The Girl Who Never Returned | Alexis Murphy
Episode 11

The Girl Who Never Returned | Alexis Murphy

17-year old Alexis Murphy stopped at a gas station on her way home one day in 2013. But she never made it home. So what happened to Alexis? Rasha and Yvette discuss her disappearance, and look how the media covers cases of missing black girls.

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In The Episode

Trevor Young 00:03

You're listening to Facing Evil, a production of iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of the individuals participating in the show, and do not represent those of iHeartRadio or Tenderfoot. TV. This podcast contains subject matter which may not be suitable for everyone. Listener discretion is advised.

Yvette Gentile 00:27

Hi, everyone, welcome back to Facing Evil from Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio. We are your host. I am Yvette Gentile.

Rasha Pecoraro 00:35

And I'm Rasha Pecoraro. And for the first time in person, all three of us are together. And that means Trevor Young is right next to me.

Trevor Young 00:44

Hello, welcome to Texas. 

Rasha Pecoraro 00:45

Thanks y'all. Wait, y'all. Oh my gosh. 

Yvette Gentile 00:50

We are here. We're, at Podcast Movement.

Trevor Young 00:53

Well, yeah, it's the final day of Podcast Movement here. And I know yesterday we had a panel with you guys and Payne Lindsey. How was that? 

Rasha Pecoraro 01:02


Yvette Gentile 01:02

Amazing. Yeah. Surreal, like to be on the stage with I like to say game changers. 

Rasha Pecoraro 01:08


Yvette Gentile 01:08

You know, when we were we were right amongst them was amazing. So, so surreal, and just the energy... In the room, you know, and like I said on the panel, the diversity that I have seen, you know, I've never been here before. But, you know, I've seen like, everybody.

Rasha Pecoraro 01:17

The energy. You know, it's interesting to switch gears too because it's like, Yes, we had this amazing time yesterday on the panel, and then we danced the night away, you know, with their... you know, Tenderfoot TV and iHeart and Ohana or family and like then you're brought back to reality and like we're talking about a you know another heavy, heavy case today. 

Trevor Young 01:49


Rasha Pecoraro 01:49

So we'd love for you to take us through it, Trevor.

Archival 01:54

The search for missing Nelson county teenager has come to a close after more than seven years. 

Archive Clip 02:00

This case has been defined as one with more questions than answers. The big question that has haunted a family and had investigators on the hunt for more than seven years. Where is Alexis?


You know, you still hold out hope when you have a family member that's missing that, you know, that they will still be here with us.

Trevor Young 02:19

Alexis Murphy was a 17 year old girl who went missing in 2013. Alexis was a high school senior with plans to go to college. On August 3rd, Alexis left her family's house in the small town of Shipman, Virginia. Her destination was a hair appointment in Lynchburg, about a half hour away. On the way home, Alexis stopped at a gas station. Security footage captured her walking by a white man as she left the convenience store. When she drove away, the man got into his car and followed her. Alexis Murphy never came home. The search for Alexis became a massive endeavor involving local and federal authorities. When police investigated the man on the surveillance footage, Randy Taylor, they discovered disturbing evidence. And Taylor was eventually convicted of the crime. However, Alexis's body wouldn't be found until December of 2020. And so what happened to Alexis Murphy? Was Randy Taylor responsible? And what does this case tell us about the typical lack of attention paid to cases of missing black women and girls?

Yvette Gentile 03:35

It truly seems that this beautiful young woman who, you know, really, in all cases she was she was a child, you know, like she had so much ahead of her and she was so close to success. And she was loved by her family and her friends. And then she was just gone. She just disappeared. Yeah, and like you said, I mean, she was so close to just graduating. And then one day, she made a quick stop at the gas station near her house where she's gone many times and the kids hang out there. And then she's just, she's just gone. Alexis Murphy is one of the few young black women to get any kind of media attention, really. And I think that's because she had a very large Twitter following, to be honest. And I mean, I think that's really, really sad, because the unfortunate reality is that we mostly hear about the disappearance of white women, and that's covered all across the media. Like there's a million and one, you know, Gabby Petito's. And there's only a handful of Alexis Murphy's. And I think, you know, that's also because a lot of those white women like they're conventionally attractive or whatever it's like, I'm sorry, every person who is missing is attractive and beautiful needs to be found. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, like you just said, there's a term for that. And it's called the missing white woman syndrome.

