The Devil and Bobbi ParkerDateline NBC
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- 31 Mar 2021
In this Dateline classic, convicted murderer Randolph Dial escapes from prison on a hot summer day in 1994, taking the deputy warden’s wife with him. But was she a kidnapped hostage or a willing accomplice? Edie Magnus reports. Originally aired on NBC on September 21, 2012.
This was an insane world I was living in, I did what I had to do.
What if you were ripped away from your family and you live in fear, the changes you kidnapped by a killer?
I came out of that just really messed up, held for years as a prisoner.
And what if prosecutors never believe you?
Bobby Parker was not the woman that she was portraying herself? Absolutely not. A mystery with a mind boggling twist, this wife and mom taken hostage. Was she really a hostage at all? Their relationship was not one of kidnapper and victim. It was one of husband and wife, his prisoner or his lover. I really do love you. Sounds like a pretty heartfelt love letter. Now she breaks her silence to tell her own story. Will you believe her?
I was fighting for my life. The Devil and Bobby Parker. Welcome to Dateline, everyone, I'm Lester Holt. It's a remarkable case, a mother who was missing for more than 10 years as her family waited, wondered, hoped she had been kidnapped, she said, held captive by a dangerous prisoner. But others believe she was really captive to something else, her own dangerous emotions tonight. See what you think. Which story will you believe? Here's Eddie Magnus.
On April 4th, 2005, a Texas county sheriff near the Louisiana border for there might be a fugitive in his area, I received a telephone call from a local Texas Ranger.
The call let Sheriff Newcome Johnson and his deputies, 65 miles from the nearest big city to a rundown mobile home on a chicken farm, the home of a couple calling themselves Richard and Samantha Deal, if you wanted to hide, is this a good place to do it?
Well, if a person keeps a very low profile, a person could stay out of circulation for a while.
Yes, the deals had been farmhands here for five years until the law descended on their home. What did he say? I knew you were coming. I just didn't know.
When agents found Mrs. Diehl working on another farm just down the road, what shape was she in? She seemed to be fine.
The man and woman were placed in handcuffs, a routine arrest, but it turned out the rest of the story was anything but. That's because Richard and Samantha Deal were not husband and wife at all, but instead the oddest of odd couples.
His real name was Randolph Dial, an escaped convict and self-confessed hitman who claimed to have mob connections and who also happened to be a talented artist and a relentless schemer.
The whole idea after you get to prison is one way or another, do your very best to get out.
And the woman, her real name was Bobby Parker, a schoolteacher, the wife of the deputy warden from the prison where Dayal had escaped more than 10 years earlier. Bobby's friend, Brenda Hickerson shoes and just an amazing person.
She had her life with her family. She volunteered everywhere at school.
What brought these two together and kept them together for more than a decade was a sensational mystery. Back in 2005, everyone was talking, was it a prison break and kidnapping? Was Bobby Parker a hostage?
There was no doubt in my mind that she had been kidnapped by this man or was Bobby Dale's partner in crime. And maybe much more than that.
I said, are you all right? And she says, yes, I'm fine. I'm happy.
The case would ultimately make its way to a courtroom. But in all that time, the one person who has never talked is Bobby Parker herself. That is, until tonight. Nothing made sense.
Nothing but. If you had to pick a woman to star in a sensational, true crime story, you probably wouldn't pick Bobby Parker.
I grew up on a farm in north central Kansas. I had a good childhood. For me, it was just a very normal upbringing.
Bobby went to college just over the border in Oklahoma. That's where she caught the eye of Randy Parker.
She had a way about the way she carried herself, the way she talked, the way she laughed. Do it. Just something really special about her.
He had a balance in his life. He was good for me. He gave me confidence. He added to my life. It just worked.
They married in 1982 and within four years had two little girls. Bobby was a teacher and Randy worked in corrections. At one point, they both worked at the same prison. Randy in administration and Bobby teaching inmates with special needs, began the day we walked in together.
At the end of the day, we walked out together.
