The police assumed that there was a psycho on the loose, but now we know that there were in fact three psychos: William Bonin, Patrick Kearney and Randy Kraft. We plan to profile each of these men — as we’ve been doing for all our other favorite gay serial killers — but we are starting with Randy. Not only were his crimes the most horrific (he tortured his victims in addition to murdering them) but he is also the hottest of the three.
Randy Steven Kraft
Randy was a softspoken computer consultant who loved popping Valium and taking long drives. His ex-girlfriend, with whom he remained friends after coming out of the closet, recalls one night when Randy showed up at her door. “He came over red-faced and hyperventilating. It was late — maybe one or two in the morning — and he was very agitated and rambling.” At the time she thought he was upset. In retrospect, she realized the horrifying truth. He was not upset. He was excited.
Randy’s biographer writes that his ex-girlfriend is “now convinced that what she witnessed in the front room of her apartment that night was the glassy-eyed transformation of a thrill killer, trying to calm his predatory lust before resuming his day-to-day role as a ‘normal’ human being.” In the end, Randy’s rampage would cost over 60 lives — perhaps as many as 67. This makes him one of the five most prolific serial killers of all time. He was convicted of 18 of these murders, and to this day awaits execution on death row.
Clues That This Guy Was Fucked Up
Appearance: Like we said, kinda hot. Even with the mustache. Very Dennis Quaid meets Bruce Reynolds. Bushy eyebrows, piercing wide-set eyes, a rugged thin-lipped smile, and one big ‘ole apple of adam. Maybe appearance wasn’t a clue after all.
Relationship History: We already mentioned the ex-girlfriend. After coming out, Randy entered into a relationship with Bob Jackson, whom many consider to have been Randy’s sometime accomplice. Jackson died of AIDS before prosecutors had a chance to interview him, but there are many signs that point to Jackson’s involvement in some of the killings. For example, the sordid polaroids that Randy took of his victims must have been developed independently, lest the photo store report the gruesome images to the authorities. Randy did not have darkroom experience. Jackson did. Also, some of the notes that Randy kept of the killings (more on those, later) mention assistance from “Twiggy,” which was Randy’s nickname for the tall and skinny Jackson. Oh, he also dated two guys named Jeff. Both are still alive.
Jail Time: After pleading not guilty at his trial in 1988, Randy was charged with 16 homicides and sentenced to death. He remains on death row to this day. Apparently he’s even entered into a regular bridge game with three fellow inmates on death row. One of his fellow bridge players? None other than fellow gay serial killer William Bonin.
What Got Him Off: Randy was a necrophile who liked them young and white. He picked up his victims in southern California gay bars or stopped for hitchhikers, who were often runaway teens or marines travelling between bases. Once he had his victim in the passenger seat of his car, Randy would offer him a drink laced with sedatives, most often Valium. Then came mutilation and rape. He cut off one victim’s eyelids to prevent him from closing his eyes during the torture. Many he would burn on their left nipples with a car cigarette lighter. Others he castrated while they were still alive. Sometimes he shoved objects — a tree branch, a single sock — up their asses. After the torture came his signature finish: strangulation.
Not Really That Nice: Let’s just paint the picture of how Randy got caught. Late at night in 1983, two highway patrol officers stopped an apparently drunk driver on the San Diego Freeway. Randy emerged from the car with a beer bootle, his pants fly bulging. Glancing at the passenger seat, the officers noticed a man slumped over, barefoot, pants unzipped, genitals exposed. The man had no pulse, and his neck was marked with the tell-tale red circles of a strangulation death. A search of Randy’s car produced nine different prescription painkillers, 47 polaroids of naked men, all unconscious or dead, and a legal pad with 61 cryptic comments neatly arranged into two columns. They began with “STABLE” and ended with “WHAT YOU GOT.” Detectives concluded that the words were codes describing each murder victim. Hence Randy’s nickname: The Scorecard Killer.
In a previous post, we advised readers not to follow sketchy men into their car unless they are hot. Now we must ammend our advice. The moral of the story of Randy Kraft is that you must never hook up with another man ever again — no matter how hot — unless you are in a public space with lots of people around to watch and bear witness. A museum, perhaps, or a church parking lot.
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