How Did Former Green Bay Packer Randall Woodfield Turn Into The ‘I-5 Killer’? | Oxygen Official Site (2024)

During his five-month reign of terror up and down the Interstate 5 corridor, serial killer Randall Woodfield’s M.O. changed often.

He committed robberies, rapes,and murders, attackingwomen he knewas well astotal strangers. Hestabbed, beat,and shot his victims and used a variety of disguises.

His only constants were brutality, violence,and mayhem, and his crime spree is explored in “Mark of a Killer,” airingSaturdaysat7/6conOxygen.

There was no reason to believe Woodfield would grow up to be a serial rapist and murderer. Born in 1950, “Randy,” as he liked to be called, came from a good home and grew upwith his two older sistersin picturesque Otter Rock, Oregonon the Pacific Coast.

His father was a manager with the phone company,and his mother was a stay-at-home housewife, according toThe Oregoniannewspaper.Woodfield’s father pushed him into sports,and asteenager, Woodfield attended nearby Newport High School, where he played football, basketball,and ran track.

At one point, hegot into trouble for being a “Peeping Tom” and wasapprehendedfor exposing himself to females on a bridge in town, according to thePortland Tribunenewspaper. His coachesallegedly knew about theincidents, butthey keptthemquiet, reported the outlet.His juvenile record was expunged when he was 18.

Following his high school graduation in 1969, Woodfield attended Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon. While a student there, he was arrested for ransacking the apartment of a former girlfriend. He was found not guilty due to a lack of evidence, according toSports Illustratedmagazine.

Woodfieldlatertransferred toPortland State University, where he played for the Portland State Vikings as a wide receiver. At PSU, he became active in a studentgroup called Campus Crusade for Christ.

“He came off as a real religious-type person, but he was just different from the rest of his teammates,” PSU teammate Anthony Stoudamire told the Portland Tribune. “He was the one who didn't fit in. He'd say out-of-the-blue, off-the-wall statements.”

Woodfield’s troubling behavior continuedat PSU, and during his tenurethere,he was arrested multiple times for exposing himself and twice convicted, according to Sports Illustrated.

"One summer—it might have been his junior year—he got into some trouble in a parking lot outside of Memorial Coliseum,” PSU offensive coordinator Mike Brundage told the Portland Tribune. “He was exposing himself.”

Woodfield was remembered as a decent player, but many were surprised when he was drafted in 1974 by the Green Bay Packers. "He ran really good pass routes, but he had just fair hands and did not like contact," PSU teammate Scott Saxton told the Portland Tribune. “Maybe the coaches thought he was all that, but the rest of us were like, 'He got drafted? Youkiddingme?'"

Woodfield’s career in the NFL wouldn’t last the year. He was released by the Packers during the pre-season. Staying in Wisconsin, he was picked up by the semi-proManitowoc Chiefs,buthe waslet go at the end of the season.

Neither team gave a reason for cutting Woodfield,and althoughthere are no records of him being arrested in Wisconsin, a detectivelaterlearned thatWoodfield had beenallegedlyinvolved in at least 10 cases of indecent exposure across the state, according to Sports Illustrated.

After his dreams of being a professional football playerended,Woodfield returned to Portland, Oregon and began victimizingwomen. Woodfield robbed women at knifepoint and forced them to perform oral sex, according to New York’sDaily News.

Hewas apprehended after the Portland Police Bureau set up a sting operation in a local park with an undercover female officer. In custody, he told authorities he had impulse-control issues, “sexual problems,” and used steroids,according to Sports Illustrated.

After pleading guilty to reduced charges of second-degree robbery, Woodfield was sentenced to10years in the Oregon State Penitentiary. Heearnedparole after four years and was back on the streets by 1979.

Woodfield was released from prison just in time for his 10-year high school reunion. There,he reconnected with former classmate Cherie Ayers. On Oct.11, 1980, she was found raped, stabbed,and bludgeoned to death in her Portland apartment, according toSports Illustrated.

Ayers was Woodfield’s first known murder victim,and her death marked the beginning of afive-month crime spree up and down Interstate 5, from Northern California to Washington. Currently linked tosevendeaths, some believe he may have committed up to 44 murders and 60 rapes, according to the Daily News.

Woodfield also committed numerous armed robberies, targeting small businesses along I-5, including convenience stores, ice cream shops,and gas stations. He often sexually assaulted any female staff on the premises and left many witnesses.

Those who survived his attacks described an assortment of different disguises Woodfield would use. He frequently wore a bandage or athletic tape over the bridge of his nose, thinking it would distract his victims and make him hard to identify, according to The Oregonian. Other times he wore a fake beard or a hooded sweatshirt, according to theSeattle Post-Intelligencer.

How Did Former Green Bay Packer Randall Woodfield Turn Into The ‘I-5 Killer’? | Oxygen Official Site (2)

Randall Woodfield

From his first murder on, Woodfield was considered a suspect due to his connections to several of the victims and histime behind bars.The initial evidence against him, however,wasn’t indictable,and he refused to take a lie detector test, according to Sports Illustrated.

On Jan.18, 1981, Woodfield snuck into an office building in Keizer, Oregon, where he sexually assaulted two 20-year-old cleaningwomen—Shari Hull andBeth Wilmot. He then shot both women in the back of the head. Hull died,butWilmot survived and would later pickWoodfield out of a police lineup, according to Sports Illustrated.

Woodfield was brought in for questioning on March 5, 1981. A search of his apartment discovereda spent.32 caliberbulletthat matched the murder weaponandthe same brand oftape usedto bind his victims. Aphone billalsoshowedWoodfield had been up and down the West Coastduringthe time the murders occurred.

"All of a sudden it became obvious: It was a map of I-5.Woodfield was addicted to the phone. He made thousands of calls. He had‘girlfriends’everywhere," Beaverton Police Chief David Bishop told The Oregonian.

On March 16, Woodfieldwas indicted for the Hull murder along with chargesin various jurisdictionsof rape, sodomy, attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, and illegal possession of firearms,according to Sports Illustrated.

Hewasultimatelyfound guilty of Hull’s murder, the attempted murder ofWilmot,andtwo counts ofsodomy, reportedThe New York Times.He wassentenced to life in prison plus 90 years.

An additional 35 years wereadded to his sentence that December when he was convicted of sodomy and weapons charges for attacking awomanin a restaurant bathroom, according to Sports Illustrated.

Advances in forensic technology allowed investigators to tie Woodfield to an additional five murders in 2012. These included Darcey Fix, 22, and her boyfriend Douglas Altig, 24, who were found dead in their Portland home on Thanksgiving Day 1980; Donna Eckard, 37, and her daughter Jannell Jarvis, 14, found murdered in their home in Shasta County, California on Feb. 3, 1981; and Julie Reitz, 18, found murdered at home in Beaverton, Oregon, according toThe Oregonian.

Now 69, Randall Woodfield is back at Oregon State Penitentiary, where he is expected to spend the rest of his days. He has neverconfessed to the killings.

To hear more, watch “Mark of a Killer"onOxygennow.

How Did Former Green Bay Packer Randall Woodfield Turn Into The ‘I-5 Killer’? | Oxygen Official Site (2024)
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