Bobby was named Teacher of the Year and Randy moved up the ranks quickly. In 1992, he was named deputy warden at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in a tiny town called Granat. Bobby and Randy lived right on prison grounds just outside the wall.
What was life like in granite? It slowed down for me and my family a little bit, but it was it was good. If there wasn't much happening in Granat inside the prison, it was the opposite. There was a new warden determined to shake things up. His name, Jack Cowley.
I didn't sit behind my desk a lot. I was out in the yard with the guys. I let inmates call me Jack.
And one inmate that got Cowley's attention, Randolph Dial.
He was an unforgettable character, intelligent, manipulative, a quick study, meaning that I wasn't going to have any trouble with him.
So we hit it off.
I was one of the most illustrious and infamous inmates in Oklahoma back then, a murderer who confessed to killing a karate instructor for money and told me to get off of this property.
And I pulled out. Fired wants, yet Dayal was also an accomplished artist, one of his pieces was featured on the set of the old TV series Dallas.
He had all these plans wanting to do something with his art. I wanted to promote the institution and inmate.
The warden decided to start an art program where inmates would make pottery to sell. Dyle would run it from the Parkers garage. Now, in order to do this, he was going to have to be allowed outside the wall.
And in order to do that, he had to have his security clearance lowered to minimum security status. Right. What did you know about him?
I knew that he was a murderer. He made that clear to everybody.
He was said to be very charming, charismatic. I'm not sure who put that out. You didn't find him charming or charismatic.
Now, with time on her hands, Bobby offered to help sell the inmates pottery, and Dayal was eager to teach her the art of making ceramics.
Take started in the garage and I told him I would prefer it out front. Why did you not want to learn it in the garage? I wasn't comfortable. With him, yes, it's never good to be one on one. With an inmate, it never is. Nevertheless, she once drove Dayal into town by herself to meet shopkeepers, a truck she says was OK'd by Warden Cowley. Did it strike you as odd that you were being given permission to take a convicted murderer off the prison grounds?
Not long after that one hot August morning, Bobby Parker's life turned upside down.
I just remember being woozy and not feeling good, thinking I was going to be sick. And then it was shortly later than down in front of me dial.
The convicted murderer was in her home. I remember thinking, what? What are you doing in here? But then it happened so quickly.
He was there, pulled me up, and then my legs went out from under me.
And the next thing Bobby says she remembers is waking up and well, it doesn't make a lot of sense. She was somehow driving somewhere in Texas. She says DILE was crouched on the floor pointing a knife at her. I had blood on my arm and on my leg. By that evening, Bobby's husband, Randy, and the whole prison began to realize Bobby was missing, along with convicted killer Randolph Dial. What did you imagine had happened?
Everything from her being kidnapped to her being killed.
Everything that was bad had Bobby Parker been kidnapped, when we come back inside her decade long drama, it messes with you mentally when the devil and Bobby Parker continues.
Nothing made sense in the environment that I lived in, in the world I lived in. It was insanity.
On August 30th, 1994, Bobby Parker, wife of the deputy warden at a prison in Oklahoma, says she somehow found herself in Texas with a convicted killer.
Randolph Dial, serving a life sentence, had broken out of prison and escaped in the ParkerVision, and he took Bobby with him. She says she's not sure how it happened, that he may have drugged her and he had a knife.
I just remember at some point there was blood on me, blood on my arm and on my leg, and I wanted to get those covered. He took me to a store, bought a few items, and I was able to make a phone call later.
Some would find it odd. Bobby called her mother, not her husband, at the prison. She says she was happy to be calling anyone.
Making a phone call to me was a good thing because I was hoping it could be traced back in Granat.
Bobby's husband, Randy, was coming to terms with the fact that his wife was missing and so was a convicted murderer. It's just mind numbing.
Just get through the day and, you know, make sure the girls are doing OK.
The Parker girls were eight and 11.
I just told them the truth. She's missing. She's gone. They were devastated. The community was devastated.
