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So Tom and Kathy decide they are going to leave Florida, where tom had the ability to play golf year round and move back to the Boston area to raise a family.


Dad was doing all of the semi pro tours. They both had jobs, lived in a really nice house. I actually saw a photo of it for the first time last week, and it was a pretty big sized ranch on some land.


I wonder how he was thinking about that decision at the time, knowing that to be a professional athlete, he would be published in newspapers, he would be higher profile. It just always seems like he finds a way over the course of his life to fly under the radar.




That'S something that I don't think I had ever really thought about until you brought it up. It's the early 80s. That's only a little over a decade after the crime, and he would have been pretty visible. He sort of got to that point where the next step would have been, I'm going on these tours. I'm going to be on everybody's tv in the whole country. Somebody might have recognized him. Yeah, or like, one of his high school friends being like, wait, that's that guy I went to school with who went missing. He's a golfer now. Finding Ted Conrad was John Elliott's mission. And could you imagine if he watched? Mean, that would have been terrible if that's how he'd caught him. I mean, for me as my dad's child. But what a moment. John Elliott sitting around with his family, being like, hey, it's the masters weekend. Let's watch some golf. And I can almost hear him being like, son of a bitch, that's Ted Conrad.


It's a little tragic, though, too, when you think about it. Like, tom had a true talent.


It was almost like he had to stay one moment away from greatness, because then people would know who he was.


So they're back on the north Shore near Kathy's family and ready to start.


Their own family, and he ends up kind of falling into the car business. I think he knew a couple guys who were selling volvos in Boston. You're not subjected to a huge round of background checks. I think the only thing he had to show was that he had a valid driver's license. Because you have to be able to drive cars to work at a car dealership.


It just seems like everything he does is measured in some way.


It's like he got used to only telling half truths and that he always kept things close to the vest for his protection. But then that started to bleed over into the rest of his life.


From neon hum Media and Sony music Entertainment, this is smokescreen, my fugitive dad. I'm Jonathan Hirsch.


And I'm Ashley Randall.


Chapter four the ringer. It's a cold winter day in Wakefield, Massachusetts, when I arrive at Kathy's house. Patches of snow are still scattered across the damp grass in front of the house. It's a small blue house, single story, with units that split to the left and to the right. On the left, Ashley. On the right, Kathy. They live next door to each other. Something that really struck me was how committed Tom was to being a dad. You know, like, once he became one, he was all in.


We got back in September, and I got pregnant that September. Tom would have taken over the whole thing if he could. He just couldn't do enough because I wasn't working. And I'd sleep through the night, and I'd say, you didn't get me up to nurse her. Well, Noma gave her a bottle. As soon as he came home, he took over. If he hadn't had your bath yet, he'd give you a bath, he'd give you a bottle.


I didn't know any of that. Really?


Oh, gosh, yeah. He adored you.


I just want to point out how unique it is that Tom, even though he was working 60, 70 hours weeks in this era, was the kind of dad who also was so focused on being a parent when he was home.


It's almost like, and I'm not a parent, so this is my speculation that I think you see what your parents do, and you either learn what to do or you learn what not to do. I almost feel like.


Not almost.


I do. I feel like he wanted to give me the childhood and life that he so desperately wished he could have had, and so he was going to be ultimate dad.


Tom's wanting to be a super dad is sweet, aspirational, wholesome. It's also an observation Ashley can make. Now, back then, the way Tom and Kathy were as a couple, the way that Tom was with Ashley, it was assumed that this guy was an extra dad and husband just because. Which leads me to a question I don't think either Ashley or myself or the people in his life can answer. Why? Why was he so driven to be the ideal dad? Wasn't being a great dad enough?


Growing up, part of my bedtime routine was that after my dad would get me all tucked into bed, he would always sing me a song. A-S-H-L-E-Y she's the one for me. And the song that he sang was actually this lullaby. That he had written for me and it spells out my name and he sings about how special I am. And there was always a moment to put in the fun things we did that day. And it was like, and I love Ashley. And it was not until years later that I realized that, no, that's not a thing that every kid has. Ashley. Oh my Ashley.


But at some point as you start to get older, there invariably is going to come a moment when your parents stop being cool.