Rasha Pecoraro 04:58


Yvette Gentile 04:58

And it happens all too often, you know, because so many black, brown, native girls, boys go missing and nobody, nobody knows.

Rasha Pecoraro 05:13

No one talks about it.

Trevor Young 05:15

Yeah. And you know, I think, as you pointed out this case is different. And it's kind of the exception. But I guess this case is a good way or a good opportunity for us to talk about this larger issue at hand, because it's the exception, right? Because it stands out. And there are statistics to back up all of these things you're saying about missing white woman syndrome. For example, in 2020, a full third of those who were reported missing in this country were black. And that's far greater than their share in the overall female population. But if you look around at stories in the news, most media attention goes to, as you said, white children, especially white girls, so there are consequences for this lack of coverage. Coverage and the media can, and really often does, mean more pressure on authorities to move swiftly, do a good job really, like take the case seriously. And so without that attention, a lot of these cases can kind of just like fall by the wayside. And they take a lot longer to get addressed to get investigated and ultimately to get solved. Sometimes they don't get solved at all, and they become cold cases, and likely we never hear about them again.

Yvette Gentile 06:22

You are absolutely right, Trevor. It is absolutely crucial that these cases involving missing children and women of color are treated with the same, the same degree of compassion and dedication, you know, that they put into the Gabby Petito's. Like, what do we need to do? We have to tell their stories.

Rasha Pecoraro 06:48

And that brings us back to Alexis Murphy's case. Let's learn more about Alexis Murphy. Who was she? Do you want to take this one Yvette?

Yvette Gentile 06:57

Absolutely. She was a beautiful, girly girl. I mean, Rasha, that's what her family members said she was really into fashion. She was a high school senior. She was athletic. She was on the volleyball team. I mean, she was just doing normal teenage girl things. And that afternoon her mother had given her money, you know, to go get her hair done, did to get her hair extensions. 

Rasha Pecoraro 07:21

Yep. Yep. So around 3:15, that afternoon, Alexis tweeted, "Burg bound, and that's Burg B U R G, and that Burg means Lynchburg. So she was on her way to Lynchburg. And it was what like half an hour from her house. And that's exactly where she was headed. So I would like to point out that in general, Alexis had a lot of good things going on for her and her family said that she was incredibly happy in life. She showed no signs of like wanting to be a runaway, there was no indication that she would have left on her own accord. So in fact, just that morning, she had even gotten a raise at the children's clothing store that she was working at. Like there was no sign of her wanting to run away. Like that was not even a question. 

Yvette Gentile 07:22

Yeah, like you just said, I mean, she had a close knit family and you know, everything going for her. So this is the thing she left home in her father's 2003 White Nissan Altima. And, Trevor, can you tell us what else you know about the day that Alexis disappeared?

Trevor Young 08:25

Yeah, so there's a lot of conflicting reports. And I guess the short answer is we don't know a ton. But we do have one crucial piece of evidence. And that is some security footage from a gas station called Liberty Gas Station taken about 7:15 that evening. So Alexis, kind of frequented this gas station. It's one of the gas stations on her way home from Lynchburg. And because she goes to hair appointments regularly there. This was kind of her gas station. So as you said it wasn't super far from her house. And so she stopped there this evening, and the footage captured Alexis walking by a man on her way out of the gas station store. The camera also picked up at this man had a large neck tattoo.