Yellow ribbons, prayer vigils and a huge manhunt ensued. Dial was on the FBI's most wanted list.
Meanwhile, Bobby says she was in a Texas motel at the mercy of Randolph Dial.
He bound my wrist, he bound my ankles, and he beat me with his belt. It was a very severe beating, very severe. But I remember him saying is this is nothing compared to what the people I know can and will do to you.
What did he say he would do if you tried to get away?
He would either phone me or my family. And he would harm them, kill them by this time they ditched her van, she says Dial, who claimed to have mob connections, managed to get a hold of some cash and a gun.
He put it to my head and he said, this is what happens if you don't cooperate. And I just I nodded. I wanted to get home.
Instead, they boarded a bus for Houston, where she says Dyle locked her in an abandoned apartment, tied her up and forced alcohol and drugs on her.
He has complete control over everything, everything he's feeding you, bathing, you know, cleaning me, having his way with you sexually when he wants.
By instrumentation. Yes. Meaning by objects. Right. By instrumentation. It is a violent act. It degrades you. It embarrasses you, humiliate you. It messes with your mental days passed, then weeks, then months time. Just rain together, I didn't know always what day of the week it was, it didn't matter.
Eight months after Bobby's disappearance in April 1995, the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed.
The FBI focused its resources on that case, the hunt for Randolph Dial and Bobby Parker long since Cole was quietly back. Bernard.
Every time I'd hear of a body being found, you know, I'd hold my breath and like but I just wouldn't accept she was dead.
By now. Bobby and Dayal were working on a small farm in East Texas style, calling himself Richardville and introducing Bobby as his wife Samantha to survive.
I became Samantha. And who was Samantha Deal? She was lonely.
Hurt and trying to make it day to day, minute to minute, when you would approach another human being, did you want to just shout out, I'm being held against my will get me out of here? Actually, I became fearful if I did something that was not approved. The revenge of Dial was great.
Dial seemed ever more confident in 1997, after three years on the lam, he started a pottery company called Terra Cotta Gardens.
Now advertise that on the radio, did an interview on the radio.
Unbelievably, the attention led to an invitation for the fugitive killer to speak at a women's luncheon at a local country club that are very near and dear to my heart.
Where were you while he was out front entertaining the ladies who lunch?
I was back at the trailer, tied up from their dial, and Bobby went to work on an industrial chicken farm owned by Deborah Grace.
She never doubted they were married, but she could see Dayal was abusive.
He was like, I can beat her. She's my wife. I can beat her. And I said, No, not on my farm. You know, I tried to talk her into coming to the house and she wouldn't go. She just kept saying, no, no, no, he wouldn't like it.
In 2000, Bobbie, and moved again to another bigger chicken farm. Bobby's daughters were teenagers. Now she'd missed five anniversaries with Randy.
There are times that the loneliness was so great that my body would physically ache.
And she says Dayal never ceased his campaign of terror, killing two of her dogs to punish her one right before her eyes. He shot the dog. Then he blamed me for it. It was just the dog. But to me, it's family. Only once, says Bobby, did she openly defy him.
Dyle artist turned killer turned fugitive had already been the subject of a true crime book. And one night he decided to phone the author, an ex cop named Charles Sasser.
He says, for the last seven years, we've been making an honest living. We're living a happy country life.
We SACEUR figured included Bobby Parker, but he wanted proof that she was still alive and he said, of course he's still alive.
Do you want to? I was in bed sleeping and he told me he was going to put me on the phone and I said, I'm tired, I'm really tired and reach back here for his gun. And I just put my hand up. I said and he told me, just stick to the questions. I didn't ask you.
But even with Dial right next to her, Bobby says she dared to go off script.
After all, SACEUR was a former detective. This might be her chance. I said, Have you seen my children?
I knew I'd probably be Beatport, but sometimes that's a horrific.
I thought he would say, would you like me to make a phone call to him? And he didn't. Still, she says, the conversation filled her with hope.
