The I-5 Killer
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The I-5 Killer

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,948 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Award-winning student Randall Woodfield was every college girl's dream - and nightmare. This "boy-next-door" type cruised an 800-mile-long northwestern highway, the I-5 in search of his prey - woman of all ages. He subjected them to horrifying abuse and notched up at least 44 victims before he was caught and convicted. This is his story.
Paperback, Revised, 296 pages
Published March 1st 1984 by Signet (first published 1984)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
55th out of 417 books — 697 voters
Serial Killer Series Boxed Set by R.J. ParkerUnsolved Serial Killings by R.J. ParkerThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleGreen River, Running Red by Ann RuleThe Manson File by Nikolas Schreck
True Crime--Serial killers
15th out of 71 books — 118 voters


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Community Reviews

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Marilyn
I had to get this book...the first one of Ann Rule's I read...because I knew Randall Woodfield - the infamous "I-5 Killer" which is what the news media dubbed him.

Randall was handsome, nice, accommodating and a good dancer. He was the bouncer at a tavern near my home where I wasted a few brain cells and diminished my quarter reservois on the pool table. Randall and I started to become friends...but not in a romantic way, necessarily. He didn't give me the impression of wanting to have a girlfri...more
Eva Leger
I recommend this and every other book by Ann Rule for any true crime reader who hasn't read her. You will not be disappointed!
Una
Rule may not be the most skilled writer but she surely knows how to pull you into her nonfiction murder accounts. I'd not ever heard of Randy Woodfield, probably b/c I was busy following the rampant stories about Ted Bundy's trails throughout the country around the same time. I picked up this book at a library's 'used' sale, and having read a few of her other books, figured it would be worthwhile. Part of me wishes I'd have passed it by! However, I was hooked immediately and couldn't put it down...more
Sara
I finally got around to reading this one. WOW, what a psycho Randy Woodfield is. I've read a lot of true crime in my life, but I can say this book skeeved me out bigtime. This sick, twisted waste of space orally sodomized women as young as 10 year old girls. Yes. My stomach turned when I read the descriptions of his crimes.

He's an interesting case study to read - very handsome, very insecure, yet acts macho and needy concurrently. It would be obvious to an adult woman that something was "off" wi...more
Jim Thomsen
Good lean but tasty tale from the days when Ann Rule, now the unrivaled Queen Of True Crime, had to make her bones in the business by publishing under the name non de plume Andy Stack (as she's explained, publishers of the late 1970s just didn't think that readers would accept hard-boiled true-crime writing from a woman, a mindset that seems beyond bizarre today).

Randy Woodfield was tailor-made for a true-crime book: He was a handsome ladies' man, a star athlete who was drafted into the NFL, an...more
Allen
Apr 01, 2010 Allen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: True Crime Readers
I don't think that Ann is a very good writer but when she sticks to just giving you the facts of the case then the story gets interesting. I'm always horrified about how long it takes to find and stop these repeat killers/offenders. Seems they get away with anything for years before they are finally found. The I-5 Killer wasn't even all that bright, but by just being so unpredictable he was able to stay way ahead of the detectives. Hopefully there are more modern ways to catch these guys now. Th...more
J.M.
Not a bad book. I like the way Rule writes, very immediate. I hadn't heard of this criminal before (I was like 6 when the crimes occurred, and on the east coast), but I enjoyed the story.
Jami
I found it to be a good book. I have read a few of Ann's books, but can tell that this came from an earlier time. It was a good look into how the technology of forensics has changed in the last thirty years. From going to compare hair fibers and blood type to now being able to DNA. It was somewhat foreign to see the change. It was a good look into the criminals mind and in depth about the crimes. I will be picking up more of her books. I couldn't put the I-5 Killer down. Now that it is finished...more
Drebbles
Randall Woodfield seemed to have it all. Growing up he had a stable home life, did well in school, and was an exceptional athlete, excelling in every sport he tried. He was such a good athlete, in fact, that the Green Bay Packers drafted him. But Woodfield didn't make the team and he never finished college, instead drifting from job to job, from city to city. He also went from woman to woman, pursuing all of them intensely. Still, he seemed like a nice enough guy and people who knew him were sho...more
Mare Kinley
So, I have compulsively read Ann Rule ever since "Small Sacrifices." Whenever I visit my favorite used-book emporium, I always check on my way out to see if there is an Ann Rule I haven't read; this was my latest find.

I-5 Killer was a perfectly acceptable read for those who enjoy true crime, but I have really started to wonder about the people who write the blurbs for the covers. I was expecting to meet someone as bizarre and twisted as, say, Charlie Manson, and I met a serial killer/rapist who...more
Amanda
This is one of Ann Rule’s earlier books, and it kind of shows. Don’t get me wrong--it’s still a great read. But the timeline is hard to keep track of in places, and I think there could have been a better flow between the actual murders and the investigation.

