'I-5 Killer' linked to more cases
DNA evidence solves 1980-81 homicides
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Today, the Portland Police Bureau's Cold Case Unit announced the Exceptional Clearance of three cases. Randy Woodfield, known as the "I-5 Bandit" or the "I-5 Killer", and also the subject of a book authored by Ann Rule, is responsible for three open homicide cases in Portland, one in Beaverton and two in Shasta County, California. He is suspected in others and he has always been the suspect in the open Oregon cases, as well as the Shasta County case. Following his conviction in Marion County, Oregon for Murder, Attempted Murder and Sodomy he was convicted of Robbery and Sodomy in Benton County, OR and Sodomy in Linn County OR. The remaining homicide cases were not prosecuted in part because Woodfield was given a sentence that made it unlikely that he would ever be released from prison.
With DNA technology, Woodfield was conclusively linked to the October 11, 1980 Murder of Cherie Ayers, in 2005. Woodfield could not be conclusively linked to the remaining Murders. In 2009, with more advancement in Forensic DNA technology, The Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory, Woodfield was finally linked to the Murders of Darcy Fix, Doug Altig and Julie Reitz. These were the first cases where the Oregon State Police Crime Lab utilized the Magnetic Bead Extraction method for extracting DNA.
With this new evidence the Cold Case Unit and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office reopened the Oregon cases in an effort to further strengthen the cases for possible prosecution. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has worked closely with the investigators and public safety members from Washington County, Shasta County, The City of Portland, The Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory and The United States Attorney's Office.
This work has, as you have been told, convinced investigators that Randall Brent Woodfield is responsible for each of these deaths.
The Oregon Statutes that existed at the time of these does not allow for a prosecution that would expose Woodfield to the possibility of a death sentence. California Statutes would allow for a jury to impose a capitol sentence
However, conversations with the involved agencies and the full awareness of Woodfield' custody status, in consultation with Oregon State Parole Board, have resulted in a consistent opinion that at this time prosecution of Woodfield for these deaths would not be a necessary or responsible use of the additional resources that would be needed in pursuing these cases through the court system.
In 1983 the Oregon Parole board voted unanimously to deny Woodfield any further opportunity to request a parole hearing. It is highly unlikely that he will ever be granted another hearing but he has the right to ask for one. The Cold Case Unit and the Multnomah County District Attorney's office are committed to presenting the open cases to the Parole Board, in the unlikely event that Woodfield is granted another hearing, and we are committed to seeking prosecution on the open cases if he is ever given the opportunity to receive parole.
The Cold Case Unit would like to acknowledge the hard work put in by all the previous investigators, in particular Det. Dave Kominek retired from the Marion County Sherriff's Office and Chief David Bishop of the Beaverton Police Department. Their efforts, supported by all the "I-5 Bandit" task force members were instrumental in finally stopping Woodfield's saga of crime. The Cold Case Unit would like to thank the Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory, the Beaverton Police Department, the Washington County District Attorney's office, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office and the Shasta County District Attorney's Office for their work on the current investigations. But the greatest thanks must be made to the families of the victims who exhibited great patience as we attempted to finally prosecute Woodfield and their support in our efforts to insure that he is never granted parole.