I thought the FBI will be here, surely. Charles SACEUR. We'll call them and they'll be here, Sasser did call the FBI, but he didn't know where Bobby and Dial were. No one came.
Bobby says she was broken, resigned to her fate, and the years dragged on until one day in spring 2005 when her life took another wild turn.
Coming up, a rescue is in the works or was it a rescue at all? Deputies are about to discover something odd.
They picked up a lot of Valentine cards. Valentine's Day when Dateline continues.
Mr Dow had had a violent past, best opportunities of success is to hit hard and fast.
It was April 4th, 2005. Bobby Parker and Randolph Dial had been missing for 10 years, seven months and five days. Bobby was just finishing up work at a chicken farm near her home.
She had no idea the place was surrounded by cops.
I was greeted with three law enforcement officers in assault gear. What's the first thing you told them? My name. I actually said my name for the first time and so long. It was a good feeling, but it was the oddest feeling because I had not used Bobby Parker for so long.
An anonymous tipster had called authorities after seeing the long, cold case on America's Most Wanted. And just like that, Bobby Parker was free.
It was a wonderful feeling. It was. This is over. This is over, Randy Parker, still working for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, was home that night when he got a frantic call from his boss and says, I pick up the phone.
He said, I'm coming to get you. And he said, Bobby's been found. So all I could think about was getting to Texas as a kid.
Randy anxiously drove six hours through the dark to East Texas while Bobby spent a tearful night in a hotel with then deputy sheriff Donna Clayton.
It was just a mixture of so many different emotions, you know, the the fear, the anticipation, but yet being afraid to get excited about seeing your husband and family, because you know what? If they didn't want her anymore.
And finally, the moment arrived after more than a decade, husband and wife were reunited in a hotel lobby.
I just walked up to her and the arms around her tell her she was going to be OK.
Now, it it's very natural to see him to talk to. The hugging, did you see any doubt in his eyes? No. You took her back, no questions asked. It was a little taken aback. It was to go get her and bring her back home where she belonged, taking her back. You don't like those words?
Not not for me, no. I don't like those words. Why not? Because it sounds it sounds like I'm doing her a favor when the fact is, is she's my wife. She's been missing. She's been found finally. And I'm going to go get her and bring her home.
The following day, Bobbie and Randy return to Oklahoma. She saw her daughter's little girls when she last seen them. Now young women, almost 19 and 22. Randy says they lowered the shades to keep the world out to try to heal.
Did you ask her anything about what she had been through now and now that I tell her that?
We would start today and move forward, but he could see that Bobby was different, she would say, I'm going to get a Coke, can I have one if I'm going to go to bars?
Said, OK, she was still acting like a prisoner. Yes, she was.
It certainly seemed like a triumph of survival and love, except for something the sheriff remembered.
The only thing that I heard her say to Mr Dow was, I'm not cooperating. I'm not cooperating, not cooperating with the authorities. Why would Bobby say that after being kidnapped, raped and tortured by Randolph Dial for years? Tell Daryl I'm not cooperating. But what did that mean? If it came out in the paper that I was cooperating, I felt like my family would still be in harm.
So maybe Bobby was still afraid of Dial. Or maybe she had other reasons for saying she was not cooperating with law enforcement.
Along with her odd statement, deputies were finding odd things in that trailer.
They picked up a lot of cards and like Valentine cards, Christmas cards, letters, Valentine's Day, which just fueled the suspicions a lot of people had harbored all along.
You don't buy the victim narrative on any level.
Not for a minute. When we come back, a whole new ordeal was about to begin. Was the victim now a suspect? Oh, my gosh, this cannot be happening when the devil and Bob Parker continues. Randolph Dial, the convicted killer who busted out of prison, was back behind bars. His hostage, Bobby Parker, was reunited with her family after more than 10 years as Dale's captive. It seemed like a happy ending to an incredible story.
But from the day Bobby disappeared, some people had doubts about what really happened to her. One of them was her husband's former boss, Warden Jack Cowley.
Did you suspect Bobby Parker had a hand in it right away?
