Episode 243:

New Escape Room

The I-5 Killer


The Murder of Carol Thompson


Episode 243: New Escape Room

Karen and Georgia cover the I-5 Killer and the murder of Carol Thompson.

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The I-5 Killer

The I-5 Killer Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Jesse Collins on Unsplash

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Randy Woodfield (via Wikipedia)


"Randall Brent "Randy" Woodfield (born December 26, 1950) is an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and robber who was dubbed the I-5 Killer or the I-5 Bandit by the media due to the crimes he committed along the Interstate 5 corridor running through Washington, Oregon, and California. Before his capture, the I-5 Killer was suspected of multiple sexual assaults and murders. Though convicted in only one murder, he has been linked to a total of 18, and is suspected of having killed up to 44 people.

A native of Oregon, Woodfield was the third child of a prominent Newport family. He began to exhibit abnormal behaviors during his teenage years, and was arrested for indecent exposure while still in high school. An athlete for much of his life, Woodfield played as a wide receiver for the Portland State Vikings, and was drafted by the NFL in 1974 to play for the Green Bay Packers, but was cut from the team during training after a series of indecent exposure arrests.

In 1975, Woodfield began a string of robberies and sexual assaults on women in Portland, which he committed at knifepoint. Between 1980 and 1981, he committed multiple murders in cities along the I-5 corridor in Washington, Oregon, and California; his earliest-documented murder was that of Cherie Ayers, a former classmate whom he had known since childhood, in December 1980. After committing numerous robberies, sexual assaults, and murders, Woodfield was arrested in March 1981, and convicted in June of the murder of Shari Hull and attempted murder of her co-worker, Beth Wilmot, and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 90 years. In a subsequent trial, he was convicted of sodomy and improper use of a weapon in a sexual assault case, receiving 35 additional years to his sentence.

Woodfield has never confessed to any of the crimes of which he has been accused or convicted. Though he has only been convicted of one murder and one attempted murder, he has been linked via DNA and other methods to numerous unsolved homicides in the ensuing decades. Authorities have estimated his total number of killings to be as many as 44, and CBS News named him one of the deadliest serial killers in American history. He is currently incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary..."

— Source: Randall Woodfield Wikipedia

The Murder of Carol Thompson

The Murder of Carol Thompson Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Morgan Alley on Unsplash

Other Images:

Carol Thompson (via NY Times)

T. Eugene Thompson arrest (via NT Times)


"The March 1963 murder of St. Paul wife and mother Carol Thompson shocked the Twin Cities as few local crimes have. Despite community fears of a homicidal maniac, investigators soon focused on T. Eugene "Cotton" Thompson, the victim’s husband, as their prime suspect. Three and a half months after the murder, Thompson was arrested and charged in connection with his wife’s death. In December 1963 he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Carol Swoboda Thompson was the only child of a respected local business owner, the wife of an up-and-coming attorney, and the mother of four children, ages six to thirteen. At about eight thirty on the morning of March 6, 1963, she was surprised by an intruder in her home in the comfortable Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. After a furious struggle with her assailant, who beat and stabbed her multiple times, Thompson fled to a neighbor’s house. Three hours later, she succumbed to her massive injuries at Ancker Hospital..."

— Source: MNopedia.com