Randall Woodfield, better known as the Interstate 5 Killer or the Interstate 5 Bandit, is a serial killer who committed most of his crimes in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California. To date, he has only been officially convicted of one murder but investigations have linked him to the deaths of at least 18 people and it is suspected that this figure could rise to 44.
Woodfield was convicted of murder, attempted murder, second degree robbery, sodomy, and sexual assault. He was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 165 years for these crimes, which he is currently serving in the Oregon State Prison.
RANDALL WOODFIELD’S CHILDHOOD
Randall Woodfield was born on December 26, 1950 in Salem, Oregon, into a family that enjoyed a good reputation in the area. Despite the fact that Woodfield was popular in his circle of friends, from a very young age he began to show alarming sexual behaviors and was even arrested for indecent exposure. He underwent therapy to address this.
RANDALL WOODFIELD’S FIRST CRIMES
It is believed that Randall Woodfield’s failure as a professional football player left him with a deep wound that turned him back to his criminal instincts. In 1975, police in Portland noted a wave of violent attacks on women. In all cases, Woodfield threatened them at knifepoint and forced them to perform oral sex on him.
Given this, the police decided to mount an operation to arrest the person responsible for the assaults. In March 1975, a policewoman discovered that Woodfield was behind these attacks. When questioned, he alleged that he suffered from sexual impulses that were difficult to control and, despite the attacks, he only received a four-year prison sentence.
MURDERS COMMITTED BY RANDALL WOODFIELD
In 1980, just a year after being released from prison, Randall Woodfield committed his first murder. His victim was Cherie Lynn Ayers, an X-ray technician whom the killer had known since second grade. A few days later, he murdered a man and a woman, but was not charged due to a lack of evidence. That same year, he began his streak of robberies along Interstate 5. During these robberies, Woodfield used firearms, injuring several people.
On February 3, 1981, Randall Woodfield raped and murdered Donna Eckard and her daughter. That same day, he kidnapped and raped two more women. The following week, he committed several violent robberies and at least three more sexual assaults. On February 15, he broke into the home of Julie Reitz and shot her in the head. However, this was not his last crime, since during the month of February Aalone, Woodfield committed three more robberies.
Randall Woodfiled was accused of indecent exposure and crimes of a sexual nature when he was starting out but later he turned to violent robberies using a firearm. He also forced his victims to perform oral sex on him and expose themselves to him under the threat of violence if they did not comply.
Woodfield chose to carry out most of his robberies and assaults on Interstate 5, wearing a fake beard and nose piece resembling those worn by football players. He murdered most of his victims in their own homes, shooting them multiple times.
ARREST AND TRIAL
On March 5, 1981 the police questioned Randall Woodfield and obtained a search warrant. They found enough evidence to prosecute him witnesses helped provide the jury with convincing testimony that linked him to the crimes including sodomy, kidnapping and attempted murder.
Ultimately, he was sentenced to life in prison, despite no convincing evidence linking him to most of the murders he committed. Something that differentiates him from other serial killers is that he never had a «rest» period, and the intensity of his attacks continued increasing until the day of his arrest.