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Ex-Warden’s Wife Charged With Assisting Prison Escapee

In April 2008, charges were filed against Bobbi Parker, 46, who is accused of hiding convicted killer Randolph Dial in her van and driving him out of the Oklahoma State Reformatory (OSR) on August 30, 1994. The pair remained missing for over ten years before they were eventually discovered.

Bobbi’s husband, Randy Parker, was deputy warden of OSR at the time of the escape. She had left him a phone message saying she was out shopping. He discovered hours later that the two were missing; Bobbi’s van was found abandoned across the state line.

On April 4, 2005, Bobbi Parker and Dial were found living on a chicken ranch in East Texas. Dial told authorities he had kidnapped Parker and convinced her he would go after her daughters if she ever left him. The girls were 8 and 10 at the time.

Despite Parker and Dial’s insistence that she had been kidnapped and held for over ten years against her will, Greer County District Attorney John Wampler was not convinced. Wampler noted that after numerous interviews, Dial’s “accounts were always a little different. The versions tended to change over time.”

Family and friends said Parker sounded emotionally distraught and tearful the three times she called home after the escape. Martha Rash, who employed Parker and Dial at the chicken ranch, said she suspected Parker was the victim of an “unhealthy marriage” who was afraid to leave. An unidentified schoolteacher who spent time with the couple said Dial had complete control over Parker, who was “like a frightened bunny.”

Wampler, however, observed that Parker had many opportunities to leave Dial during the decade they were together. On one occasion Parker reportedly nursed Dial back to health after he had a heart attack. Wampler insists the two were romantically involved.

In a letter, Dial provided a different explanation. “She [Parker] did not leave willingly.
She did not stay willingly,” he said. “It was in fact an easy matter for me to reduce Bobbi to a true victim of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ because I knew how to apply terror and create helplessness followed by natural dependency, and perversely even affection and loyalty. I had learned about such methods by watching prison officials apply them to prison populations during my previous nine years of incarceration.”

Dial was serving a life sentence for murder at the time of his escape and worked as a trustee at the prison, often at the warden’s house outside the facility. He was a gifted sculptor and artist, and sometimes held exhibits in the warden’s garage. After he was caught, Dial received an additional seven-year sentence for escaping from OSR; he died of lung cancer at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester in June 2007. He was 62 years old.

Wampler used almost the entire three-year statute of limitations before charging Parker with aiding in Dial’s escape. He filed charges in Greer County on April 4, 2008, but did not make the announcement public until April 8, after he notified the Parkers of his intentions.

When she went to be booked, Parker was accompanied by her husband, who is now a Dept. of Corrections Security Manager in Fort Supply, Oklahoma. After being charged with helping a prisoner escape, she was released on $10,000 bond. Parker was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in late October 2008 and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

A recently-released book, In the Wind: The Story of Randolph Dial and Bobbi Parker, includes a collection of letters written by Dial following his capture.

Sources: Associated Press, The Oklahoman,,

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