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An abusive ex-boyfriend kidnaps a young woman at gun point, but escapes from custody before he can be tried.

Randall Utterback


Gender: Male
DOB: 12/24/62
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 148 lbs.
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: Reddish brown


Denise Williams

In January of 1994, in a small Missouri town called Mexico, 19 year-old Denise Williams was shot at and run off the road by her ex-boyfriend, 31-year-old Randall Utterback. They had met at a party a year and a half earlier. According to Denise, Randall seemed just dangerous enough to be exciting:

“I met Randall a week before graduation. I just thought he was the cutest thing. He had been known around town for his motorcycles, and he owned a mountain lion at the time.   And everyone had talked real highly of him. He was really outgoing.   He would take me out to nice places and concerts. And then after two weeks of Randall and me being together, it all changed. It was gradual. He started out saying, ‘Don’t wear makeup.   Don’t wear hair spray. Don’t wear perfume.’ And then it grew to, “Don’t hang out with this person. You have to choose them or me.'”

When Denise went away to college, she hoped the distance would improve the relationship. She said it didn’t:

“Randall was very controlling and manipulative. I’d have to call him if I was going down to the cafeteria, just in case he called and I wasn’t there to accept his phone call, he’d think I’d be out with some other people or having friends, doing something that I wasn’t supposed to do.”

Utterback grabbed Denise and drove off

According to Denise, her family was shocked when Utterback talked her into enrolling in a community college closer to him:

“He had me convinced he was the only one there for me because he had gotten me so isolated from my family and my friends. And I got to the point where I started to believe that.”

Several months passed. The abusive pattern continued until Denise reached her breaking point:

“I would be called names. I’d be torn down. I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion with Randall.”

When, during an argument, Utterback became enraged and broke up with Denise, she said it came as a relief:

“I wanted to get away from him. I had just had enough.”

He dropped his gun in the struggle

But Utterback was stunned when Denise didn’t come crawling back. Denise says he began to stalk her, waiting until she was alone and unprotected.

“Randall hit the back of my car and it ran me off the road. And he told me that if I didn’t take him back, something bad would happen to someone I love. He wanted me to marry him. I told Randall I wouldn’t marry him.”

Utterback was arrested for felonious restraint and aggravated stalking. He was in jail for a week before posting bond. A restraining order barred him from seeing or talking to Denise. By Januray 1994, Denise finally began to relax, but she had let down her guard too soon.

“I was driving home from school and I saw this black car behind me. I didn’t think it was him. I thought it was just some school kids driving home from school. The next thing I know, that car pulls up beside me and it was Randall. Again, he was motioning me to pull over and I wouldn’t. I sped up. And as I sped up, he sped up and went beside me again.”

Randall is still on the loose

Utterback then fired at Denise and ran her car off the road. As she tried to run away, Utterback came after her. Denise tried to spray him with mace. In the struggle, Utterback bit her hand and dropped his gun. He then managed to drag Denise into her car and he drove off with her. According to Denise, Utterback begged her to take him back:

“He said that if I wouldn’t take him back, there was no need for him to live, and then he asked me to kill him. He asked me to stab him through the heart.”

Denise pleaded with Utterback to stop the car. He finally pulled over and fled. Denise’s father and a sheriff’s deputy, along with several other people, gathered around the car. A deputy immediately began to question Denise. He then drove her to the emergency room to have her checked out. On the way, they spotted Utterback in his car. The deputy pulled him over and Utterback was placed under arrest.

Randall Utterback was charged with stalking, felonious restraint, and armed criminal action. He was imprisoned without bond. Several months later, while being transported to the hospital, he managed to escape. He’s still on the loose, a fact that keeps Denise awake at night:

“As of today, I’m still living in fear. I don’t know when he’ll come back, but I have a feeling he will. I don’t go anywhere by myself. I’m just scared he’s going to come back and I won’t be able to convince him a third time to let me go.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season two with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.



