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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a made for TV movie which the director took the approach to
concentrate on the relationship between the lead detective Dave Kominek
played by John Corbett and one of the surviving victims Beth Williams,
played by Sara Canning, of the I-5 killer. There were enough victims of
the I-5 serial killer Randy Woodfield, played by Tygh Runyan and enough
time had elapsed from his first victim that the producers had
sufficient material to make this in to a mini-series had they wished to
do so. Instead the story concentrates on detective Dave Kominek's
pursuit of serial rapist and killer Randy Woodfield.
The I-5 killer was a gutless sneak whose modus operand was to wear a sweat top hoody, he would place a piece of tape over the bridge of his nose to disguise his appearance, and control his victims through the rape and murder with a 32 caliber gun which he used on a number of his victims. Randy Woodfield was a troubled teenager who in his teenage years had a propensity for exposing himself in public situations. The film has one scene where he is in a restaurant with a male friend and the waitress recognizes him. His friend then mentions that Randy Woodfield had previously posed for Playgirl magazine, which is a true fact. In real life Randy Woodfield was engaged to be married and his fiancé was unaware that her soon to be husband was the I-5 killer.
This is not a real gory movie but from what I have read about the real serial killer the producers opted to not glorify him, but rather portray lead detective as a sort of hero who sacrificed his own family life to do right by not only the one survivor Beth Williams who would eventually identify her rapist and his attempt to murder her, but to do right by all the victims who either suffered through a rape and subsequent trauma, and the victims who lost their lives to the I-5 killers gun. In Beth Williams's case she and her friend were cleaning an industrial building one evening when Randy Woodfield surprised them. After raping both women he shot Beth's co-worker and then turned the gun on Beth and he put to bullets in to the back of her head. Miraculously she survived the attack and when they captured Randy Woodfield she was able to identify him through a police lineup and eventually he was charged with her friend's murder, along with some earlier murders.
Police stations across several states bordering the Interstate 5 highway have accumulatively purported that Randy Woodfield is the rapist or murderer of more than 40 victims. Rather than drag the surviving victims and/or the families of the victims through the courts, and spend millions of tax dollars, to convict a serial killer who will never see the light of day again the police are not pursuing any further court cases.
This was a better than average TV movie (Lifetime) about the hunt for
the I-5 serial killer. Its based on a true story (and book) and centers
on a detective from Salem, Oregon who connected the numerous murders
and sexual assaults (44 victims) along interstate 5 which runs through
California, Washington and Oregon.
John Corbett plays detective Dave Kominek and does a decent enough job. I've always liked him ever since I first saw him back in Northern Exposure and then in Sex & The City.
The manhunt takes over a year, and for the first half of the movie the viewer doesn't know who the killer is. You are given a couple of suspects but just see a guy in a hoodie with a bandage over his nose going about his business of raping and shooting random women. Its violent but not graphic. Towards the end we get to see his face and then follow him as he tries to evade police. He is one sick bastard.
One of the first victims shown in the movie manages to survive her horrific ordeal with two gunshot wounds to her head. Her character plays a large role and the story focuses heavily on her relationship with the detective. She (Sara Canning) does a great job as 'Beth' and I appreciated how they took the time to show the physiological damage she faced afterwards. Ultimately Beth is instrumental in the capture of the killer.
Randomly John's real-life lady love Bo Derek is listed in the credits and given top billing but I guess I blinked and missed her. 1/6/15
Beth Williams (Sara Canning) is a nighttime cleaner at an office
building with her co-worker. One night an armed mask man breaks in.
After he violates them, he shoots them but Beth survives the ordeal.
Police detective Dave Kominek (John Corbett) is investigating the
crime, and soon he figures out that it's related to a whole series of
murders by the same serial killer around the I-5.
I see there are many complaint about accuracy. I'm not going to dwell on any of that. After all, it's a Lifetime TV movie not an in-depth documentary. John Corbett is a compelling leading man. His character's struggle especially his home life is well done. Sara Canning makes for a good victim without overplaying it. The story moves along well. It's a good TV movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Drama dealing with a serial killer is a good one. The guy commits his
acts near this highway and several states are victimized by his
The story is a good one since it deals with one survivor, whose friend was killed, during the killing spree. She cannot live life until the fiend is caught.
The detective working on the case also suffers due to his inability to catch the culprit. It also causes a strain on his marriage for his apparent over-fondness for one of the victims mentioned above.
It's amazing that information wasn't given out as quickly as it should have been once the carnage began.
As in many of the cases, the killer had a girlfriend and was engaged to marry her. How some women can be deceived is frightening.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I posted the following on the chat board: "First, I knew this was a
Canadian production when all of the police kept referring to "The I-5".
All federal interstates are referred to by their number preceded by I,
i.e. I-5, I-40, I-84, etc. Second, learn something about our laws
ESPECIALLY when it is made for broadcast in the States. Example A -- We
cannot tell someone not to leave town (as the Beaverton PD detective)
unless they are under arrest. Example B -- for someone on probation it
is not necessary to get a warrant for a search: someone released on
probation in Oregon consents to searches as a condition of release.
Example C -- Woodfield was a sex-offender. The fact that he violated
probation by changing residence without the permission of his probation
officer would have resulted in his arrest and detention without bail.
Third, learn about police and legal procedure in the States. Example A
-- no judge is his/her right mind would call a probation violation
committed by a sex offender as a technicality. Example B -- little Beth
would not have been given the run of the police department unless all
the other detectives were willing to risk their cases over
chain-of-custody issues." What can I say? This was drivel. In addition
to my comments above, I found the dialogue to be unnatural and
self-serving: they used it to create "drama". They failed. People don't
talk like that. The acting was terrible. John Corbett ran around like
an emotional basket case, flying off the handle at every opportunity.
If the real Dave Komenic had been that way it would be difficult to see
how he made it through twenty-eight years without getting canned. If
you can't create drama through dialogue have the actors run around
being emotional. Sara Canning had no subtlety at all. Granted, this was
one of her early gigs but, the director should have ordered up several
takes and given her some "direction" to get it right. Tygh Runyan seems
to think that serial killers are glib and arrogant to the police.
Arrogant, probably. But serial killers get away with these crimes by
being able to act innocent --- they are sophisticated con men, great
actors. Runyan apparently didn't learn this in acting class.
Don't waste two hours you'll never get back on this drivel.
haha Lifetime movie about the I-5 killer and he is helping a girl pump gas...in Portland, Oregon. Must have forgot to research...Oregon has NO self serve...never has...research people!!! And who is this Clay guy??? Read Ann Rule's book if you want to know the truth of the matter. This needs ten lines of text, But I find that there is no reason to continue to give a review for such a poorly constructed and thought out movie. Oregon Daily News??? The newspaper would have be the Oregonian. The detective is a doofus who would have been fired by the Portland Police Bureau, he hugs the victim! Comforting her in this manner would likely cause a "small" issue with a good defense attorney, can you say bias?
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