Yvette Gentile 09:12

A gas station employee working at the time testified that Alexis pulled out of the gas station first and that the man pulled out behind her in a Chevy Suburban that was covered in camouflage wrapping. And then there's more gas station footage that backs this up and it seems like this is the the bulk of what we have to go on. Yeah, and the footage also captured her at the gas station. And this is the last footage that they actually have of her. She was so close to home like we said that gas station was very near her house, but she never got there. And she was never seen alive after that.

Trevor Young 09:48

We do need to take a quick break but we'll talk about what happened after we get back.

Rasha Pecoraro 09:58

So when Alexis Murphy failed to come home the night of Saturday, August 3rd, her family was of course upset and alarmed like, this girl never missed a curfew like she was never not home. So they contacted the police right away and filed a missing persons report. The Nelson County Sheriff's Office began their investigation. The next day, the FBI and the Virginia State Police joined in on the search. And actually this might be a good place to point out that the search for Alexis Murphy was going relatively smoothly and swiftly which we haven't seen in all the cases that we've covered so far. So for a lot of missing black youth in this country, that doesn't happen. Right? It just kind of stays stagnant. It doesn't go anywhere. But this investigation started.

Yvette Gentile 10:43

Yeah, and the reason of that you're so right. But the reason, like you said Rasha, is the fact that Alexis Murphy had a huge, huge Twitter following. And that helped this case, you know, social media helped this case. But that's, you know, like, as we just said, that's just not the fact, in every case, you know, of children of color.

Rasha Pecoraro 11:05


Yvette Gentile 11:05

Just it doesn't happen.

Trevor Young 11:07

Yeah, I find the the social media thing interesting. Because I guess to me, what that implies is that either police care more when somebody has a, you know, more public presence on social media, or it means that a lot of the investigation was like going on through social media, like through friends and family and all these people who knew her so it wasn't even as related to police as it was, you know, her kind of community that she had. So, you know, I don't know what that says about police investigations. 

Yvette Gentile 11:38


Trevor Young 11:38

But I mean, the one thing we do know when we've been saying it a lot today, but let's just hammer it home, you know, I mean, 

Rasha Pecoraro 11:43


Yvette Gentile 11:44


Trevor Young 11:44

Usually, like... Hammer it hard, yeah. Black girls they just don't get as much attention as...

Yvette Gentile 11:48


Trevor Young 11:48

As white girls. So the reason for that is that they are, you know, often classified as runaways. We see this in a lot of other cases where police are quick to kind of, you know, box in black kids when they go missing.

Rasha Pecoraro 12:04

Stereotype them, yeah. 

Trevor Young 12:05

Yeah, you know, as being troubled, or, you know, being in with a bad crowd, or something like that. And so they kind of write it off very quickly. So as you can imagine, this leads to law enforcement, delaying investigations, it means they don't get Amber Alerts out as fast as they need to. I mean, those things only really work. If they go out, like

Various Voices 12:25


Trevor Young 12:26

Yeah, so you have to notify the public, if you're gonna get them like those first, however, many hours are crucial, right? And if someone's just a runaway versus being like kidnapped, you're probably not going to get the news coverage, you know, you're not going to see that face on, you know, local news that night or on billboards or on milk cartons, or whatever it is. So, I mean, I think reframing those kinds of stereotypes is like step number one.

Yvette Gentile 12:52

Amen to that. 

Rasha Pecoraro 12:53

Yeah. I couldn't agree more. And just, you know, again, to say that the social media train like, I think that the reason that, you know, the police were right on it is they're being watched now. Right. Because...

Trevor Young 13:04


Various Voices 13:05

 Yeah, it's accountability. 

Rasha Pecoraro 13:07

Yeah, like, I mean, because at that time, Twitter was the the big thing. I mean, Twitter is still a big thing. But you know.

Yvette Gentile 13:13

Right. But so many people are involved. 

Rasha Pecoraro 13:15


Yvette Gentile 13:15

Like you said the community is, you know, they're making sure that someone is going to do something. 

