STOCKTON (KPIX 5) — A Hawaiian psych ward escapee considered violent and dangerous on Thursday told his story, saying his run for freedom was a last ditch effort to prove he could make it in the real world.
In a jail jumpsuit speaking from behind glass at the San Joaquin County Jail, Randall Saito spoke freely about almost everything: his escape, his 70 hours of freedom and the murder he committed almost four decades ago.
“The woman I murdered in 1979, God bless her soul,” said Saito. “I’ve regretted it every day since the day it happened.”
Saito has been at the Hawaii State Hospital on Oahu since being acquitted by reason of insanity in 1981.
On Sunday, he casually walked off the property, took a charter flight to Maui and then hopped on a plane to San Jose before eventually making it to Stockton, where members of his family live.
Saito said that afterwards, he planned to go to Reno, Nevada, but he did not have a reason for going there.
But the escapee explained that he did not have any bad intentions in his escape.
“I didn’t come here to hunt women down or hurt people, you know what I mean?” said Saito.
Instead, he says he escaped to prove hospital staff he should be released.
“And the only reason why I did it was because I was desperate to have some kind of existential proof, unequivocal proof that I could be in the community without messing up,” said Saito. “So I could go back to Hawaii and say, ‘You know what you guys said? All this crap about me? Now what do you got to say?'”
At one point, Saito even appeared to look for sympathy.
“Why would you do this to me? I’m contriteful. I’m not a trouble maker. Why you rubbing salt in the wound for me?”
But prosecutors say not only did Saito randomly kill a woman, he used her body for sexual pleasure.
On Thursday, Saito denied that.
“The necrophilia is my fault. I used that as an excuse to get into the state hospital from the get-go in 1979,” explained Saito.
There was one thing Saito didn’t want to discuss: how he got the money to escape in the first place.
“I can’t tell you. That’s my big secret,” said Saito.
Saito also admitted to having “relationships” with several members of the Hawaiian hospital staff.
Saito will appear before a judge in San Joaquin County on Friday. He is likely to be sent back to Hawaii.