Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Killed in Bigfoot Prank Gone Awry

Man in ghillie suit (l), the legendary Bigfoot (r)

Man in ghillie suit (l), the legendary Bigfoot (r)

Randy Lee Tenley, 41, of Kalispell, Montana, thought it would be fun to dress up in his ghillie suit on the night of August 26, 2012, and pretend to be Bigfoot for passing motorists. His friends, who were nearby at the time and in on the prank, told police that he hoped to provoke someone into calling in a Sasquatch sighting. According to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Schneider, “You can’t make it up. I haven’t seen or heard of anything like this before.”

Ghillie suits are designed as camouflage, so Tenley would have been invisible to drivers if he were off the road. It’s possible that Tenley thought that he would have been most visible on the road, in the middle of one of the traffic lanes, which is where he was. One cannot stress enough that however much a man in a ghillie suit might look like a Sasquatch, these suits are, again, designed as camouflage, which makes it a bad idea to wear one while standing alone on a road at night. This must not have occurred to Tenley, however, until about 10:30 p.m., when he was struck by a car being driven by a girl, 15, who was probably texting at the time (that would be a guess on the part of your humble writer) and wouldn’t have noticed him anyway. Tenley was knocked down and as he lay on the road, was hit by a second car coming the other way, driven by another girl, 17, who was also probably texting, and wouldn’t have noticed him either. Tenley was pronounced dead at the scene. Police believe alcohol may have been a factor.

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