Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Randy Kraft, the Freeway Killer


The scorecard, trial evidence
The scorecard, trial evidence
Randy Kraft's alleged "death list" consisted to two neatly printed columns, 30 cryptic items on the left side of a yellow legal sheet and 31 on the right. It began with "STABLE" and ended with "WHAT YOU GOT." Authorities were convinced that the list was a coded "scorecard" of Kraft's victims, but the document still gave them headaches. Four entries—"2 IN 1 HITCH," "2 IN 1 BEACH," "GR2" and "2 IN 1 MKV TO PL"—apparently referred to double murders, raising the body count to 65, but only one of those notations could be translated: "2 IN 1 HITCH" allegedly referred to the murders of Geoffrey Nelson and Rodger DeVaul. Police finally matched known victims to 45 notes from the list, while maintaining that no entries existed for Erich Church or Terry Gambrel. The final tally: 67 dead, with 22 of those still unrecovered, unidentified.

But was it true?

Some of the "scorecard" entries seemed virtually transparent. "EDM" matched Edward Daniel Moore's initials, while "JAIL OUT" referred to Roland Young, killed within hours of his release from the Orange County drunk tank. "PORTLAND HAWAII" seemed to fit Lance Taggs, lately returned from the Aloha State to Oregon. "PORTLAND DENVER was Colorado native Michael O'Fallon, likewise killed in Oregon, while "PORTLAND BLOOD" described the battered corpse of Michael Cluck. "SEVENTH STREET" marked the freeway onramp where Ron Wiebe was dumped in 1973, as "EUCLID" named the ramp where Kraft deposited Scott Hughes. "MARINE CARSON" referred to the L.A. suburb where Richard Keith's girlfriend resided. "PARKING LOT" described Kraft's fatal rendezvous with Keith Crotwell. "NEW YEAR'S EVE" recalled the disappearance of Mark Hall. "MCHB TATTOO" became Robert Loggins. "WESTMINSTER DATE" marked the disappearance of 15-year-old Jeffrey Bryan Sayre, vanished forever after visiting his Westminster girlfriend on Nov. 24, 1979. "AIRPLANE HILL" fingered a John Doe dumped near Hungington Beach. Don Crisel, discarded in Irvine without his pants, became "MARINE DRUNK OVERNIGHT SHORTS."

Other notations—"STABLE," "ANGEL," "HARI KARI," "ENGLAND," "OIL," "TWIGGY," "PORTLAND," "PORTLAND HEAD," "PORTLAND RESERVE," "PORTLAND ECK," and so on—remained unexplained, and Kraft was no help to police, doggedly insisting that the notes referred to various liaisons with gay lovers still alive and well, or to other mundane incidents from his daily life. He was "anal retentive," after all, prone to obsessive-compulsive behavior. The list was innocent, Kraft said—and so was he.

Police thought otherwise. They had a corpse in Randy's car, another victim's jacket stashed in his garage, snapshots of several others hidden in his car, rug fibers lifted from another corpse, Kraft's fingerprints recovered from a crime scene—and a list that linked the murders, marking Kraft as a prolific trophy hunter.

Now, all prosecutors had to do was make it stick in court.


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