The lurid story of Thomas Randolph is detailed in “The Widower,” an enchanting three-part docuseries premiering 10 p.m. Thursday on NBC.
“One of the best ways to explain him is that he’s the ‘Joe Unique’ of true crime,’” “Dateline” supervising producer Dan Slepian mentioned of Randolph, alluding to the “Tiger King” antagonist, imprisoned for a murder-for-hire plot.
“He’s essentially the most eccentric, calculating, disturbing, odd suspect I’ve ever encountered,” he mentioned. “He’s a self-admitted narcissist. You may’t assist however [to] hearken to him.”
Slepian has spent the previous 13 years documenting Randolph’s case(s) in actual time. His footage, together with wide-ranging interviews with victims’ households, pals, prosecutors, protection attorneys — and with Randolph himself — comprise “The Widower,” which continues Friday and Sunday (9-11 p.m. each nights).
The story begins in Las Vegas in 2008, when Randolph, then 53, referred to as 9-1-1 to report that his third spouse, Sharon, was gunned down by a house intruder — who, in flip, was killed by Randolph, who stored a gun of their home. The intruder, Michael Miller, was a handyman who’d been employed doing odd jobs for Randolph. Two Las Vegas Metro Police Division (LVMP) detectives, Dean O’Kelley and Rob Wilson, have been assigned to the case, and shortly doubted Randolph’s story.
It’s simple to see why. As “The Widower” unfolds, the detectives uncover that Sharon was Randolph’s sixth spouse — and the fourth to finish up useless beneath sketchy circumstances. (He had two youngsters along with his first spouse, who’s nonetheless alive and is interviewed on-camera.) Slepian was there, from Day One, to doc the case, which took him to 10 completely different states with O’Kelley and Wilson over the following decade.
“It’s such an enchanting look into the thoughts of a man like this,” Slepian mentioned of Randolph, now 66, who was twice convicted of homicide and sentence to dying. His 2017 homicide conviction was overturned in 2020, and he’s awaiting a re-trial in Nevada, the place he’s being held in Excessive Desert State Jail.
Slepian mentioned he was intrigued by the case after being embedded with the murder unit of the LVMP for “Dateline” from 2002-04. “A couple of years later I nonetheless had sources and on Might 9, 2008, a detective referred to as me and mentioned, ‘We bought this actually unusual case final evening. There’s a man named Thomas Randolph who mentioned an intruder broke into his home, his handyman, and that he shot his spouse and he shot the intruder.”
When Slepian was instructed about Randolph’s previous marital historical past — and far, far more — he began to doc the case for a potential “Dateline” story every week after Sharon Randolph’s homicide. “They’d no concept concerning what they have been going to find and I used to be following them as they have been studying in regards to the case,” he mentioned. “I used to be doing it for ‘Dateline’…this has been 13 years and almost 300 hours of footage and never a single body of it has ever been seen outdoors of ‘Dateline.’ It’s been whispered about within the halls.
“Because the story developed over time and we bought deeply immersed, I began documenting the case from the angle of members of the family, the detectives, the protection, prosecutors…I used to be there filming after they arrested Randolph, when he was tased and dragged out within the snow in his underwear. I used to be within the hospital with him instantly thereafter.”
Slepian’s cameras have been there, too, when Randolph was tried and convicted in 2017 for the murders of Sharon Randolph and Michael Miller. “We had 4 robotic cameras within the courtroom and the [legal teams’] tables have been wired,” he mentioned. “You possibly can hear them whispering. I might interview Randolph throughout breaks within the trial.
“He was sitting in a jail cell three weeks after his arrest and mentioned, ‘It’s not a giant deal. I’d be cheated in the event that they didn’t cost me with the dying penalty.’
“He was speaking in jail about how he’d wish to have oral intercourse with the decide,” Slepian mentioned. “He’s a perplexing, intriguing homicide suspect. You may’t take your eyes off of him. He flirts with the digicam — it’s been like a three-decade cat-and-mouse recreation with regulation enforcement and with our cameras.”