month later, still in Portland, Darci Fix and Doug Altic were shot to death, execution-style, in Altic's apartment. A .32 caliber revolver was missing from the scene, and while the female victim had been formerly involved with one of Woodfield's closest friends, police had nothing to suggest that Randy was the killer.

On December 9, 1980, a young bandit wearing a fake beard held up a gas station in Vancouver, Washington. Four nights later, in Eugene, Oregon, the same man raided an ice cream parlor, rebounding on December 14 with the robbery of a drive-in restaurant at Albany. A week later, in Seattle, the gunman added a new twist, trapping a waitress in the restoom of a chicken restaurant and forcing her to masturbate him. Twenty minutes later, smiling through his phony beard, he robbed another ice cream parlor and escaped with cash in hand.

January was another busy month for the gunman police were already calling the "I-5 bandit," after his apparent highway of preference. On the eighth, he raided the same Vancouver gas station a second time, forcing a female attendant to expose her breasts after looting the till. Three days later, he robbed a market in Eugene, surfacing at Sutherlin, Oregon, on January 12, to wound a female grocery clerk with gunfire. He was wearing a fake beard in Corvallis, on January 14, when he invaded a home occupied by two sisters, aged eight and ten; the girls were foreced to disrobe before fellating their assailant. In Salem, four days later, the target was an office building, where he killed Shari Hull and wounded Beth Wilmot, after sexually abusing both women. The bandit rouned off his month on January 26 and 29, with robberies in Eugene, Medford, and Grant's Pass (fondling a clerk and female customer in the latter case).

On February 3, 1981, Donna Eckard, 37, and her 14-year-old daughter were found dead in their home at Montain Gate, California, north of Redding. Together in bed, each had been shot several times in the head, with lab tests revealing the girl had been sodomized. The same day, a female clerk was kidnapped, raped and sodomized after a holdup in Redding. An identical crime was reported from Yreka, on February 4, and the bandit robbed an Ashland motel that same night. Five days later, in Corvallis, he held up a fabric store, molesting the clerk and her customer before departing. February 12 witnessed a triple-header, with robberies in Vancouver, Olympia, and Bellevue, Washington---the last two stops included three more sexual assaults.

On February 15, Julie Reitz---a former girlfriend of Woofield's---was shot and killed at her home in Beaverton, Oregon. The investigation had focused on Randy by February 28, and by that time the I-5 gunman had struck three more times, in Eugene on February 18 and 21, with a final sex assault in Corvallis on February 25.

Interrogation of Woodfield on March 3, 1981, led to a search of his apartment two days later. On March 7, he was taken into custody after several victims picked him from a police lineup. By March 16, indictments were rolling in from various jurisdictions in Washington and Oregon, including multiple counts of murder, rape and sodomy, attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, and possession of firearms by an ex-convict.

The courts in Salem got to Woodfield first, on charges of murder, attempted murder, and two counts of sodomy. Convicted of all counts on June 26, 1981, the all-American killer was sentenced to a prison term of life plus 90 years. By December, conviction of sodomy and weapons charges in Benton County, Oregon, had added 35 more years to Randy's time.

As officer began to follow Woodfield's trail along I-5, they stumbled over other victims. Sylvia Durante, 21, had been strangled in Seattle and dumped beside the highway in December 1979. Three months later, 19-year-old Marsha Weatter and 18-year-old Kathy Allen had vanished while thumbing rides along I-5, outside Spokane; their corpses had been found in May, following the eruption of Mt.Saint Helens. At least four women had died around Huntington Beach, California, while Woodfield was sunning himself in the area, all killed in typical style.

Despite his seeming links with 13 homicides (at least) and countless other crimes, the I-5 killer would not go to court on the majority of his offenses. Unable to afford endless string of trials, the state was satisified to know that WOodfield would be off the highways for a century or so.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

 
 

Randy Woodfield (1980-1981) aka "the I-5 Killer" was a 30-year old bartender from Salem, Oregon who raped at least 60 women and killed at least 18 others, leaving their bodies strewn along the I-5 corridor from Washington state to California.

An outstanding college football player who never got over being rejected by the Green Bay Packers after only one tryout, Woodfield was accustomed to "hero" status. He was caught by the determination of one victim who dragged herself, bleeding heavily, to a telephone and called police. Woodfield's alibi that he was tending bar fell apart, and he was given multiple sentences.

 
 

RANDALL WOODFIELD

BACKGROUND

Randall Brent Woodfield’s childhood was not filled with horrifying abuse and neglect like so many of the men I corresponded with. In fact it was just the opposite. He was a cherished son in a close-knit and supportive family, a star athlete and an accomplished student who was admired and respected by most of those who knew him. Charming, handsome, brimming with possibility and promise, Randall Woodfield could have done great things with his life. Tragically, things didn’t work out that way. He is now a convicted killer who will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The first sign that there was something wrong with Randall was when he was caught, at the age of 11, exposing himself to women. He also seemed to have a problem with anger. Even though his concerned parents sent him to see a therapist, no one seemed to pick up on the seriousness of his problems, or if they did, they certainly weren’t able to help him. The "flashing" continued and before long, Woodfield started committing petty thefts and burglaries.

At Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon, Woodfield excelled in just about every sport, especially in football. But his problems had not gone away. He was arrested for breaking into a girlfriend’s house and trashing her bedroom. (Due to a lack of evidence, a jury found him not guilty and all charges were dropped.) In 1971, Woodfield transferred to Portland State University where he became a born-again Christian. He took religion very seriously, but it didn’t seem to interfere with his need to expose himself to women. He was arrested repeatedly during the next few years for indecent exposure.

Woodfield’s dream finally came true in 1973 when he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. However, once training started, he was cut from the team — a monumental disappointment that devastated him. Angry and depressed, Woodfield promptly dropped out of college — just three semesters away from graduation. At age 25, things didn’t look too bright for Randall. He had no money, no job, no prospects.

In 1975, after being caught red-handed trying to rob a woman at knife point, Woodfield was sentenced to ten years in Oregon State Prison. Paroled after only four years, he was back on the streets. The crimes continued, but by now they had escalated far beyond flashing and petty theft.

In 1981, a spate of rapes and murders began to occur along the long stretch of Interstate 5 that runs through Oregon and Washington. The killer eluded frustrated police for a long time, especially because the attacks were occurring in so many different counties that it was hard for police to coordinate investigations.

The first murders attributed to the "I-5 Killer" were in Keiser, Oregon, in 1981, when Shari Hull and Beth Wilmot were sexually molested and shot. Shari Hull died, but Beth Wilmoot survived the attack, despite two extremely bloody gunshot wounds to the head.

The next murder was in Redding, California, where 37-year-old Donna Eckard and her 14-year-old stepdaughter, Janell, were raped and murdered. Two weeks later in Beaverton, Oregon, Julie Reitz was found shot to death in her home. And there were many more victims that police suspected had died at the hands of the "I-5 Killer."

In addition to Lisa Garcia, there were other women who lived to give a description of the man who attacked them: white male, 25 to 30 years old, 6', 175 pounds, brown hair, short beard and mustache, Band-Aid across the nose, using a small nickel- or chrome-plated revolver, driving a gold VW.

Finally, many victims later, the name Randall Woodfield popped up while police were investigating the murder of Julie Reitz. Not only did Woodfield match the description exactly, but subsequent investigations turned up enough evidence that police were sure they had finally caught the "I-5 Killer."

Randall Woodfield was 30 years old at the time of his arrest. All told, he was charged with sodomy, attempted kidnapping, robbery, attempted murder and murder. He pleaded innocent on all charges. In the end, although suspected in as many as 18 murders, Woodfield was charged and convicted of only two murders. He is now serving a life sentence plus 157 years, in Oregon State Prison.

Woodfield admits to a history of exhibitionism and robbery, but murder? "No way!...I’m really innocent of this terrible murder charge." Woodfield says that the "real" killer is a man named Larry Moore. Woodfield also believes that he is an innocent victim of a legal conspiracy. "Something [about my case] stinks of corruption by a resigned D.A., a demoted lead detective and a judge [who retired] soon after my case."

Woodfield didn’t seem to hate women — that is, with the exception of true-crime author Ann Rule, who he unsuccessfully attempted to sue for libel for her book about him, The I-5 Killer. He wanted to make sure that I thought Ann Rule was all wrong in her estimation of him and it was clear he had read her book carefully. "You think Ann Rule lied about me having ‘shark’ eyes? Maybe I just looked a little scared or depressed in my bogus trial for murder? Ya think?" He also denies her accusation that he has small hands, herpes and a low I.Q.

 
 

The following are a few letters from Randall Woodfield to Jennifer Furio

(from "The Serial Killer Letters")

Hello Again;

Okay, truce it is. I really wasn't upset or angry, it just came across as such. Im always very defensive, and it is natural in this "Walled City". So chill & accept my apologee. I was just preturbed about going behind my back to Timothy [Aikens, a fellow inmate], and you never answered my questions or cared to share any pics. too. Can we even talk?

Give me a some credit please. I did share a lot with you. But are you really interested in the corrupt, frame-up case for murder? You became upset with my first reply, you didn't even ask about it? So what's up with that?

Tim showed me your letter, and it sounds like you've written to me earlier? No letters reached me. So I just "ASSUME".

At least you acknowledge Im not a "weak" person — thank you. But will I ever really know who you are?

Im sorry you expected more in my response. You have no idea how much abuse and ridicule I get from fiction-writers. And the sad part is my Civil Lawsuit was not accepted after 2 yrs. What discrimination we have in our so-called "Justice" (Just-Us) system!

Now, to relieve your fears, Im not having any investigator follow you. But will that be the ONLY way I will get to see who you are? Just curious is all.