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  1. Detective Cynical Sally

    This whole story stinks on ice.
    Let’s start off with this: Why in the first place does a high school girl, daughter of a sheriff’s officer, start dating a 30 year old motorcycle enthusiast? I lay 66% odds on drugs. 33% odds on innocent eccentricity. (I’ll be generous.)
    Everything that the both of them do next is nutcase stuff. Think about it.
    She goes off to school, he browbeats her, so…. she transfers *closer* to him? Right, let’s take her at face value; she was utterly hornswaggled by her overpowering weirdo BF, and she surrenders her free will to him like one of Count Dracula’s thralls. I might buy that; I’ve actually seen people do that. Dumb people, crazy people, drug addicts…. but regardless. It’s possible.
    Here’s the part that sticks with me.
    Who’s paying, now, for this community college?
    “MOM! DAD! I’m dropping out of school. Yes, yes, I need to go move closer to Crazy Guy, so I’m transferring to Crappy Local School instead. I’ll tell you where to send the check…!”
    Do you think Officer Pop took her story at face value?
    Maybe she doesn’t ask her family for help. After all she did say she was ‘isolated from family and friends’ around this time. But who paid? Colleges want dollars up front. And loans aren’t issued to young girls like her with no cosigners. This tells the tale!
    Maybe Crazy BF cosigned a loan. That’d be sporting of him. Might also explain why he hounded her like a madman after she took off, but crazy people don’t always require any reasons for things like that, and there’s no reason to assume he wasn’t crazy.
    Maybe she raised the money on her own. Hmmm. What can a young girl like her do to raise big bucks out of thin air? Hmm, hmm, hmm. Nothing good! Drugs and mental illness become all the more likely if this is the scenario.

    The encounters with the law are a matter of public record, and I’ll take them at face value. Move right along then.

    The guy disappears into thin air afterward. Now, that, there, is some wild stuff. Who on earth manages to pull that one off anymore? In this age of the internet? When you can’t even transfer $ to a PayPal without a SSN?
    If this guy really said and did everything that the segment presented, he’s a totally unstable nut job, and I can’t possibly imagine such an unstable nut job pulling a DB Cooper in the years he was alleged to have done so. Plus, he’d be sloppy enough that he’d get arrested for something else in short order, somewhere. So something must be missing. Here’s my two cents.

    1. Randall Utterback is dead.
    Either he suicided somewhere in a ditch or a river where no one to this day ever thought to look, or else Officer Daddy did the job for him, and no one is gonna tell. Darling Daughter might not even know about it; hell, if I raised a twit like that I wouldn’t trust her with that kind of knowledge.

    2. Randall Utterback has been thoroughly misrepresented by all accounts provided; is a Jason Bourne-esque supergenius who successfully evaded the law, abandoned all ties with his previous life, re-established a new identity off the grid, and never broke a law or lost his marbles ever again.
    That’d be funny, but c’mon. Unsolved Mysteries is chock full of slicker characters who try to do this and get caught, usually quickly, by armchair sleuths such as us in this very comment section.

    No, Randall Utterback is feeding worms, 99% odds. Feel bad for all these people writing in to say they knew the guy and liked the guy. Light a candle at church or something, he probably could use your prayers.
    And this gal?

    Not saying
    August 15, 2017 at 11:31 PM
    Its not made up believe it or not this Denise is my mom. I am 16 years old and my mom told me about this and i cant sleep because of it so i looked it up. Randell i hope you burn in hell.

    Not saying, I figure you can probably rest easy. If your family wasn’t worried about warning you about that dude for sixteen years, there was probably a pretty good reason.


  2. Al

    I’d be willing to bet that Randall is buried on some piece of remote farmland somewhere. My guess is that only Denise’s dad knows where, and he’ll take that to his grave.


  3. Brian

    You have a bunch of people trying to claim that Randall is such a great person. Although not illegal it’s not normal for a 30 year old man to be interested in an 18 year old girl. Because of that FACT alone I’d guess that Randall wanted to be in control almost like a father figure. Just the way I see it. Sorry, something doesn’t seem right with him.


  4. JessicaStewart

    So Randall if you didn’t do it, then stop hiding. Turn your self in and prove your innocent. Your hiding, and that is making you look guilty


  5. Not saying

    Its not made up believe it or not this Denise is my mom. I am 16 years old and my mom told me about this and i cant sleep because of it so i looked it up. Randell i hope you burn in hell.


  6. elizabeth mazzio

    I bet Denise Killed him.


  7. Anonymous

    Wherever he is, I hope he’ll be found and locked away for the rest of his life.


  8. Anonymous

    Denise, I am deeply sorry that you endured this. I myself was in an abusive relationship, and I am lucky to be alive, as are you. Every now and then I pray for any poor woman that my loser, psycho ex may be victimizing. I hope this scumbag Randall is dead now.


  9. Big John Schlong

    I hope Randall has the worst form of testicular cancer there is…..where ever he is.


  10. Adam

    No! The age is wrong. Randall is still in hiding. I’m not surprised he hasn’t been found. Crazy stalkers and drunk drivers (e.g. Gloria Schulze) aren’t a priority for the FBI so they can hide anywhere on the planet because they aren’t wanted by the federal government.


