Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man In Shadows

Calls and Letters

Lab Technician Performs Handwriting Analysis
Lab Technician Performs Handwriting Analysis

Williams started calling Leighton at his muffler shop. Both men knew the calls were being monitored. They couldn't help but know it since every few minutes a recorded message played on the line reminding Leighton that the call he had received was from a state prison. Still, the two West Valley crooks tried to talk about the investigation by talking around it.

"They would discuss bits and pieces of how the police are investigating, such as if they have DNA, and other things of that nature," Szabo says. "And if you listen to their conversations, you can get the gist of where they're coming from."

Lab Technician Performs Handwriting Analysis
Lab Technician Performs Handwriting Analysis

Then there were the letters. Williams started writing to Leighton asking for money while he was locked up in the can. In one letter, Randy Williams wrote, "I was there for you, to help you, and now you need to help me. I need some money."

Prisoners don't carry cash, but they can put money "on the books." Each prisoner has an account. If they have money in their accounts they can buy things like cigarettes, candy, and toiletries.

"Some of the letters were incriminating," says Deputy D.A. Kevin McCormick.

Leighton started sending money to Williams. He mailed money orders using fake names and fake return addresses. He used a female acquaintance to mail the envelopes. To Szabo and Galeria, Leighton's actions seemed awfully suspicious for a guy who at first told them he was only vaguely familiar with Randy and didn't even know his last name.

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