Longform

Bad Signal

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"One time I tried to dead-key him back, and he was ready with an immediate complaint to the FCC. I got a citation," the competitor laments. "He played me like a piano."

In the end, Angle had collected a set of 51 federal licenses and assembled a network spanning radio towers from Rockwall to Denton to west Fort Worth.

Then there was his secretive, paranoid side.

"Everything he did was shady," says Weathersby, who now works on the Dallas County government's radio system. Weathersby worked for Angle for a brief time in the mid-'80s and was perplexed at the way he "used 14 different names to run under, aliases."

Subsequent legal actions turned up names such as Randy James, NCE-CPA, Conventional Systems, Dana Smith, 2WC Inc., Q-Com, PTR Leasing, S.S.P. Leasing, and Rayburn Properties.

"Randy was secretive about everything," recalls Lott. "I'm sending him $40,000 a month, and he'd never give me a phone number where I could reach him. It would always be a beeper; he was very secretive about his life."

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.


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.

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.

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Thomas Korosec
Contact: Thomas Korosec

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