Yeah, I think every kid maybe hits that age and it's in middle school or definitely by high school where they're like, oh my God, you're so embarrassing. Draw me off around the block. And that just so never happened with my dad. Like, never embarrassing to be around and not even just for me. My friends loved that he would pick them up to drive them to school.


Was it because he was driving like, a fancy car from the dealership?


I mean, he did have nice cars, but it was not the car. It was the music that dad was playing in the car. His big thing was whatever the hottest pop song was at the time, and it is burned in my brain forever in. I think it was like 93. There was a dance remix of that song, total eclipse of the heart. And for like two months he'd be waiting. It was always Thursdays. He'd be a block away from the school and he'd have all the windows down and you would have that turned up to eleven hanging out the window, singing along. And I'm sure this sounds mortifying to some people listening, but it was just the coolest thing ever. And it would be like, it's Tom's day. It's total eclipse of the heart. And I'm now in my late thirty s and I will still get text messages out of the blue from high school friends who will be like, oh my God, total eclipse. The heart came on today and all I can think of is your dad. I love him.


So by the time Ashley was in high school, it was the late 90s. Tom was in his late forty s and living his best life. At least that's how it looked. No one ever assumes the person who seems to have it all together is also struggling the most. He'd found a way to live comfortably and to be himself without anyone, even the people closest to him having the faintest notion of his past.


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Infamous is all about the famous people in America and the story behind their stories. Today, Taylor Swift is renowned for her independence and strength, but when she was a girl, she was a very different person. I'd rather enjoy this than spend every single minute being afraid of losing it. We're playing exclusive, never before heard tapes of Taylor from before she was a superstar on Infamous. Listen to infamous wherever you get your podcasts.


From the time Kathy and Tom moved back to the north Shore in the really for the rest of his career, Tom worked for car dealerships, and this afforded me the distinct pleasure of meeting a whole host of people in what they call the car business, specifically two of his closest friends over the years, Frankie, Frank del Torto and David.


David Senseulo.


Frankie grew up in the area, played baseball in college. When he came home, he needed a.


Job, and this gentleman had a stutter. And Chris says, I'm going to go sell some cars for my brother. I'm going to make for 40,000 a year. And I looked at Chris and I said, chris, if you're going to make 40, I'm going to make 80.


David ended up getting a job there too. This was decades ago. They're golfing buddies now. David's life before the car business was a bit more colorful. He grew up in Boston's north end.


The north end was an italian section, very poor, but it was mafia driven, the whole, I mean, just like out of the movies. Then I moved from the north end to Somerville and my friends would say, wow, I had a nickname, scoochie. And they said, scoochy's moving to the country.


Around the time Kathy and Tom moved back to the Boston area in the mid 80s, David moved back too, and he ended up at a dealership.


The guys that are really good in the car business that make a lot of money and do well, they have no interest in cars. They don't do anything for me because we always drove new cars for free. And that was the only perk in the whole thing except working 60, 70 hours a week. And that's where I met Tom.


What kind of car salesman was Tom?


He was the good kind.


By good, David doesn't mean he made the most money. Tom built this reputation among the people that I talked to, that he was this calm, collected guy. He played the long game with customers.


He wasn't very pushy. He was articulate. His voice was very distinctive. Very low voice, low keyed. Well, we'll figure this out. Let's be calm and let's think about it.


He was not the type of salesman who would creep around the lot looking for a new customer to descend on, sell a car to real quick.


Tom was a great guy. He took his is. We used to say, time is money.


So Tom was a bit of an anomaly among the people he worked with. He wasn't a drinker.


Very rarely did he ever drink. Only once. I got him to drink only once. And I drank a lot.


I used to drink at work. He mostly drank diet Dr. Pepper and smoked menthol cigarettes, Salem's the ones in the green box.


And he was the kind of guy, he never ate. He never ate lunch. Very, very. It's Tom. Want to have lunch? No. I got my burner and I got my diet Dr. Pepper.


He was the kind of guy who would wait in the background, was very calm, get to know you. He didn't try to sell you a car on the same day he met you. He'd wait a couple of days because he was building a relationship.


Somebody that wasn't going to buy a car. He could spend hours with them. Well, someday they'll come in and buy one, and they'll hopefully buy it from me. He was the gentleman. He was easy. He was nonchalant. He wasn't pushy. He wasn't your average regular car salesman.