Rasha Pecoraro 13:20

See there's something good for social media. All right, and on August 6th, so that's the Tuesday after the Saturday that Alexis goes missing. Her car is found. It's parked in the Carmike Cinema parking lot, 35 miles from the gas station where she was last seen. So surveillance footage there actually shows the car pulling into that parking lot on Monday night. And they tried to enhance the video you know, you think it's just like Law and Order SVU or you know...

Yvette Gentile 13:48

Right you think it's that simple.

Rasha Pecoraro 13:49

Like CSI like, you can just like zoom in. Yeah, that doesn't happen in real life. 

Yvette Gentile 13:52


Rasha Pecoraro 13:52

Right, so they do not know who stepped out of the car after parking it on that night from the surveillance.

Yvette Gentile 13:59

And for the parents, I can't even imagine the moment that they were told that they found the car without Alexis in it. I mean, again, I can't even imagine but I know that their hearts in that moment had to literally stop pounding. You know what I mean? 

Rasha Pecoraro 14:10


Yvette Gentile 14:16

Like it just stopped.

Rasha Pecoraro 14:20

Yeah, I can't even imagine. Like you said, it's just like she's not. She's not there.

Trevor Young 14:29

Yeah. So around the same time that this is going on, FBI agents and Virginia State Police swarmed the place where Alexis's cell phone was last pinged. And this happens to be right by a old abandoned house right off the side of the highway. And it's there that they spot the same suburban with the camouflage paint that you mentioned earlier, Rasha. So if you remember that was the one that followed Alexis Murphy out of the gas station that night that she went missing and as authority started to kind of search the property, they met the property owner who comes out and introduces himself as Randy Taylor. And there's, you know, a very interesting, distinctive physical trait that Randy Taylor has. 

Rasha Pecoraro 15:17

Let me guess. It's that big neck tattoo, the only thing they could find on the...

Yvette Gentile 15:20

On the footage.

Rasha Pecoraro 15:21


Trevor Young 15:21

Yes. So it turns out, Randy Taylor was, in fact, the guy on the footage as identified by the tattoo and the camouflage truck. And just a side note, the tattoo is of Daffy Duck for what that's worth.

Rasha Pecoraro 15:36

But that is very distinctive. So that's probably why you could see it on...

Trevor Young 15:39


Rasha Pecoraro 15:40

The footage, right.

Yvette Gentile 15:41

Yeah. And that's, it's great that, you know, there was some distinction that they can know who the guy was, right. So back at the gas station, authorities are also talking with people there. And they're talking to two different employees. And they said, This guy was a regular customer there. And he usually comes in, right, he buys cigarettes, he buys some beer. But they also said, this is really interesting to me. They also said that he liked to linger around the gas station parking lot, and that it made them feel uncomfortable. 

Rasha Pecoraro 16:11


Yvette Gentile 16:11

Like to me right...

Rasha Pecoraro 16:12

Who hangs out at a gas station? 

Yvette Gentile 16:13

Well, you hang out at a gas station, if you're, you know, trying to pick up so and so or your selling drugs, I mean, I'm just this is an assumption. 

Trevor Young 16:21


Yvette Gentile 16:21

But the fact that that they were uncomfortable, like, wouldn't you tell a supervisor or a manager like, especially if he's coming there 

Various Voices 16:31

All the time. 

Yvette Gentile 16:32

Like, I know, I would, I'd be like, can somebody check this guy out? Like, what what is he up to?

Rasha Pecoraro 16:37

Except he's a customer, right? He's a paying customer. So Yeah, I don't know. 

Yvette Gentile 16:40

If he's paying and then he's hanging outside.

Rasha Pecoraro 16:42

Like what are you doing dude? Yeah.

Trevor Young 16:44

You know, after this, the police do end up arresting Randy Taylor, and they charged him with the abduction of Alexis Murphy.

