Ex-Fugitive Who Hid Out In East Texas Has Died - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/13/07 - Nacogdoches

Ex-Fugitive Who Hid Out In East Texas Has Died

by Donna McCollum

" Making an honest living. Living in East Texas. Farm work. It's a great place to live. I will recommend it to my future associates." That's what ex-fugitive Randolph Franklin Dial said shortly after his arrest in Shelby County back in 2005. He wanted to die in East Texas, but instead his last breath occurred in an Oklahoma State Prison.   Oklahoma prison officials are confirming that Dial has died.

Before his death, the convicted killer found what he thought was a perfect hiding place, the Piney Woods of East Texas. Dial spent more than a decade on the run after escaping from Oklahoma authorities in 1994.  He took with him Bobbi Parker, the wife of the prison's warden. The two lived for five years in Shelby County, in the Campti community. Neighbors assumed the two were married.

No one has discredited Parker's claim that she was a hostage, especially Debra Grace. Grace employed the two for a while at her poultry farm in Nacogdoches County.Grace befriended the shy woman. Grace was the first person Parker called after authorities finally discovered her whereabouts. They remained friends. Grace says since Parker left Dial she's renewed her relationship with her husband and children. As a result, Parker has a different personality. Grace said, " She's just started her life back up and she's happy and got an excellent husband and she just wants to go on with her life. She just hopes they'll drop all this stuff and let her live because she suffered enough. "

Grace says she hasn't spoken to Parker since Dial's death. Parker could still face charges, but Grace has no doubt in her mind that Parker was Dial's victim.

 Shortly after his arrest, Dial explained how that could be possible.      " She was living under the impression that if she ever tried to get away I would get away and would make her regret it, particularly her family. I didn't mean it, but she didn't know that. "  

Aside from farm work, Dial remained in a small trailer near the chicken houses where Parker worked. She would also run the errands. Dial was arrested off a tip following an 'America's Most Wanted' episode. The sixty year old man was watching a golf game.     Dial said,  " I never went anywhere. There's no one in Lufkin or Nacogdoches or anywhere that's going to say they ever seen me because I haven't. So it was just the same as being in prison except I had a big yard. "  

Dial was a sculptor, but in that interview described himself as a hostage taker, with no regrets.

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