And in a way, it sort of reminds me of how people who knew him when he was young described him. Kind of jock. Professor Ted Conrad was this charming, casual guy, too.


He just made you feel at ease.


And he didn't care if, you know.


The star football player or just some kind of schlub that was carrying water.


He just treated everybody the same.


And certainly not all the people that Tom Randall worked with were like this.


I used to say to him, what the fuck are you doing in this business? I said, you're a bright, you're articulate, you're smart. You just have all the qualities. You could do anything you want to do instead of working 1214. Me, I'm a city kid. I'm a street kid. But him, he was a different breed. I say, why are you doing this? He said, you know, I look at it now, David, he goes, you know, I like go. What do you like about know? It's a tough business. It's a grind.


A lot of the guys that he hung out with were these eccentric, larger than life personalities. They had a really hard time understanding why a guy like Tom chose to be a car salesman. The feeling I got talking to the car guys was, we really like Tom, but we have no idea why he isn't a college professor or a pro golfer. Like, why the car business never added up. But they were happy he was around. It was a pretty low profile way to make decent money, and it wasn't the type of job Tom took home with him. But also by the 90s, seems to me Tom didn't really seem concerned about keeping a low profile. There was even a tv commercial for the dealership with Tom's face on it. By now, he'd set up a life where he could make a living focusing on the things that mattered most to him, his wife, and, of course, his kid, but also golf. A mile and a half from the Randall's family home on Carter Road is Sagamore golf course. 4200 yards and 18 holes that snakes through tall and dense forests of Massachusetts pine. This was Tom's church, his home course.


All of the guys that worked with him and played golf with him said the same thing. Tom was the best golfer they had ever met.


We used to play in golf tournaments. You wanted Tom on your team because he's a ringer. He was unreal. He'd have a cigarette in his mouth. He'd tee it up. He'd have the butt hanging out of his mouth and blasted 300 yards. It was just unbelievable. Meanwhile, I'm struggling trying to hit a friggin 150, but it just unreal.


And he was patient. Tom would help you with your golf game. He was there to cheer you on. He literally could help people improve their game over the phone. He didn't even have to see what they were doing wrong. He just had this knack for teaching others about the game itself. It wasn't that. He was just good at it. He was kind of a sage. And a lot of his friends told me about this phrase he would use over and over.


He'd just drop ten balls down and grab my hands and say, you got to do it soft, frank. You got to flex and flow.


You got to flex and flow. Flex and flow. He just had this way of speaking to you.


But none of these guys were above ribbing him for just being different. It was clear that he stood out and, in a way, maybe didn't belong but everybody wanted him there.


Even at work, I'd never seen him get upset. And we used to have fist fights on the frickin'showroom, fights, chairs, yelling. Oh, my God, the stuff that I could. I could do a podcast myself. He never, ever. We used to argue, all screaming and yelling at each other. Now, David, he didn't get riled, never got upset, never lost his temper.


Warning. This podcast contains juicy tales of a super dysfunctional family. Brothers betraying brothers, friends becoming enemies, and a mother trying her best to keep everything from falling apart. No, this isn't a reality tv rewatch. I'm Dan Jones, your host, and this is one of my all time favorite true stories. Join me on a trip to the middle ages to meet history's most dangerous dynasty, the plantagenets. This season, the plots are thicker, the ambitions greater, and the betrayals are even more devious in the epic saga of the family that shaped our world from something else in Sony music entertainment, this is history. A dynasty to die for. Season two. Listen and follow on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Amazon music, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.




Remember, while Tom has settled into his life on the north shore, the investigation into Ted Conrad went on even after decades of scouring the country in search of him. John Elliott retired from the US marshal service after 23 years without closing the Conrad case.


My dad was very proud to be a deputy us. Marshal, but he's also very frustrated. So I grew up the son of a frustrated deputy US marshal.


Typically, the marshal service is filled with people all the way up to deputy U. S. Marshal with long careers in law enforcement. The top position, though the US marshal rarely is that a know.


I can remember my dad coming home, being angry sometimes coming home and slamming his gun down, just being mad. And know with his boss in that.


Position, it wasn't for a lack of trying. John spent his whole career positioning to become U. S. Marshal.


