By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
Camillia Randall, a slim, redheaded 18-year-old was hitchhiking from Oregon to the Bay Area to visit friends when she landed in Crescent City in October 1994.
Occasionally living on the streets in Ashland, Ore. selling her beaded necklaces and bracelets, Randall made many friends there who said she had a wonderful voice and she would stand on the street singing just for the pleasure of it.
After setting out for California, Randall assured her aunt that she was safe and having a good time.
She called me from Crescent City, said her aunt Wendy Whiteman in 1994. She told me that she had made it OK ... she told me she was going to sleep on the beach that night.
Four days later Randalls body was found wrapped in a blanket in the Stout Grove area of Howland Hill Road. Del Norte County Sheriffs deputies said she had been raped and murdered.
Today, Del Norte County native Robert Allen Wigley, 41, is charged with Randalls murder. Wigley was never a suspect when Randalls body was found by hikers seven years ago. He said he doesnt remember Randall, but his DNA was recently matched to body fluids found on her body.
In a jailhouse interview Friday, granted against the advice of his attorney, Wigley said hes sure he isnt the killer, but added he has fragmented visions of terrible things happening to people.
Thats part of the problem Im having here. I have a real problem with my memory, Wigley said.
Wigley claims he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other ailments, and it has affected his memory.
What I see are clips ... extended images, I guess you can say. One-and-a-half or two-second lengths of time of things happening, or maybe longer, that I see are not nice, Wigley said. Images that I see like that Im not able to bring them out of the dark when I want to ... what Id like to see is full-length, rather than clips.
Some of the images, Wigley said, are similar to the coroners photo of Randall, which was shown to him by Detective Gene McManus of the Del Norte County Sheriffs Department.
When they took me here to question me about it, he (McManus) said he had found my body fluids, or whatever, and I asked him to see a picture of her. What he showed me was indescribable, he said.
When I do see the visions of what happened to somebody, something like the picture, I get suicidal, he said, adding the coroners photo was so grisly he preferred not to think about it.
A DNA databank of convicted offenders was used to make a cold hit on Wigley, according to a press release from the state Attorney Generals office. Wigley had previously pleaded guilty to a sexual battery charge in Del Norte County and a sample of his DNA was kept in Sacramento.
Wigley would neither admit nor deny he ever met Randall. He said he might remember her if he was shown a proper picture of her, other than a coroners photo.
Investigators in 1994 said they retraced the steps Randall made before her death, except for about 14 or 15 hours.
Known to some by her nickname Forest, Randall was born in Longview, Wash. to Randy and Marge Reynolds. She was known to Ashland police where at least three times she was told to stop selling jewelry on the street there. Dispatcher Sue Rogers said in 1994 Randall was never arrested and she was never a bother.
Randall set out from Ashland for Guerneville, Calif. to visit friends on Oct. 24, 1994. Apparently some acquaintances of hers gave her a lift from Grants Pass to Crescent City on Oct. 26.
Wigley said he was questioned repeatedly by police over possible connections to Randall.
He said McManus attempted to trap him by using his failing memory against him.
He kept asking me questions about this red-haired girl, if I slept with her. It was about the third or fourth time he asked me this I mentioned having an attorney present.
Wigley said he has asked for a hypnotist to help him remember whatever encounters he had with Randall, but sheriffs office personnel told him such a person was not available through the department.
Wigley said he doesnt trust anyone in Del Norte County. From the sheriffs office to the judges, from the district attorneys office to the independent defense attorneys. He claims they are all in collusion.
Theres no one here I can trust, he said. Basically, its like everybody is in this good-old-boy system ... I am kind of a trophy thing to them.
Wigley said he wanted to fire his attorney, Rick McClendon, during the suspects arraignment last Friday. McClendon represented Wigley during a previous case. Wigley was convicted but did not serve jail time.
The fact that McLendon took my case ... he has the sheer audacity to represent me after what happened before is mind-boggling, Wigley said in court to visiting Judge Schaeffer.
McClendon declined to comment about Wigleys court comments. A continuance of the arraignment is set for today.
When asked if he had ever been involved in violent altercations before, Wigley said he has had a lot of fights with men and remembered he had slapped two women, but added if you mean am I a hothead and blow up and lose my cool, just seeing black and beating up on women, no.
Wigley said he was born and raised in Crescent City and attended Del Norte High School. His mother and stepfather now live in Oregon. One of his two sisters died in 1990.
Aside from these few details, he offered little about his personal life. He said he was arrested in 1995 after a high-speed car chase, when he was heavily under the influence of crank.
Wigley said he hopes media attention will bring forth an outside attorney to handle his case. My hope is that a good attorney reads about this in the paper, someone honest who wants to get at the truth as quickly as possible (will) get involved, he said.