Rasha Pecoraro 16:53

Yeah and so let's, you know, let's get into the story of what happened with Randy Taylor that day. So he says that it was okay, just a coincidence. And I'm saying that very loosely. But he says it was just a coincidence that he met the girl who later went missing at the gas station. Here's what he says happened. He says that their cars were parked at pumps near each other, and that she said something to him about smoking marijuana. And that she said this because she'd seen him before at another carwash. So he says he responded that he'd like to get more pot. She told him she knew a guy and had him meet her and this guy at another spot nearby. So he's claiming this was all just a...

Trevor Young 17:38

Like a drug deal? 

Rasha Pecoraro 17:39

A drug deal.

Yvette Gentile 17:39

Yeah, like she's buying marijuana. Right? Right. So and that would explain why he is following her out of the parking lot or just lying right?

Rasha Pecoraro 17:48


Yvette Gentile 17:48

 Follows her out.

Rasha Pecoraro 17:49

I mean, yeah, I mean, so after meeting up with this man, Randy said that the three of them, so Randy, Alexis, and pot guy, they each drove in their separate vehicles back to Taylor's camper. So he says that is where the drug deal went down.

Trevor Young 18:06

Right. And he also says that this other person's name was Damian Bradley. And that is, in fact a real person that police identified who does live in the area.

Rasha Pecoraro 18:16

Yes. So you know, Randy Taylor says he purchased weed from Damian Bradley and that they smoked and drank a beer together. He says that Alexis did not smoke or drink anything. Finally, he says that Alexis and Bradley both left before the sun went down in separate cars, and that he hasn't seen them since. Why is Alexis hanging out with two.

Yvette Gentile 18:38


Rasha Pecoraro 18:38


Yvette Gentile 18:39


Rasha Pecoraro 18:39

Not drinking, not smoking? Like that doesn't... so many things. I know... 

Yvette Gentile 18:42

So many things. But let's look at this. Like you said, we're supposed to believe that a 17 year old girl would agree to meet a grown, white man with neck tattoos at a second location? 

Rasha Pecoraro 18:55


Yvette Gentile 18:55

And then go with him and a dealer back to his place and drink and smoke with them.

Rasha Pecoraro 19:02


Yvette Gentile 19:03

Why would she do that? 

Rasha Pecoraro 19:05


Yvette Gentile 19:05


Trevor Young 19:07

I mean, it seems super implausible. And I think ultimately, that's what the police identify as well. I mean, because you're right. They're just like, it's kind of a nonsensical story. I think it's like a pretty, like weak alibi, and it doesn't really like serve him super well, in the end. 

Rasha Pecoraro 19:22


Yvette Gentile 19:22

Yeah. Then, you know, again, I just have to say, she didn't drink or she didn't smoke. Yeah. And like, Why? Why would she be hanging out? Why?

Rasha Pecoraro 19:30

It doesn't make any sense. Like, I know, 17 year olds can make silly decisions, whatever. But that just does not seem like who Alexis Murphy was. 

Trevor Young 19:39

No, no. And I think it actually turns out that Damien Bradley, the third guy that Randy Taylor identified, you know, he had his own alibi that was actually like, pretty airtight. So he was actually traveling in Alabama with his dad that weekend. So..

Rasha Pecoraro 19:55

There you go.

Trevor Young 19:55

This whole story of Randy Taylor's doesn't even make sense. 

Rasha Pecoraro 19:58


Trevor Young 19:59

So here's the main reason why they actually arrest Randy Taylor. In his camper during that initial search when they were on his property. Authorities found a handful of very incriminating things. They found a hair, they found a fingernail, and they found a diamond stud used for like a nose piercing, like on the side of your nose. So Alexis Murphy's nose was pierced in that same location. All three of these items had DNA matching Alexis Murphy's. Randy's attorney responds by saying the following "I don't know how a hair found in a camper would justify probable cause on an abduction any more than a misdemeanor of Assault or Battery or murder." So I mean, I guess...

