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Wed and buried. That describes the fate of four of the six women who married Thomas Randolph, a man nicknamed the “Black Widower.”
Randolph, 66, was sentenced to death in 2017 for allegedly killing his sixth and final wife, Sharon Causse. Before her fatal shooting in 2008, three of his other wives died amid murky circumstances, repeatedly leaving Randolph minus a spouse and with a hefty life-insurance payout.
In late 2020, Randolph’s conviction in the Causse case was overturned because evidence presented at his trial could have swayed the jury’s impartiality, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time.
Currently awaiting a new trial, Randolph is the subject of “Dateline Presents: The Widower,” a three-part docu-series more than 10 years in the making, airing on Oxygen on Monday, Aug. 16, Tuesday, Aug. 17, and Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 8/7c.
The special weaves together fascinating interviews with the alleged killer. Here, we get you up to speed on Randolph’s wives -- two of whom testified against their ex-husband, and four who died while hitched to the so-called “Widower.”
At his 2017 trial for Causse’s murder, Thomas, who wed Randolph at age 18, testified that her former husband was “controlling, manipulative, and psychologically abusive,” according to a 2017 Las Vegas Review-Journal report.
In a “Dateline” digital clip, Thomas recalled Randolph as a “very charming and witty person and very intelligent,” but acknowledged his dark side. “I was really afraid he would do something to harm me,” she said. Authorities told her Randolph had taken a life insurance policy out on her, the Review-Journal reported.
Randolph married his second wife the same day in 1983 that his divorce from Thomas was finalized, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Three years later, he told police she killed herself by suicide in their home, reported the Las Vegas Sun. She died from a gunshot to her head. He pocketed a $250,000 life insurance payout.
Gault’s death was ruled a suicide, but Randolph was later charged with her murder. Randolph pleaded guilty to witness tampering in the case, and was acquitted of the murder in 1989. This is the evidence that came up at the Causse trial deemed potentially prejudicial.
Wife No. 3, like wife No. 1, testified against Randolph at his first trial for Causse’s death. She told the court that one day when Randolph was cleaning a gun around her the firearm discharged and left a bullet hole in the kitchen, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In her opinion, she testified, Randolph had tried to kill her.
Randolph’s fourth wife was the alleged target of an aborted hit-for-hire, according to testimony at the Causse trial. A witness, Glen Morrison, told the jury that Randolph recruited him to murder Francis and wound him and make it all look like a robbery. Morrison backed out because he feared Randolph would murder him after he killed Francis, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Francis’ daughter Rachel Gaskins testified that she was told her mother died following heart surgery, according to the Review-Journal. She said Randolph was the last to see her mom alive.
Randolph told family and friends that Stapleton died of cancer, according to the Review-Journal. Beyond that, little is known about her.
In May 2008, Causse died in what appeared to be a home invasion. Randolph said “that an intruder shot and killed his wife, and that he shot and killed the intruder,” reported News 3 Las Vegas. That intruder was handyman Michael Miller, who, prosecutors alleged, Randolph hired to murder her and then fatally shot him after he had done so.
To learn more about the case, watch “Dateline Presents: The Widower,” airing on Oxygen at 8/7c for three consecutive nights beginning Monday, August 16. The three-part series is also now available to stream on NBC’s website and on Peacock.
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