And no comments about the pics. I sent you? No questions about anything? Just an angry response Jen?

I apologize for the wise-cracks. I was just wondering why you wrote Tim & didn't say why or even answer me. Care to explain?

Cute phrase you used…"Mickey flipping me off". What does it mean exactly? See, Im not that smart after all. (Smile)

Can we now communicate both ways now? You answering my questions too? You know about "Quid Pro Quo" right? I did help Tim with that one. So are we on now or what?

I'd just like to feel more at ease with you —— a total stranger picking my brains here. Ha! I see ya smiling…

Lets start over here and dont be so reactionary and I wont either. And how about pen & paper letters now and then just to be more personal. May I have a photo of you please? No stalking, following you ever!

My word is my bond too —

"Ciao"

Randall

*****

Dear Ms Frio;

Okay — Truce. We are both right, and we need to find a middle ground. Im not angry with you, just disappointed in your style, or possibly "hidden agenda". Whatever. I will never really know. And you will just use me for your own purposes.

Ive shared a lot with you, now its up to you to "ASK" the right questions. And to be open-minded as well. You make statements like…"All the inspectors and courts disagree", etc. Not so Jenny. Read the police report first filed by Det. Kominek, lead "Dick" who hypnotized the victim-witness, who helped police draw the composite drawing of "I-5 Killer" suspect!! Go figure.…

Now ask yourself why they would fight my defense counsel, to keep (Larry Moore) out of my trial for murder. Because they KNOW they messed up, and arrest this mass-murderer 4-5 weeks after my arrest in the "I-5 Bandit" crime spree. Even the blood-type evidence doesnt match my type (B Neg.), so Judge throws state's blood evidence out of court! But my jury had a right to hear how the first blood test revealed (A/B) typing, and after my arrest, it changes to a plain (B) type. No "negative" enzyme can be detected. Maybe (Larry Moore's) blood type is (A/B)?

The 1986 "Break-In" at D.A. offices, stinks of an "Inside" corruption case! Only my file is ransacked —— so go figure Jenny. They only charged me because of a "Line-Up" identification by (Lisa Garcia). But she never ONCE picked me out of color, close-up photos! Or did she describe me in any police report! Even the ambulance attendants testified for me, they state Ms. Garcia was slightly wounded, with scalp wound, but clear thinking to describe a shorter, sandy-haired fella matching the mass-murderer (Larry Moore).

Justice prevails on appeal as my trial judge's ruling to bar defense from seeing (Larry Moore) in court, under cross-examination, etc. He said it was…"Irrelevent and immaterial" (unquote). Appeals court also agreed! Ha! Where is my right to call defense WITNESS & get a FAIR TRIAL?? I believe this is info. that (Walter Todd) knows, as he was Deputy D.A. and law clerk under my prosecutor (1981). Today he is covering up what he meant in his (1993) letter to me. (see both letters enclosed).

Now, Im trying to show or prove a frame-up in my only murder trial. God knows they (state) wanted me bad enough to violate my rights to fair trial. Now the TRANSCRIPTS dont reflect the truth of [what actually happened during my trial] — "leg-shackling" & blood type errors in State Testimony!! Even the other "I-5 Bandit" (state snitch-witness), testified that he made "No Deals" with prosecutors. Today we prove otherwise. But the transcripts omit his statement!!! Corruption to the core, Ms. Frio!

Okay, enough crying on your shoulder. You only care to know "why murderers strike out in anger or rage"? How should I know? What a question Jenny. Care to write more personally? Share a photo? Talk once by phone? Your choice.

"Ciao"

Randall Woodfield

 
 

'I-5-killer' suspected in 1980 murder

February 11, 2006

PORTLAND, OR, United States (UPI) -- Portland police say a 1980 murder has been linked to the 'I-5 killer' but won`t press charges since he is serving a life sentence plus 90 years.

DNA evidence was not available at the time to connect Randall Woodfield to the death of 29-year-old Cherie Ayers and a blood test did not provide a link.

Woodfield denied involvement and refused a polygraph. He was never charged.

Ayers family always believed Woodfield was responsible and years later, after DNA technology was refined and Woodfield was convicted for other murders as a serial killer, the Portland Cold Case Squad reopened the file.

This time there was enough evidence to link Woodfield to the murder, officials said.

After discussing it with the Ayers family, the Portland District Attorney`s office opted not to press charges. Officials said they will press charges, however, if Woodfield is ever considered for parole.

The Ayers family agreed to that if the Portland Police Bureau clarified two details on the case.

In response, the PPB reported that Cherie Ayers was not involved in a high-risk lifestyle as reported in the media and that Woodfield is the only one considered responsible for her death

 
 

SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: Sex./CE

MO: Raped/robbed/shot females age 14-37 in random attacks

DISPOSITION: Life + 90 years in Ore., 1981; 35 years more in second trial for sex crimes in Ore.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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