I was drawn to that conclusion.
It was Cowley, remember, who picked Dayal to run the pottery program out of the Parker's garage. Then one day, he now says he was driving by the Parker home.
And I saw Dale and Bobby out on the front porch drinking coffee or tea or something, and they looked a little bit too cozy.
But then there were the phone calls from Bobby just after the prison break. She called her mother and she made two more calls soon after that to a friend and her sister in law, but none to her husband. What did you think about that?
I first of all, I thought it was a relief. I thought it was good that she was able to make a phone call. I didn't think that she would be calling home because I just didn't figure it would let her.
Maybe Randy wasn't suspicious, but plenty of others were, including Charles Sasser, the former detective who'd written a book on Randolph Dial.
Dale started out tending the warden's garden. He turned the warden ceramic shop in and apparently ended up tending the warden's wife.
Sasser recalled that night in 2001, seven years after the escape, when Dale called him and offered to put Bobby on the telephone.
I said, Are you all right? And she says, Yes, I'm fine. I'm happy.
Did she sound at all like she was saying she was happy because a kidnapper was standing?
She knew that she did not sound stressed to me at all. According to an Oklahoma district attorney, John Wampler, that conversation fit a pattern.
There were just multiple opportunities that she had to make some effort to contact the authorities or to tell somebody that she needed help. How could you be gone from your children for 11 years and never contact them, never make an attempt to get away?
And now, as deputies searched the trailer where Dayal and Bobby had lived, they were finding evidence suggesting that maybe it took so long to find Bobby because she didn't want to be found.
There were cards, Valentine's Day cards and things like that that she had given Randolph dial.
They also developed a roll of film which showed photos of Bobby smiling. Hardly the picture of an abused woman being held against her will. And they found this letter to dial in Bobby's handwriting.
She talked about her love for Randolph Dial, how much they had enjoyed being together. It certainly spoke volumes about the relationship that they had at that point.
It wasn't just the letter, it was the circumstances that led to it. Bobby wrote it after Dale was hospitalized for a heart attack in 2004. That's right. Dale had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital and Bobby stayed by his side.
There was just tons of evidence to show that that their relationship was more than someone living in fear every day of her life. It was a loving relationship and it was one of husband, wife. I mean, that's basically how they were living down there.
Or so it seemed to investigators who searched their mobile home.
The trailer house had two bedrooms, but only one of the bedrooms was obviously being used.
There were condoms and a vibrator found in one of her drawers.
And D.A. Wampler said he'd found evidence this was not the first time Bobby had been involved with an inmate.
One prisoner told investigators he'd had an affair with Bobby at the same prison where she was named Teacher of the Year.
In her previous roles at the other institutions, she probably was closer to many of the prisoners than she should have been.
Remember how Bobby said she couldn't recall how she and Dayal left the prison that day? Well, an inmate came forward to say he did remember and Bobby was driving.
He didn't notice that she was drugged or acting funny, didn't see anything. And Randolph Dial's had no big knives or anything like that. He saw Bobby driving. He saw her look over at him and and some funny look in her eye.
You know, it was kind of a startle. Look, she looked at him for several seconds, you know, and then then drove off.
Why was she in the van at all? The D.A. wondered Dial, he said, didn't need her, he had the freedom to roam the prison grounds without anyone checking on him, so all he had to do was walk away.
If Dayal didn't need Bobby, maybe D.A. Wampler said it was the reverse.
Your feeling was that Bobby Parker was not the woman that she was portraying herself? Absolutely not.
In April 2008, on the third anniversary of Bobby Parker's liberation from a Texas chicken farm, the district attorney filed felony charges against her for assisting Randolph Dial's escape from prison. What was your reaction? Oh, my gosh, this cannot be happening.
Coming up, from abducted two accused Bobby Parker speaks at last on the question she's never answered.
Did you fall in love with Randolph Dial when Dateline continues? In 2008, three years after being reunited with her family, Bobbi Parker went from helpless hostage to alleged accomplice. She was charged with helping convicted murderer Randolph Dial break out of prison.