Rasha Pecoraro 20:44

What the hell? 

Trevor Young 20:44

What he's saying is like he shouldn't be charged with abduction. Just because there's a hair. I mean, I like fundamentally disagree with that.

Various Voices 20:52


Yvette Gentile 20:53

But it's such an interesting choice of words, right? I mean, that doesn't make sense of what he's saying, you know, you have a diamond stud. She had a nose piercing, like hello?

Rasha Pecoraro 21:03

And its DNA. Its DNA matching Alexis. It's not just any hair. You know, it's Alexis's hair.

Trevor Young 21:11

I mean, it's his lawyer's grasping at straws. 

Rasha Pecoraro 21:13

Yeah, totally. 

Yvette Gentile 21:14


Rasha Pecoraro 21:15

And then meanwhile, the authorities found several cell phones on Taylor's property, and they began investigating to see if any of them belong to Alexis. So Randy Taylor is denied bond, obviously. And he is indicted on first degree murder charges related to Alexis's disappearance.

Trevor Young 21:34

And then meanwhile, Randy Taylor's attorney files a motion to suppress any further search warrants. So he claims that some of the earlier warrants were, "obtained without valid constitutional basis." So again, just like making these kinds of...

Rasha Pecoraro 21:49

Grabbing at straws, yeah.

Trevor Young 21:51

You know, and then in April of that year, the FBI conducts another search of Randy Taylor's property, and then they find something even more incriminating.

Yvette Gentile 22:01

And I'm guessing we're gonna have to wait to hear about it. 

Trevor Young 22:05

Yeah, we have to take another break, but I promise you will hear about it. 

Yvette Gentile 22:13

The trial of Randy Taylor for the murder of Alexis Murphy began in May of 2014. And we soon learned the likely reason that Taylor's lawyers were trying to stop the search warrants of his property, because when they do thoroughly search the property, they find some bad stuff. Right, Trevor? 

Trevor Young 22:32

Yeah. So I mean, we heard about the nose ring, the hair, some of the other stuff last time, but on further search, they find a t shirt under his sofa, and kind of balled up or wrapped around that T-shirt, they find both black hair extensions and a set of false eyelashes. Now, I don't know what Randy Taylor was doing in his free time, but.

Rasha Pecoraro 22:53


Yvette Gentile 22:53


Trevor Young 22:53

I doubt he had hair extensions and false eyelashes for himself. 

Rasha Pecoraro 22:57

I couldn't agree more. 

Trevor Young 22:59

So according to one reporter, covering this "the shirt appears to be the same one Randy Taylor is wearing in the surveillance video on the day of Alexis's disappearance at the gas station, except for one notable change. There was now a stain on the back of the shirt. And it turned out that it was blood." So the DNA on the blood, the eyelashes and the hair extensions all match Alexis Murphy's, as you can imagine. so they also find her cell phone several feet away from the trailer smashed in. And remember, like, police stormed this compound, because this is the last place that her cell phone had been pinged, right?

Yvette Gentile 23:37


Rasha Pecoraro 23:37


Trevor Young 23:37

So now it's like they find it destroyed. So I mean, I don't know what else people need to buy it right?

Rasha Pecoraro 23:43


Yvette Gentile 23:44

But at this point, you know, my heart is just breaking for the family because this is proof of that

Trevor Young 23:50

Yeah, it's very, like clear situation.

Rasha Pecoraro 23:52


Yvette Gentile 23:52

Very clear, very clear. 

Trevor Young 23:54

Yep. And then also inside the abandoned house that was on that property, they find, "a scrapbook with pornographic pictures with the faces cut out and photos of a female taped on top of those photos." The female is actually, it's photos of the daughter of one of Randy's co-workers.

Rasha Pecoraro 24:16

Oh gross.

Trevor Young 24:17

So like super creepy, like real serial killer stuff. 

