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

Left: Randal Utterback with glasses, Right: Randall Utterback with glasses and beard

Randall Utterback

Suspect:

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

CASE DETAILS

Denise Williams with glasses

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.”

Denise being grabbed and pulled into Utterback's red car

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.”

A silver pistol on a dirt floor

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 points his gun at denise while he drives next to her on the road

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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52 Comments

  1. Sam Hess

    Hey Unsolved Mysteries, why even moderate comments if you’re going to approve a troll like “Bogart bogger” to tell the victim’s daughter that her mom deserved it?

    Reply

  2. A C

    The Randal Utterback that was charged in Indiana is spelled with one L.
    This guy spells Randall with two L’s.

    These people getting all worked up over wrong information.

    Reply

  3. A C

    This guy was not caught in Indiana. They’re different people with the same name.

    Reply

  4. Kathy Key

    Those of you defending this loser must be about 14 years old, because you sound like you have no life experience. Guys that are 30 years old who seek out teenage girls are immature, controlling child molesters. What adult man wants to have a conversation with a teenage girl?! Would he really want to talk about hairstyles or fingernail polish?! They want to control her, telling her that he is “older, more mature” that he should listen to him, only HE cares about her. It’s the same old pattern of abusive/manipulative behavior that an older, more experienced woman could see coming a mile away. Why is he hiding? “A guilty man runs when no one pursues…”. Ever heard of that, Randall?!?

    Reply

  5. Big Willy Wacker

    Those who think he got caught in Indiana in 2015 that guy is 57 hed only be 53

    Reply

  6. Truth Police

    Denise was your typical old fashioned pirate hooker. I knew both of them personally while they dated. Everything Denise accused him of she basically was doing. She tried to control and manipulate him and when it didn’t work she used daddy cop pig man to ruin his life. Time to fess up Denise.

    Reply

  7. Barbara

    Please! If a man finds an excellent V-Crank, and you know what I mean, they will flip out if they think any other guy even looks her way! They will try to dominate the girl or woman, stalking, following her, acting a fool. They surely don’t want her around other people, especially other women for fear they may introduce her to other men. I know because I have been through the mess before. It’s just stupid, dumb crap that some men do!

    Reply

  8. S

    I hope they get this guy VERY SOON. He obviously has way too many people feeling sorry for him

    Reply

  9. Jason

    So, with all the drama from other postings on this, there are absolutely NO updates on this case? I guess since Denise wasn’t killed, it’s just an old domestic violence case.
    To the people on here saying how great he was, Randall had a pretty scarry police record. Most “great people” I’ve met haven’t been to prison multiple times.

    Reply

  10. DV Survivor

    It astonishes me after all of the education provided to society today about domestic violence how some people can comment on here and say, “he was the nicest guy who would take his shirt off his back, he’d never be an abuser etc.” I don’t know these people personally, but I do know what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship. The man who abused me is one of the nicest and kindest people would probably tell you. I noticed the kind deeds he did for others in our early stages: stopping in a snow storm to help someone push their car, giving money to a homeless person on the side of the road, giving his lunch to co-workers who were in troubled times so they could eat- he was always kind to others, but behind closed doors it was a totally different story.

    Reply

  11. J_M

    Comment Part 2
    I was on another forum where certain posters were disparaging Utterback’s victim and were defending him– despite the fact she was a naive 18 year old and he was over 30 at the time they started dating. There’s no excuse for stalking, slamming one’s car into an ex’s car, or threatening an ex with a gun.
    My sister had a weird boyfriend like this of whom she thankfully dumped. He was around 30 and she was 17. He was “the cool guy” who acted as a DJ in High School parties. It was the early 1990s at the time and I suppose my parents, who married young, didn’t view it as anything “disturbing”. He turned out to be a control freak, date rapist (I found that out years later) and he subsequently got a 14 year old pregnant.
    I seriously think this guy is a very active online troll who follows his own story online and writes posts to defend himself. It would kind of fit with the extreme and relentless personality disordered behavior he displayed.
    It’s too bad police can’t easily track posters on forums like this to find out their true identities and locations.

    Reply

  12. J_M

    Wow. This page is littered with weird trolls trying to defend this Looney Tune.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if these trolls included Randall himself. You’ll probably find him on reddit’s redpill forum or on incels complaining about “women’s rights”.
    He followed a classic “abusive/controlling older boyfriend” scenario to a T.

    Reply

  13. Someone

    Have the authorities ever looked at his parents financials and phone records?

    Other cases have been solved this way…Family was in contact with/funding a fugitive on the run and they were found due to phone records and money wiring locations.

    Reply

  14. 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.

    Reply

  15. 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.

    Reply

  16. 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.

    Reply

  17. 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

    Reply

  18. 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.

    Reply

  19. elizabeth mazzio

    I bet Denise Killed him.

    Reply

  20. Anonymous

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

    Reply

  21. 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.

    Reply

  22. Big John Schlong

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

    Reply

  23. 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.

    Reply

  24. Steph

  25. Jimmy

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

    Reply

  26. 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.

    Reply

  27. 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.

    Reply

  28. Tina

    http://wibqam.com/news/articles/2015/feb/18/isp-arrest-man-driving-stolen-car/

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

    Reply

  29. 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:
    http://fav-meth-head-of-the-day.com/2015/02/18/same-indiana-state-police-trooper-arrests-randal-utterback-57-of-terre-haute-twice-since-january-had-methamphetamine-first-time/

    Reply

  30. 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.

    Reply

  31. Me

    Welp…

    Reply

  32. Oliver

    Poor Denise

    Reply

  33. Esther

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

    Reply

  34. 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!

    Reply

    • 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

      Reply

    • The Desolate One

      You are a repulsive creature. Randall.

      Reply

  35. miranda shortt

    i donot thinck she made it up atall

    Reply

  36. 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.

    Reply

  37. 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

    Reply