Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Some Thoughts on Randy Wayne Leach
by Pa Rock
Possibly as many as six bodies were found today when divers on a training exercise discovered two rusted-out vehicles at the bottom of Foss Lake in Foss, Oklahoma. The cars are thought to have been in the deep and murky lake since 1969 and 1970. It is unclear whether the cars entered the water all of those years ago due to foul play or misadventure. One of the vehicles was found about fifty feet from the end of a boat ramp.
Relatives of persons thought to have been in at least one of the vehicles are breathing a sigh of relief as they anticipate closure of a family mystery that began nearly half a century ago.
All of that has set me thinking about Randy Wayne Leach, the 18-year-old high school senior who left his parents’ home in Linwood, Kansas, on the evening of April 15th, 1988, to attend a "pre-graduation" party at a friend’s house – and never returned. His parents, Harold and Alberta Leach, would also dearly love to have some closure.
My youngest son, Tim, and I met Harold and Alberta in 2006 when he was writing a play about Randy’s disappearance. That play, Leaves of Words, subsequently was performed for three packed houses at the University of Kansas.
Randy disappeared from the poorly supervised party sometime after midnight. He was, by many accounts, in bad shape either from too much alcohol or possibly drugs. He was driving his mother’s car that fateful evening, and that vehicle has never been found.
There were numerous places in the vicinity of the party where a vehicle could have left the road and plunged into dark water. The Kansas River runs close by, and a couple of lakes are within a short drive. Several large farm ponds are also in the vicinity.
Randy Leach is almost certainly dead, and quite possibly resting underwater somewhere in northeastern Kansas. There were lots of theories about what happened to the nice looking young man with the infectious smile, but, until his remains are found, what happened to him must remain conjecture.
Harold and Alberta Leach deserve to know what became of their son, and Randy deserves the opportunity to rest in peace. It has been over a quarter of a century since he left home for the party. If someone has knowledge of the fate of Randy Wayne Leach, it is time to step forward.
(More information regarding this mystery is available on this blog in the entry dated April 16th, 2008.)