Rasha Pecoraro 24:20


Trevor Young 24:22

So yeah, again, all very damning evidence still very sketchy. You know, I think the the kind of wild thing here is that he like took virtually no steps to like, hide...

Rasha Pecoraro 24:34


Trevor Young 24:34

This evidence...

Yvette Gentile 24:35


Rasha Pecoraro 24:35

No cover up.

Trevor Young 24:35

Or just like ball it up in a bloody shirt and stuff it under your sofa? Like

Rasha Pecoraro 24:39

Like yeah, no one's gonna find that. 

Yvette Gentile 24:40

But no, but no, I didn't do it. 

Rasha Pecoraro 24:42


Trevor Young 24:43

Yeah, it's 

Yvette Gentile 24:43

Yeah, so weird. 

Rasha Pecoraro 24:45

Alright, so the trial only lasts a week. 

Trevor Young 24:48


Rasha Pecoraro 24:49

Taylor is of course found guilty of first degree murder, "in the commission of an abduction with the intent to defile." So I looked this up because but obviously it feels very uncomfortable to say intent to defile, like what does that even mean? So it means it's the intent to have some sort of sexual contact with the individual without their consent. So I mean, needless to say, it seems that Alexis's final hours were incredibly terrible and horrifying.

Trevor Young 25:20

Yeah, I think, unfortunately, that is true. And that is clear at this point. The prosecutor was trying to get life sentences because he, "took the life of a young girl in her prime and disposed of her in such a way that the family doesn't have a burial for their daughter." I mean, keep that in mind.

Rasha Pecoraro 25:41


Trevor Young 25:41

They have not found her yet. 

Rasha Pecoraro 25:42

No closure. 

Trevor Young 25:43

Right. So I mean, they essentially know what happened, but there's no body. So the defense tried to ask for leniency based on Randy's age. He's 48. 

Rasha Pecoraro 25:55


Trevor Young 25:55

But you know, the jury recommended life sentences for each conviction. And so that's what he's given. He's given two life sentences. In a last ditch effort, he actually tries again for a shorter sentence. His attorney asks for just a 20 year sentence, "in exchange for information leading to Alexis Murphy, both the prosecution and her family declined, saying her life is worth more than that."

Yvette Gentile 26:22

Yeah, this to me, when I saw this, this is beyond disgusting. 

Rasha Pecoraro 26:27

Yeah vile. 

Yvette Gentile 26:28

Vile. You know, can you... I can't even imagine the lawyer asking the family that 

Rasha Pecoraro 26:35

like, Oh, I'll let you know where Alex is if you let me get out in 20 years to be able to do this to someone else.

Yvette Gentile 26:41

Oh hell no.

Trevor Young 26:41

I mean, It seems like something from like a TV show, right? Yeah. Like the killer is like holding leverage, like information about where the body's hidden. 

Yvette Gentile 26:48

It's like, How dare you, How dare you?

Trevor Young 26:51

Yeah, it's it's quite gutsy. But I mean, like, I guess it's also not surprising because we know he's done it at this point. Like, we know, he knows where she is. And he, he's like holding, he has been holding on to that information to like, use it as a tool to you know, get out of jail free.

Rasha Pecoraro 27:09

That's disgusting. You know, and after this, you know, Alexis's mother is called to the stand and she glances over at Randy Taylor, and then tells the jury that the past 10 months have been a living hell. And of course, you know, she's in tears, and she's so upset. And she says this "I have a son. I don't know how to tell him she's never coming home." 

Yvette Gentile 27:11

And then there's another interesting connection. And that's with the case of someone named Samantha Clark?

