Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
Randolph Dial was a rugged, handsome 49-year-old artist and sculptor with a master's degree in art. He was also a convicted murderer. Feeling the same tug as another Parker named Bonnie, the combination must have been too much for Bobbi Parker to resist. As she watched him work the kiln in the garage of her home, she fell for him hook, line and sinker. The only problem was that she was already married to Randy Parker, the deputy warden of the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite where Randolph Dial was serving his life sentence for the murder of Kelly Dean Hogan, a karate instructor he struck down in the prime of life.
By August of 1994, Randolph Dial had become a prison trustee and, because of his background in art, was given the job of instructing other prisoners in sculpture. This entitled him to live in a minimum-security facility outside the prison walls where he had access to his kiln and art supplies that were kept conveniently in the garage of the deputy warden's home. Equally conveniently, the 32-year-old Bobbi Parker (nee Cline), mother of two daughters, was assigned the job of supervising him. She watched as his strong hands worked his materials over and over, bringing them form and ever closer to perfection. Streams of slip would run off his fingers onto the spinning pottery that had no choice but to bend to his will. Bobbi longed to trade places with that nascent vase or goblet and wondered what magic this dangerous yet brilliant man might be able to work with her own vessel. It didn't matter that Dial had been married and divorced three times, that violent death seemed follow him and his family like a lost puppy. He had killed Kelly Hogan; in 1998 his son from his first marriage was charged in the murder of his girlfriend; and Dial's second wife had been killed after Dial went to prison for the murder that he committed. Bobbi Parker must have known that the flame she was flying so close to was as hot as the kiln Dial worked with such assuredness. But together they made their decision, and on August 30, 1994, Bobbi Parker hid Dial in the trunk of her car and drove away for what she thought would be the last time.
Bobbi and Dial had disappeared. The authorities assumed she had been kidnapped. Her family was devastated. Randy Parker and their two daughters–eight and ten years old at the time of her disappearance–feared the worst: that their wife and mother had been murdered at the hands of this ruthless criminal. Years past with nothing but silence. Then suddenly on April 6, 2005, that all changed when word came that Bobbi had been discovered alive and that she had been living with Dial in Campti, Texas, a rural area in the eastern part of the state near the Louisiana border. For the previous five-and-a-half years they'd been operating a chicken farm together. She had done most of the shopping and running of errands outside the farm, including frequent stops to a grocery store that was across the street from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. But Dial maintained that he'd kidnapped Bobbi and threatened to harm her family if she tried to escape. Was this a truthful confession or a manipulation spoken by a man who had nothing left to lose protecting the one he loved? Now we will never know. Randolph Dial died in prison on June 13, 2007, at age 62. Meanwhile, his partner in love and crime returned–Patty Hearst-like–to her family. Randy Parker now works for the Department of Corrections at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, the very place where Dial lived and died upon his return to incarceration. Bobbi Parker was arrested and on April 4 this year charged with aiding the escape of a felon. She posted $10,000 bail and is due back in court May 15.
|How a Warden's Wife Fell for a Murderer,
Helped Him Escape Prison, Then Lived with
Him for 10 Years Before Being Captured
April 23, 2008
|Bobbi Parker Thought to Have Been
Kidnapped by Desperate Convict,
Later Found Shacked Up
|She Chose a Convict's Heart