Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Daring Escape of the
Texas 7


Randy Ethan Halprin (Texas Department of Criminal Justice)
Randy Ethan Halprin
(Texas Department of
Criminal Justice)

Randy Ethan Halprin, 23 years old at the time of his escape from prison, was born to abusive parents in McKinney, Texas, on September 13, 1977. Randy and his younger brother, Wesley, were removed from their abusive home by the Child Protective Services in 1983 and were temporarily placed in foster homes. A short time later Daniel and Patricia Halprin, a kind-hearted couple from Dalworthington Gardens who owned an electronics business, adopted the two boys, gave them their surname, and took them into their comfortable home.

According to those who knew him, Halprin was an intelligent youngster. By the time he was 13, however, he began having problems with reality.

"One of the most significant (problems)," a police official said, "was that he thought aliens were going to be landing. He took maps, marked landing sites, and so forth...he wasn't unintelligent. He could form a plan and execute it."

As his behavior continued to slide downwards, his adoptive parents took action and sent him to a boarding school in Kentucky. At first Randy was not a disciplinary problem at the school, and he maintained good grades, at least for a while. However, according to the school's dean, that all changed rather quickly.

"Randy didn't seem to be a bad kid," said the dean. "His grades were mostly above average. He got into trouble for being in the girls' bathroom with a girl once. He sneaked out of his dorm once by tying sheets together and climbing out, when he could have just as easily walked out the front door.

"But he got worse," continued the dean. "Over Christmas 1995, he went and stayed at the home of another student in Lexington and did some shoplifting. He was put on school probation, and then carved his name and some girl's name into some brand new wooden benches here. I expelled him, and his father said he couldn't come home. He was through with him."

Nonetheless, unable to totally abandon him, Halprin's adoptive parents helped him get an apartment in Kentucky and assisted him financially after he left the boarding school. However, he cashed the rent checks he was receiving, took the money and began living on the streets and the system. Living in homeless shelters is how he fed and clothed himself.

Halprin eventually returned to Texas, and began staying at a homeless shelter in Fort Worth. While there he met a woman with an infant and befriended her. They soon became acquainted with some other people, pooled what little money they were able to get their hands on, and together they all moved out of the shelter and into an apartment on Fort Worth's west side. The move would ultimately become the beginning of the end for Halprin's life as a free man.

When Halprin met the woman at the homeless shelter, he hadn't given any thought to whether he liked children or not. He soon found out that he didn't. On a day in August 1996, the woman's baby began crying and would not stop. The child soon got on Halprin's nerves.

Since talking to the infant did no good, Halprin repeatedly beat and kicked the boy. When the paramedics examined the child, they discovered, much to their horror, that his arms and legs were broken, he had multiple skull fractures, a black eye and a ruptured eardrum.

Facing serious charges against him, Halprin pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily injury to a child. A judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison.