Friday, 2 May 2014

James Michael Randall - Has he Killed More?

James Randall was given two death sentences in Florida for the murder of two prostitutes but later had the sentences overturned.  Randall is suspected of more attacks and murders due to his predilection for erotic asphyxiation.  He was born on 28th August 1954 but he only came on to the radar of Law Enforcement in 1984, after the disappearance of Boston woman Holly Jean Cote, who was last seen alive on 4th March 1984 in the Gardner area.  Her body was found in May of that year, in a marsh near to Birch Hill Dam in Royalston.  Her killer was never traced but later in that year, Randall was said to have told his wife, Linda and also some Mental Health professionals he was seeing.  The area where Holly was found, was well known to Randall but no evidence was found to link him to her death.  Then two years later, he was convicted of sexual battery to his wife on 18th July 1986.  Later that year, he yet again, faced charges of sexual battery against his wife.  He was also charged with kidnapping her.  This time he went away for 5 to 7 years in a Massachusetts prison.

    Upon his release in 1992, Randall upped sticks and moved down south to Florida. A couple of years later, the naked bodies of strangled prostitutes started appearing.  The body of Wendy Evans was found by a passing trucker in Myrtle Lane, Oldsmar, on October 20th 1995.  Then the naked body of Cynthia Pugh was discovered naked on January 19th 1996.  There would be two more prostitute murders, both naked and strangled but no evidence at the scene.  All the bodies were stripped of anything such as rings or jewelry.  A person of interest did emerge but he was eventually eliminated.  Tyre tracks were found at the scenes were a unique Firestone make and vehicles that had them fitted were checked and eliminated.  The last to be spoken to was Randall.  He was cooperative but when they went back to ask more questions, he fled in his vehicle, resulting in a car chase.  He stopped and fled, leading to a huge search of the immediate vicinity.  After four days hiding in woods, he surrendered on 1st July.

    A background check showed that Randall enjoyed the sexual asphyxiation aspect with consensual and nonconsensual partners.  There were claims that he violently attacked his girlfriend Terry-Jo Howard on a number of occasions.  In April 1997, he was convicted on two counts of murder and sentenced to death.  He appealed this sentence and in 2000, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the Death Sentence, replacing it with life imprisonment.  They decided that the deaths were not deliberate but accidental due to his liking for erotic asphyxiation.  He is incarcerated in Liberty Correctional Institute in Florida.  Police in both Florida and Massachusetts believe he carried out more murders but cannot find evidence to charge him.  He is a suspect still in the death of Holly Cote, and is believed to have killed the other two prostitutes in Florida.  He is out of the way but Police cannot officially close these three outstanding cases.  Maybe one day....