Bad Signal

When Randy Angle disappeared, he left behind a multimillion-dollar fortune in a two-way radio -- and an ugly secret

Paula, who did billing and accounting work for the business in later years, can understand his stealthy ways: Not once did she see evidence that he was paying income or business taxes. His approach to money was simple: He'd buy gold and bury it in the back yard. After he disappeared, her attorney says, they found empty, freshly dug holes all around the place.

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The thin wall Randy Angle erected around himself caved in all at once.His daughter Paula had left home at age 17 and married John Jenkins, whom she had met in church.

After four years and two children, Paula moved back with her family and began living in a trailer at their ranch in Van Zandt County. In 1997, she went back to work at the family business. "She had an understanding that Randy would leave her alone," says Brenda Collier, Paula's attorney.



wide selection of mainstream and independent comic books. Such outlets are a dying breed.

wide selection of mainstream and independent comic books. Such outlets are a dying breed.

Randy Angle, left, and Richard Youngblood in 1984, the year Angle began his radio business.
Arthur Nichols
Randy Angle, left, and Richard Youngblood in 1984, the year Angle began his radio business.

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And Randy did -- until early October 1998, when he called her to a back room. "It's nothing to be upset about," he told her after the rape, a police report states. "It's just a bodily function, and you probably needed it too." As before, fear and embarrassment kept her from turning her father in.

Attempting to smooth things over that very week, Angle bought a new Dodge Ram pickup, which he put under another alias, "PNT Leasing." He told her it stood for "Paula's new truck." Paula said she wanted to help pay for the truck and began making payments.

Paula continued to work at the Garland radio shop -- where she could work part-time and take her children to work -- until March 1999. She had started dating a paramedic, Chad LaPrade, which led to more trouble.

"His thinking was sick, but he didn't approve of me being with anybody else," Paula says, explaining Randy's growing jealousy.

In mid-March, after Paula returned from church with her boyfriend, Angle informed her he was taking back the truck, which escalated pressure on her to quit seeing LaPrade. A week later, Angle evicted her from the ranch and forced her to walk down to the gate with her kids and what she could carry.

A week after that, Paula gave her statement to Garland police, hired Collier, and started fighting back.

Angle, arrested within days, made his $5,000 bail after five days in jail.

Meanwhile, his wife attempted to ready the business for sale, and either Randy or Dana began shopping around about a third of their 51 licenses. Some of those licenses had been placed in Paula's name only a month earlier, which complicated attempts to liquidate. Collier says the Angles were required as part of a new FCC rule to provide tax identification and Social Security numbers to renew those licenses. So they put the licenses in their daughter's name as the sole shareholder and director of 2WC, Inc., which they incorporated in Delaware.

In late April, when Paula went to the Rockwall house to retrieve some of her and her children's possessions, Dana confronted her and demanded that she sign papers assigning the licenses to the Angles. Paula had other things to talk about, recalling later that she brought up the years of abuse and almost had her mother convinced of Randy Angle's crimes.

"She got pretty close to accepting it, but she didn't," the daughter says now. "She is still in denial."

When Paula continued to refuse to sign away the licenses, Dana assaulted her, the daughter alleged in a police report and a civil lawsuit she filed the next month. She came away with scratches and bruises.

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In court, Dana's common-law defense attempts took the biggest pounding.In late May 1999, Paula filed suit in Dallas County alleging rape, invasion of privacy, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, wrongful eviction, and wrongful termination -- and requested that a receiver and injunction be put in place to prevent the Angles from dissolving the business.

Instead of hiring a lawyer to defend the case, Dana Angle appeared on her own behalf or in the company of people her daughter suspects she knew from her far-right affiliations, and filled the court file with bizarre paperwork.

Maneuvering into position for the legal kill, Paula's lawyer dropped Dana Angle from the suit, and within two months obtained an $11.5 million judgment against Randy. On the run from the law, he never appeared and lost by default.

Not wanting to turn her mother out of her house, Paula attempted to negotiate with Dana Angle a settlement that would allow her to keep the Rockwall house, a mobile home that had been parked on the Van Zandt County ranch, a 5-year-old pickup truck, $12,000, two dogs, and a paint horse. In return, she was to release all the claims she had loaded into the court file -- and state records -- that purported to hold Paula and her lawyer liable for $12 billion. It was called, in the gobbledygook favored by the common-law folks, a "notice of acceptance for value and exempt from levy," and read, "I, Dana Edna Angle, accept for value of $12 billion your commercial presentment."

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