They'd never even look at him. They'd always pass him. I could just know for know, being Catholic, praying to God that, hey, just please give my father this position. Jesus, please. And it just never transpired.


This is the part in the story where Father John Elliott and son Pete become deeply intertwined. Pete, just like his dad, went into law enforcement. He worked in narcotics for many years, and eventually, like pops, joined the marshal service in the same district as John, northern Ohio, stationed in Cleveland. And following in his dad's footsteps, his dad's dreams kind of became his dreams, too.


So when we make the arrest on Conrad, my dad's going to be the one that handcuffs him and brings him back here. So that was the plan. That was our plan. Obviously, it wasn't God's plan. It was our plan. So you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plan. Right.


The father son team, fulfilling John's lifelong dream of taking down Ted Conrad together. Catching Ted Conrad wasn't the only thing Pete wanted to do for his dad.


I, at that time, spent 20 years in law enforcement. But I always had this vision of become the US marshal here in northern Ohio. And I really wanted to kind of fulfill my dad's dreams because he always wanted to be the marshal.


John had been a deputy marshal for his whole career, but never made it to become the top cop. He was passed up for the job three times. The US marshal job is a presidential appointment.


Around before 2000 that I thought to myself, I'm a federal agent. I spent 20 years on the streets. I spent four years working undercover narcotics. Why don't I try to get that job?


With two decades of experience in law enforcement, it was time. But even with all of Pete's successes, he'd even stopped a terrorist organization in his career. He got passed over, too.


So they took this other individual, and I could remember how I felt calling my dad. And my dad would say one thing over the years that just bugged the heck out of me. He'd always say, just keep on trying. It's like, oh, what do you mean, keep on trying? I'm done. He said that whether it was baseball or whether it was just life in.


General, just keep trying, keep trying, keep trying. I have to imagine is what John told himself all those years in search of Ted. One of these days, it'll work out for you. In the end, though, the guy they chose couldn't take the job.


So as I tell people to this day, I think I was picked because I was the last man standard. And so I can remember calling my know, giving him the news, and he was know beside himself. I think he started crying.


Pete's now the longest serving U. S. Marshal in Ohio history. The Elliot name is a legend in Ohio state law enforcement.


Listen, he might turn 100 years old and still be the US marshal of northern Ohio. My name is Eric Mydoc, and I am a deputy us. Marshal. And here in the northern district of Ohio, I work on our cold case unit.


Back when Eric joined the cold case unit, his predecessor left him a handful of cases to take over, among them, the Ted Conrad case.


He kind of nudged my arm and said, hey, look, this is, you know, this was the marshall's father's case, and it's yours. You're working. It came to figure out pretty quickly know it was my case in the sense that in the computer under the name Ted Conrad, it says deputy Eric Mydoc. But quickly I realized that it was Marshall Elliott's case.


After retiring, John continued to come into the office to visit his son to comb over the Conrad file again. Casey missed something.


We've had 55,000 arrests since 2003. We've got a lot of cases, so this case would not be a high priority. If my dad was not a vault, it would not have been at all. We've had interns looking at it over the years, just trying to look for any little clue, any little thing that we may have missed.


Pete, once and for all, now carried the torch for his dad, which meant also keeping the Conrad case alive. But it seems, at least by the time John retired in, the odds of catching Conrad were very slim. No one had any idea that Ted, I should say tom, had been building an entire life for himself all these years. An entire life with someone whose life now hung in the balance and threatened to blow apart everything that mattered to him. So in 1996, Kathy is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. During that time, she tells us that Tom still had this kind of positive, forward thinking mentality, a sort of sunny disposition.


He was Mr. Calm. And I started seeing a therapist and I said, you've got to come see Gina with me, Tommy. And I said, I told him, I said, I can't understand you. Don't show the emotion of being scared, nervous. For know, he's Mr. Optimistic and everything's going to be fine. And that's how he dealt with everything. That's what was very frustrating for me.


Tom was a self styled smooth operator. People called him calm, cool, unflappable. But there was a downside. He avoided harsh realities and was selective about what he shared with people in a way that both puzzled and frustrated the people closest to him.


It was a really scary time. Looking back, especially, I can see these moments where she really might not have made it. Like I might not have my mom right now. And what's crazy about this is that for the first few weeks, I didn't even know my mom had cancer. I remember my dad sat me down and just explained that mom was sick and that she was going to be really tired and check on her when I get home from school. But she's just going to be sick for a while. She's going to be fine, and it was a few weeks after that, I was in school and a girl that I was not even really friends with stopped me in the hall to tell me how sorry she was to hear that my mom had cancer and that her whole church was praying for my mom. And I swear my jaw hit the ground. And I remember going home and bursting into my mom's room and I was like, you have cancer. Why did no one tell me? And she says, didn't your dad sit you down and explain what's going on? But I just can't believe that I spent weeks not knowing how sick my mom actually was because my dad wanted to protect me.




I was twelve at the time. He was still working full time and taking care of me. And he took over everything in the house, from the cleaning, the laundry, and also the books. We were paycheck to paycheck. And my mom's cancer really put them in a tight financial spot because in addition to regular medical bills, I remember there was this one injection that her doctor said she really needed, but it was experimental, but essentially without it, she probably wasn't going to make it. And we had this white paper bag that sat on top of the fridge, and my dad would give my mom an injection once a week, and the only way dad could pay for it was to just put it on the credit card.


So it sounds like that was the beginning of Tom and Kathy getting into some pretty serious financial trouble.


Exactly. Cut to 15 years later. I had moved to New York for college and I had moved into my first apartment and I needed to buy a bed. And my dad know, go to sleepies and pick out a bed and put it on the credit card. And because the purchase was over a certain amount, I remember I had to call the credit card company to say, yes, it's me. Please let it go through. When you're on hold, they play that music with almost, like, directions. Like, did you know you can pay your bill online? And when I ever heard your current balance is. And it was close to like $100,000. And I just remember I hung up the phone and I called my dad and I was like, I only need a bed. I only need a bed. This is crazy. Oh, my God, you guys have so much debt. I've never been so scared in my life.




And he calmed me down and he said, everyone carries some debt. Everything is fine. And I was like, but how on earth do you have this much debt? We don't do anything. We hadn't been on a family vacation in like 20 years. Like, what is happening? And he was like, look, it's nobody's fault, but you remember when mom was sick and we had to pay for all those drugs and they had just been carrying this debt for like, decades. But then it's almost worse now because I realized at the time that my mom had absolutely no idea the amount of debt they had. So it was probably 2012, I was living at home, and there was one night I was in my room watching tv, probably, and dad came in and just casually was like, hey, can we just have a quick chat? I just want to ask you something. And he said, we're struggling a little bit. We have some bills to pay and we're just kind of in a tough spot. And I know that you've really been saving, and feel free to say no, but if you could lend me some money, that would really help.


And I said, obviously, sure, what do you need? And he asked me for $10,000. And I say that and I look back now and I'm like, wow. But at the time, yes, I had the money. I mean, I'd been working and I'd been living rent free at the house. So all the money I made I was just putting into my savings account. And I went the next day and I took out the money and I gave it to him and dad and I never talked about it again. He never paid me back. I never brought it up because.




And it wasn't until a couple months ago when I realized how many things maybe mom wasn't aware of. Like, she wasn't aware of how much debt they were in. I went over to her place and I pop in the living room and I said, so, mom, do you remember the time I lent you guys $10,000 and she looked at me like I was crazy? She's like, you what? And then what's two years later they're filing for bankruptcy?


It strikes me in hearing some of these stories that it's not just that Tom was keeping a low profile to fly under the radar, but he does seem to be withholding certain information from people who are super close to him for different reasons.


Yeah. The more I think about it, the more I see him as somebody who just never wanted to worry anybody. I think that maybe in the beginning, when he was first on the run, he kept secrets to protect himself, right? To stay off the FBI's radar, to keep himself safe. And then when I just think about the time period between being like twelve and 22, the things that he kept were for others protection.


Tom would pick and choose what he shared about his life with friends and colleagues, and at times clearly from his family as well. But the secret he kept from Kathy and Ashley about his health was the most devastating one of all, and would eventually unravel all the other secrets, too.


I don't want you looking into anything. I don't want you telling anybody. And if I tell you, that's it. Like you're done. I will tell you, and then no more. And he said, just really quietly and almost like he was scared to say it.


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