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While “Dead Asleep” focuses mainly on the murder of Brooke Preston, her convicted killer was also deeply affected by another murder close to him.
Preston was just 21 when her roommate and childhood friend Randy Herman Jr., then 24, stabbed her to death inside their West Palm Beach home in 2017. While Herman immediately confessed to killing her, he claimed he had absolutely no recollection of the brutal act — he had stabbed her at least 25 times — and later his defense would argue that he must have killed her while sleepwalking after days of drinking and sleep deprivation.
It wasn't the first murder that Herman has a connection to. His own father, Randy Herman Sr., had murdered a woman just two years before. In 2015, the elder Randy shot his girlfriend Gail Monahan, 50, in the head at her townhome in Pennsylvania, WNEP reported in 2015.
Herman Sr., 53, then fled to Alabama where he hid from authorities for two months. He was eventually found dead inside a Ford Ranger pickup truck near Guntersville Lake from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Alabama.com reported in 2015. His death came as law enforcement were closing in on him, PennLive reported in 2017.
Herman Jr. inherited $25,000 after his father’s death, which he used to relocate from Pennsylvania to Florida. But he also used it to self-medicate. On a daily basis, he’d spend around $200 on cocaine and alcohol, the Miami New Times reported in 2019. Within three months, he'd run through all the money.
“I think he’s still sort of processing it himself and understanding the psychological implications that his father’s murder-suicide really had on him,” “Dead Asleep” director Skye Borgman told Oxygen.com in a December interview. “He clearly knows that he started self destructive behavior and a lot of that stemmed from his father’s murder-suicide but i don’t think that’s he's really done the work in looking at these feelings of abandonment that had happened leading up to that throughout his entire childhood but he knows that it has affected him in a pretty big way.”
“Dead Asleep” touches on those feelings of abandonment through interviews with Herman Jr. as well as with his mother and sister. His father and his mom divorced when he was still young. There were reports of physical violence between the couple, Borgman said. As the documentary points out, the elder Randy rarely saw his son after the split, despite living nearby.
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