Friday, December 5, 2008

Randy Kraft

In "The World's 20 Worst Crimes", author Katy Kray describe Randy Kraft as seeming "a mild-mannered computer programmer whose only vice was a Friday-night game of cards with his friends." Dubbed "The Southern California Strangler" this story interested me most because the serial killer lived in Long Beach, CA. It gave me a better understanding of citizens who resided in So Cal during the 1970s. Randy was homosexual and lived with his lover for a decade. Jeff, his partner, said Randy was into "S & M, sadomasochism". The pair "...sometimes picked up hitchhikers on the freeway and took them home to have sex". When they had a fight Randy would cruise the freeways solo and sometimes bring home a hitchhiker.

It is hard to imagine a heterosexual couple cruising together to pick up strangers to bring home for sex. How many woman could live with the husband bringing another woman home after a fight, or husbands accepting of the wife bringing home a strange man? I have seen Want Ads with couples advertising for a single female to party with, so I guess anything is possible.

Randy was caught in 1983 and charged with 16 murders and "29 uncharged". The killing spree started in 1973 with the rape, torture and murder of a Marine. Details of Randy's murder victims are quite graphic and horrifying. Hard to know if the local newspaper accounts were as detailed at the time of the crimes. In that era homosexuality was mostly kept "in the closet". If area residents equated Randy with being the norm, it could explain today's attitude by many towards homosexual couples, such as "protecting our children".

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