I didn't know they were still investigating. So the day they brought charges. It was a shock she faced up to 10 years in prison. There was talk of a plea deal, but Bobby was adamant. I said no plea because I would have to plead guilty to something that I didn't do.
The case didn't go to trial for another three years. In 2011, the state argued Bobby had plenty of chances over the years to leave dial, but didn't because she didn't want to.
I think Bobby Parker perhaps had a not a perfect marriage. Maybe she was lonely. Maybe she was susceptible to a nice looking, very smooth talking con man like Randolph.
Down at the trial, the state called former detective and author Charles Sasser, who told jurors his take on his 2001 phone call with Dayal and Bobby, she was with him willingly and that they were living this happy country life.
And, you know, it was almost like his ideal that they're together and they're happy together. That former inmate from years earlier testified about his affair with Bobby. The other inmate in Granite said he'd seen Bobby driving during the escape.
And Randy's former boss, Warden Jack Cowley, testified about his observations that Bobby and Dale seemed too cozy.
You took the stand for the prosecution. Mm hmm. Why? Because because I thought she's guilty, Bobby's attorney, Garvin Isaacs, put on an impassioned defense, I took this case because Bobby Parker's an innocent woman who's wrongfully accused of a crime she didn't commit.
Isaacs told jurors the state's case was built on faulty speculation, outright fabrication and the suspicious testimony of convicted felons.
For instance, that inmate who claimed he'd seen Bobby drive Daniel off the prison grounds.
The defense showed he changed his story multiple times.
And the inmate who claimed he'd had an affair with Bobby, the defense proved he was mentally ill. His story, a complete fantasy.
This most outrageous case I've ever been involved in. It's a great miscarriage of justice.
The defense couldn't call Randolph Dial to the stand. Dial had died behind bars before Bobby was even charged. Instead, her attorney told the jury Dayal had said or written about 100 times that he kidnapped Bobby Parker.
Bobby did not go with you. Will not talk to. Now, I was the hostage taker and I. I'll probably live to regret it.
Then the defense tried to put someone else on trial. Warden Jack Cowley. Jack Cayley's an incompetent ward.
Defense attorney. Isaac showed the jury a psychological report written about Dayal three years before the escape. It described Dayal as dangerous, with an extreme talent for manipulation. The report warned against letting Dayal do his art around women as he would inevitably begin to skim.
The head of security told Jack Kelley, you need to read the psychological report. And Kelley said to him, You mind your business. I'm running the show.
The Parkers say they never saw the report before Cowley put Dale's pottery studio in their garage.
You didn't have any qualms about Randolph? Not one qualm whatsoever.
And it came out at trial that in the years after the escape, Cowley got two tips about where Dayal and Bobby were, but never told the FBI the way my philosophy was.
He's not doing anything wrong in terms of committing other crime. So they're they're living their lives.
And you were OK with that? I was I was content with it.
Even though he's a convicted murderer and you're a warden and you get a call that he's out on the streets, Bobby will say, if he could have helped me, oh, he could have told this to someone and and maybe I could have been found two years in instead of ten years.
And then maybe that's true.
Maybe it is my fault. I mean, is that where we're going? That may have been where Bobby's lawyer wanted to go, but the warden was not on trial.
Bobby was, and she chose not to testify.
Bobby was not ready. It's too traumatic. She's better now. She better every day.
So when we interviewed Bobby Parker, we asked questions, the jurors and countless others who had wondered if she was a victim or an accomplice wanted to hear.
Did you fall in love with Randolph Dial?
No. No. Did you help him plan and escape to get out of prison?
No. Did you live with him as his lover? No. Coming up, Bobby Parker explains it all.
I mean, the man is having a heart attack in a hospital, and even then you don't leave.
What will a jury think? What will you do when Dateline continues?