Trevor Young 27:43

Yes, so Samantha Clark was 19 years old when she disappeared from her home in Orange County, Virginia. That was on September 13th of 2010. So this is about three years before Alexis. So on the evening before she went missing, Samantha spoke to Randy Taylor on the phone multiple times. And afterwards, Samantha told her brother she was leaving, and then she left. When her mother returned home from work the next morning, Samantha was not there. As of 2022, her body has also not been found. The case has remained open and Taylor is still considered a prime suspect. But he has not admitted any involvement in her disappearance. And when they were looking for Alexis, investigators included Samantha in their search since Taylor, Randy Taylor was present in both of the cases.

Various Voices 28:36


Trevor Young 28:37

But according to NBC, quote, Samantha's mother told Dateline her daughter was not friends with Randy Taylor. But she says I think Randy took her. And then she goes on to say, "he called my house six times that night, and he admits that he was the last one to see her. How are you going to say you are the last one to see her if you don't know where she is?"

Yvette Gentile 28:58

These cases are way too similar. 

Rasha Pecoraro 29:02


Yvette Gentile 29:02

Way too similar.

Trevor Young 29:04

Yeah. I mean, who knows how many other young girls he's done this too, right. Like, there's clearly a pattern here is what we're learning. And, you know, thank goodness, he was finally caught, you know, because, again, he probably would have done it again, 

Rasha Pecoraro 29:19

And he was trying to get out...

Yvette Gentile 29:20


Rasha Pecoraro 29:20

In 20 years, so he could do it again.

Trevor Young 29:22

Yeah, yeah. So a small bit of good news, if you can call it good news, which is that in 2020, just a couple of years ago, they finally find Alexis Murphy's body. They find it on a private property off Route 29. And this is right there in the same town as the gas station where she was last seen. So they find human remains, which were confirmed in February 2021, to be Alexis's. So they held off on notifying the community so that the family could have some privacy time to grieve, make arrangements kind of have come to terms with this. And I mean with that the case is essentially closed.

Rasha Pecoraro 30:06

Whew, that's a lot to intake right? And I think it's beautiful that they gave the family you know, a little bit of time to process before making this public because I'm sure you know all of us have been invested in it. The family statement, at the time when they were ready to talk was, "while we have been grieving the loss of Alexis since 2013, we remained hopeful that she would be found alive and well. Alexis was the fashionista, athlete and Joker of our family. We were blessed to have loved her for 17 years, and her memory will continue to live on through us all." And with that, that brings us to our Imua. Our final message of hope and healing this week is dedicated to the Ohana or the families of missing young people. And especially to the families of color. Mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and siblings and every family member they're unable to grieve properly because of fear because of the not knowing. We dedicate this to you.

Yvette Gentile 31:19

And for years, the media has failed to pay adequate attention to missing black women and children prolonging the suffering for these families. But thankfully, this issue is being called out more and more. People are stepping up, communities are coming together and saying enough is enough. Our black girls is a website dedicated to telling the stories of black girls who have either disappeared or faced fatal violence to the work that our black girls is doing. Thank you.

Rasha Pecoraro 31:53

And to the families out there still searching and still wondering. Of course events like these are tragic and we hope that your stories get the attention that they so deserve, so that you might find the justice and healing that you seek. Onward and upward. Imua

Yvette Gentile 32:13


Rasha Pecoraro 32:19

Well, that is our show for today. Thank y'all so much for joining us for our live episode from Podcast Movement in Dallas, Texas. And please find us on social media or email us at and one request if you haven't already, please find us on iTunes and give us a review and a good rating. You know if you like what we do, your support is always cherished.

Yvette Gentile 32:50

Until next time, aloha.

Trevor Young 33:02

Facing Evil is a production of iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV. The show is hosted by Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile. Matt Frederick and Alex Williams are executive producers on behalf of iHeartRadio with producers Trevor Young and Jesse Funk. Donald Albright and Payne Lindsey, are executive producers on behalf of Tenderfoot. TV, alongside producer Tracy Kaplan. Our researcher is Claudia Dafrico. Original Music by Makeup and Vanity Set. Find us on social media, or email us at For more podcasts from iHeart Radio or tenderfoot TV, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.


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