  11. Steph

  12. Jimmy

    Just insane that this guy hasn’t shown up somewhere for 24 years. He’s probably in Samoa or something. Friggin crazy!!!


  13. Kristina

    Just saw the show. Not sure who is telling the truth about what here but it would seem like the statute of limitations are up at this point. I mean it’s been 20 plus years now. I am sure someone knows where this man is.


  14. Jim

    Anyone who actually knows both Randall and Denise knows this whole this was a crock. Randall is the kind of guy that would give you his last dime if you needed it. He was a peaceful man. Denise was young and looking for attention. As it’s been said already you can’t find a single ex of his that indicates any of this behavior was ever displayed before. You can’t find a single person that says they witnessed any of this behavior. She was dragging his name through the mud with false allegations. The only altercations that ever happened were him telling her to stop lying. The fact that so many people risked so much to make sure Randall was able to escape speaks volumes to his character. Nobody ever believed any of this and it’s a shame he had to leave his home, friends and family because of this. If he truly would have done this at some point in the last 20+ years he would have repeated the behavior and been caught. But he hasn’t. Why? Because once again the justice system failed an innocent person.


  15. Tina


    Looks like they got him. Yep, fine outstanding individual.


  16. Jill

    Always someome out there to point the finger at the one that is being abused. Must be her fault right? ! No one knows what goes in a relationship except those two people that are living it! By the way, here’s good ol’ Randall:


  17. Teddy

    Come on! Someone out there must’ve seen that guy before. Did any of you see him wearing glasses like these? He would be 52 years old today. Please leave a tip if you’ve seen him before.


  18. Me



  19. Oliver

    Poor Denise


  20. Esther

    Have you guys seen that man before? Do you know where he’s hiding?


  21. Louanne

    yes it’s made up!! She got pissed off because he would not marry her. Randall Was not in love with the girl! He was still in love with Karen. Said that she was the only girl for him. And he didn’t chase her or stalk her. Why would he stalk a girl or make her enroll in a college near him. He tried to get her to enroll farther away. Randall did not like guns, so why would he have one? And if he told her that he didn’t want to live, just to stab him. Where the hell is the knife in this scenario? You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight! The last time that I talked to Randall, Denise was there & she was as hateful as hateful could be. She is the one that didn’t want Randall to have any friends. And she says she’s living in fear! The only fear she has is that some day the truth will come out. Randall, wherever you are, Happy Belated Birthday, & I hope you are having a Great Life! If you only Knew how many people are behind you in this bull*($# lie. And do think she is doing this out of spite because you would not marry her. I think she was freaking out because she thought her parents would find out that she lied about the schooling & sneaking out to see Randall. Yes, there is abuse in the world, & I feel for them, I really do, But when you have these ones that accuse the innocent, They need to be charged for being a stupid Idiot. Randall, you could be living in my back yard, or in my basement, I would never tell. A lot of people feel this way!! And Danielle, Just to let you know, He is not Dead!


    • Nice try

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you were RAndell or someone real close to him.. I had an abusive ex I had to get a protection order against and when police questioned him he wrote on the report that I was the one who was the abuser when I never once assaulted or stalked him .. The police and everyone believed me of course because I had proof of phone calls texts scars bruises but the abuser will always try to turn it around on the victim.. So again I wouldn’t be surprised if u were close to Randell or Randell himself smh


    • The Desolate One

      You are a repulsive creature. Randall.


  22. miranda shortt

    i donot thinck she made it up atall


  23. Maryann

    Made up story? Really? You really think this girl just “made up” that he shot at her and there was no proof so they railroaded Randall? You have NO IDEA what people are capable of when dealing with human emotions. He might have been a great guy and maybe a saint but something snapped in him. Maybe someone should have tried to get him some help before he took it too far. Who cares if they told each other to ditch their friends for each other? That doesn’t give him the right to attempt to murder a girl because she doesn’t want to be with him. You really think that the ballistics evidence is made up by Denise and the police just took her word for it? Be careful defending someone because you used to play hide and go seek with someone when you were 5 years old. Love makes people to really desperate things.


  24. Stacy Kinkade

    I have known Randall for several years before Randall and Denise got together. He was a nice,caring,loving person. Once him and Denise got together she told him he had to lose all his female friends. So of course we quit talking. I think this is a made up story. I can’t see Randall doing any of this. I have seen Randall with other girls. And when his other girlfriends broke up with him. He never stalked them. I think she made up this story. Cause she knew she would get a lot of attention for a bogus story