Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Today in True Crime: August 3rd, 2022

Today marks 9 years since Alexis Murphy was kidnapped and murdered in Lovingston, Virginia. The 17-year-old teen vanished while in route to Lynchburg for a hair appointment. Alexis stopped at a gas station in Lovingston, where she encountered a man named Randy Allen Taylor. 

Taylor, then 48, reportedly kidnapped and later murdered Alexis following their encounter at the gas station. After she was reported missing, investigators found that her cell phone had pinged near Taylor's camper. Additionally, hair, fingernails, and bloodstained were all found inside inside Taylor's residence - and they all belonged to Alexis. Based on all that evidence, investigators decided to charge Taylor with both kidnapping and murdering Alexis - despite the fact that they had not found her body. 

In 2014, Taylor was found guilty of all charges. He was given two life sentences.  Taylor continuously denied involvement in her disappearance and claimed that he was falsely convicted. Then, in October 2020, something changed. Taylor decided to lead investigators to Alexis' remains. When it was announced that her remains had been found, investigators said that they did not make any deals with Taylor in exchange for the location of Alexis' remains. It's unclear why he changed his mind after denying involvement in her case for so long, but Alexis' family finally got to give her a proper burial.

True Case Files' take on this case:

I remember this case from when Alexis first went missing. I was living in Virginia at the time and this case was big news. I remember following Sierra Lamar's case from a year earlier and being shocked when they charged Antolin-Garcia Torres with murder since they hadn't found Sierra's body (and they still haven't!). 

The evidence in Sierra's case was a bit more complex; it was eventually revealed that Sierra's DNA was all over Garcia-Torres' car, but for a long time it was not revealed what type of DNA. When it was revealed that Alexis' hair, nails, and a substantial amount of blood were found in Randy Taylor's residence, it became clear that some sort of violent struggled occurred. Although Taylor was initially unwilling to admit involvement in Alexis' case, prosecutors still had enough physical evidence to convict. 

After he was convicted, I was 100% sure that they had the right man behind bars, even though he still continued to deny guilt. I'm also 99.9% sure that Taylor is also responsible for the disappearance of Samantha Clarke, who has been missing since 2010. He has yet to be charged with anything related to that case, but he remains the prime suspect.

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