Randy Woodfield is the freakiest serial killer you’ve never heard about. (I suspect that has a lot to do with Ted Bundy killing in the same time frame and area, though.) The frequency and speed at which he caused so much violence is terrifyi...more
Tamara
Typical Ann Rule. No frills. To the point. I often wonder why on earth I enjoy true crime, but I do. This was a welcome change of pace from recent reading materials. I have 3 other Ann Rule's on my shelf now - picked up from a Little Free Library - so will move onto those in coming months, for some 'brain-free' reading.
Ashlee Reynolds
Sep 28, 2007 Ashlee Reynolds rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adults
When I first started reading this book, I was unsure of whether it would be good. As I read this book I came to realize that it was going to be good. It is based on a true story of a man that did these murders right here in Oregon. As i read on, I became more intrigued by the story of this man and the female victims he preyed on.
Ann Rule can suck you into the story and make you feel like you are there watching every move of the characters. She really brings out the history of these murders and...more
Michelle Silvestri-Oetinger
Ann Rule is always a good true crime author. I have read numerous books from this author and will continue to do so.
Clay
I've been an Ann Rule fan since the first book I ever picked up, "Small Sacrifices". She is a very detailed author and has been my favorite author in the true-crime genre for a long time.

As she has done in the past, this book is very well researched as she took the time to talk to not only the detectives and D. A.'s involved in the case, but also every possible witness including the victims. She details not only the crime itself, but also the lives and background of the victims, criminal, and ev...more
Jessica Hatfield
I use to love true crime books but books like this freaked me the hell out!
Christy
Randall Woodfield had everything going for him - he was a star athlete, student, and was even drafted by the Green Bay Packers. He could have had anything he wanted in the world, but he threw it all away when he became a serial killer. Ann Rule chronicles this massive hunt to find the I-5 killer. True crime books always interest me because I think it is fascinating to delve into the darkest corners of the human mind. This book reminds us that it is important to be aware of what is going on aroun...more
Rob
Dec 22, 2009 Rob is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The depths of darkness that some humans delve into never ceases to amaze me. This side of human behavior is a reality, as evidenced in many of Ann Rule's true crime novels. While I like positive and motivational stories, I feel it is important to be cognizant of all types of behavior, as this is a reality in our world (unfortunately). Like most of her novels, this one is an eye-opener and reminder of the importance of being aware (without hopefully also being paranoid).
Priscilla
Not as compelling a case as some of Rule's book (I thought), but still an easy and interesting read. Rule is a decent enough writer (I would say that, while she's not an amazing writer, she's extremely good for her genre - very much better than many others who write these kinds of books) and her true crime stories are trashy, lurid escapes. If you're morbidly interested in the seedy and okay with the disturbing, Rule is definitely worth reading.
Maria
I liked this book as it was detailed and informative. I was interested in the case of Randy Woodfield and it was good to see how he went about choosing his victims and how he came across as a charming young man, but behind the facade, he was a deeply disturbed person. Ann Rule is a good writer and I enjoyed this book immensely. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys true crime books.
Meryem
Jan 10, 2014 Meryem added it
True stories, Ann Rule does good reasearch , i like reading her writing.
Ashleigh
I had a hard time concentrating in a lot of parts of this book. I found the court proceedings to be too quick and not as in dept as I would have liked. I found the 1988 update really interesting especially about his writings with Diane Downs which I would like to now read Ann Rule's book on her "Small Sacrifices"
Anna
I remember a lot of the people that Ann Rule writes about. I remember when they were in the area I lived doing the killings and being very careful all the time...but after reading so many of her books, you realize that sometimes bad things just happen no matter what you do.
Cynthia
This is first Ann Rule book I've read, but definitely not the last. I would have liked a little more insight into the killer's thoughts and background, but that's just the way I am. This was a guy I've not heard of till this book. Definitely worth the read!
Angie Agerter
The first page has the I-5 killer committing a crime right here in Vancouver, WA - right there had been hooked. I enjoyed this book and the journey of the capture of the I-5 killer. I especially like the background the book gives of Randy. Excellent read!
Angela Blanco
Another great book from Ann Rule. She captures the details and makes you see and feel exactly what is happening in the book. I would highly recommend this book along with any other Ann Rule books for anyone who enjoys reading True Crime books.
Heather
Another Ann Rule classic - especially for those who live in the Pacific NW...many of the landmarks will be familiar. My little claim to fame is having been in the house outside of Albany off of I-5 where this guy lived for a while.
Emily
Sep 28, 2011 Emily added it
Shelves: really-enjoyed
Good. If you live in MN or have (especially Minneapolis area), like a do it is a must. It takes place off Lake and Chicago. I am not going to say much but it is worth the read. It is a very small book maybe 180 pages. It is quick.
Eowensworld
An interesting novel. Ann Rule's precise writing leads the reader in the footsteps of a man who has everything he could wish for and who became a cold blood killer.She draws a picture of that, his background, the first alarming details...
Jennifer
Very detailed, sometimes too detailed. :( I enjoyed this book. I really got a good insight into this killer and the things he did. Well written. I also enjoyed seeing the pictures of his victims- it put a face to the name.
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Ann Rule is a popular American true crime writer. She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders.
At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis...more
More about Ann Rule...
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer If You Really Loved Me And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer

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