Nearly 50 Years Later, Victim of Serial Killer Randy Kraft Identified

Serial Killer Randy Kraft

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has announced the identification of Michael Ray Schlicht, an early suspected victim of notorious serial killer Randy Kraft, nearly 50 years after his body was found in California. Kraft, known as the “Scorecard Killer” and “The Freeway Killer,” was convicted in 1989 for the brutal murders of 16 young men and is believed to have committed many more killings across California, Oregon, and Michigan.

Schlicht, originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was last seen by his sister in April 1974. Known for his love of warm weather and tendency to hitchhike, Schlicht’s body was discovered by off-roaders in September 1974 near a trail, dead from alcohol and diazepam intoxication. Initially deemed an accidental death, the case was later reclassified as a homicide linked to other similar deaths in Southern California.

Kraft’s arrest in 1983 during a traffic stop, where a victim was found in his car, led to his death sentence. A list found in his vehicle hinted at the possibility of up to 67 victims. Despite his conviction, the identity of Schlicht, referred to as John Doe and buried in an unmarked grave, remained unknown until recently.

In October, after the Orange County Sheriff’s Department partnered with Othram Laboratories, a forensic biotechnology company, they developed a DNA profile from the victim’s tissue samples. This led to the identification of his possible grandparents and subsequently his sister, confirming Schlicht’s identity.

Schlicht’s family, seeking privacy, plans to mark his resting place with a headstone. The ongoing investigation into his death may lead to further charges against Kraft, who remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Lou Nightingale
Author: Lou Nightingale

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