July 19, 2024

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The horror case of the accidentally arrested “California Strangler”.

The horror case of the accidentally arrested “California Strangler”.
Randy Croft was convicted of 16 murders, but is believed to be connected to another 29 deaths across the country (Bettman Archive)

Between 1971 and 1983, California was rocked by a series of murders that left a trail of horror and desolation. The Victims are often young bisexual or gay menFound dead on various highways in the state, usually after being Torture and sexual abuse. This method caused concern among officials. Known as “Highway Killer” And this “California Strangler”, Randy Croft, He killed around 16 people, but it is estimated that he had a further 29 connections to the murders.

First related deaths Craft At the end of 1971, local police discovered the body Wayne Duquette The 30-year-old was seen naked Ortega Highway.

In the following months, another young man was found in similar circumstances. 20-year-old Edward Moore appeared shirtless on the same highway. According to police records. This pattern of systematic killings has consolidated over time and left a trail of terror and agony on California highways. “Police began to notice an alarming increase in the appearance of young corpses with signs of extreme violence,” a reporter said at the time.

Michael Ray Schlicht was one of the victims of serial killer Randy Kraft (Orange County Sheriff’s Department).

It was April 1974 Michael Ray Schlicht, A young man from Cedar Rapids, USA Iowa, He was last seen by his sister. Schlicht, a 17-year-old known for his adventurous spirit and love of hot weather, embarked on a journey that would lead him to become another victim on Randy Kraft’s deadly list.

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Five months later, in September 1974, Schlich’s body was found on a street in Southern California. At the time, his death was misclassified as accidental poisoning alcohol and diazepam. There is no indication of the dark truth hidden behind this discovery.

According to TelemundoIn November 2022, in an attempt to bring justice to “cold cases”, The Orange County Sheriff’s Department He asked for cooperation Other laboratories, a privately held forensic biotechnology company based in Texas. Using advanced genomic techniques, Othram was able to create a DNA profile from tissue samples from the unidentified body of Michael Schlich. The profile was finally able to trace his possible grandparents and confirm his identity with a DNA sample from a woman believed to be his mother.

The sheriff’s department highlighted the importance of this legacy technology in solving cold cases, a breakthrough that has allowed many investigations to be reclassified and closed in recent years. Thanks to these developments, Michael Ray Schlicht’s name can be restored and his unmarked grave at El Toro Memorial Park He got the honor he deserved

Randy Croft was sentenced to death in 1989 (Credit: Orange County Sheriff)

As years passed, local authorities began to notice a disturbing pattern as the bodies of many young men were found in different parts of Orange County and Southern California. to 1980Investigations took a decisive turn when they identified these crimes as the work of the same serial killer.

On May 14, 1983, during a routine traffic stop, The custody Randy Kraft was arrested. His unusual behavior and evidence found in his car prompted an intense investigation. In the trunk of the vehicle, authorities found an indexed list containing the names of more than 67 victims.

The media echoed Randy Kraft’s conviction

This discovery, along with numerous photographs of dead youths and other incriminating materials, cemented Croft’s reputation as one of the most prolific and feared criminals in American history.

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Randy Kraft was sentenced to death 1989 Between 1972 and 1983, 16 youths were murdered. During the investigation, it became clear. Croft not only killed, but also tortured, sexually assaulted and mutilated his victims. His detailed notes on each young man he murdered reflect a disturbed and meticulous mind, determined to commit each crime with horrifying precision.