Bobby Parker, the deputy warden's wife, she said she'd been kidnapped, held hostage for more than 10 years by an escaped convict. Now she was on trial for helping him break out of prison. Bobby did not take the stand, but did take our questions.
Why didn't you just take off? You could have gotten off and gotten help. You felt like there was no law enforcement agent who would be able to help out.
No, I didn't feel that way. I knew the consequences of what would happen to me and my family. I just knew it. You're certain about what will happen. And that's what people don't understand.
I couldn't get past the fear within me. The voice within me, couldn't you dash off a letter just letting your family know you were alive? But I didn't have permission. I had to have permission to do everything. At one point, he had a heart attack.
I mean, you understand how that looks, right? The man is having a heart attack in a hospital, and even then you don't leave.
He was still alive. I just couldn't take that chance. I just couldn't do it.
One of the things that they found where you were living was a letter that you wrote after his heart attack. We've had a great ride.
Let us enjoy life, celebrate living for it is so short. God placed me in your path for a reason. Sounds like a pretty heartfelt love letter. I was fighting for my life.
You can understand how people would look at this. I understand that completely.
I really do love you. This was an insane world. I was living in nothing. Made sense in the environment that I lived in, in the world, I lived in nothing. But I did what I had to do, Bobby says emphatically, despite how officers thought it looked in that trailer, she and Dial were never a couple. They never slept in the same bed. The vibrator was a gag gift never used. And the condoms, she says, part of the rapes.
Did you ever stop to consider that maybe all of his threats were empty threats? I think my intuition was pretty right. I think he was a very dangerous man. I think he would retaliate. All you knew was what he was telling. Yes. And I had to sort through that.
He spoke in half truths. The jurors did not hear Bobby speak of these things. But after 11 weeks of testimony and 13 hours of deliberation, they did arrive at a verdict. As the jury filed back into the courtroom, Bobby says she was hopeful there was actually no credible evidence, but that hope quickly evaporated.
The jurors found her guilty. Were you shocked? Yes. Yes, I think everybody in the courtroom was shocked. You had 38 defense witnesses and the jurors didn't believe them. Now they believe any of my guess. The district attorney thought justice was done.
It was just a sense of relief that, you know, that we had prevailed on it. There were those who thought you should have had the warden on trial as well. Yeah, I don't doubt that personally.
I think he is to blame to some extent for allowing an environment within the prison as far as security is concerned, that would allow something like this to happen.
I don't think he's, you know, personally responsible for it. I mean, Bobby Parker's the one that made the decision to go with him.
The warden says his policies were not the problem, that it was Bobby who ran off with an inmate.
Am I going to sit here and say that Bobby Parker's a victim? No. Never in a million years, and maybe that's just because I want to justify my decision, maybe who knows why? I don't think so. I think I'm a pretty good judge of character. No, Bobby Parker's not a victim. And we have a jury. That agrees with me immediately after the verdict, Bobby was sentenced to one year in prison. The judge sent her directly to jail, declaring her a flight risk.
Family members said, please don't take her. And I said to them, I know this sounds odd. I'll be just fine. I've lived in captivity for so long. I'll be fine, Bobby has now served her time and is trying to clear her name despite the guilty verdict, Randee believes his wife is innocent and is angered by those who don't.
It's easy to sit back in a normal, safe environment when everyone nobody's threatening you, when you're not being hurt, when you're not having any problems at all. And to be tough. But face a situation where you fear for your life or you believe whether it's true or not, it doesn't matter to her it was real and I believe that to her it was real.
What do you personally make of the fact that this woman, who you absolutely believe fell in love with a prisoner, helped him bust out of jail, lived with him in a loving relationship for 10 years on the lam, was reunited immediately with her husband and they have never been apart since.
I can't explain it. I mean, to me, it makes no sense. I loved my husband and I love my husband now. We had a good marriage. Still have a good marriage. Do you think your marriage will survive this?
Well, yeah. And no doubt that we'll survive two and a half years of separation.
They survived a trial prison when no one else there could be. That's all for now. I'm Lester Holt, thanks for joining us.