Lifetime’s ‘A Rose for Her Grave’ as well as Investigation Discovery’s ‘Diabolical: Murder is No Accident’ brings to the viewers the slaying of Cynthia Roth at the hands of her husband, Randy. There were a lot of questions surrounding the young mother’s death, and Randy’s behavior after that led the authorities to take a closer look at him. In the end, the prosecutors presented Randy’s motive to kill and brought to the fore the similarities between the death of one of his ex-wives to garner a conviction. So, if you’re wondering what happened in this case, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Cynthia Roth Die?
Cynthia Loucks Baumgartner was born in North Dakota in November 1956. Brought up by a religious family, Cynthia married her first husband, Tom, and the couple had two sons together named Tyson and Rylie. Tom died of cancer in 1984. She eventually met Randolph “Randy” Roth at a baseball league her sons were a part of in Everett, Washington. Cynthia was managing a concession stand there. After dating for a few months, they married in August 1990, with this being Randy’s fourth marriage.
The family soon moved into a home in Woodinville, Washington. On July 23, 1991, Cynthia, Randy, and the kids went to Lake Sammamish in Washington. While the kids played on the shore, the couple rowed their raft into deeper waters. Sometime later, Randy came rowing back to the coast with Cynthia unresponsive. The lifeguards tried to revive her but were unsuccessful. The 34-year-old was then pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Who Killed Cynthia Roth?
When questioned, Randy told the police that the two had been swimming in the lake with the raft next to them. The wake of a boat passing by then flipped the raft onto Cynthia, who had been dealing with a leg cramp, leading her to drown. But what struck the investigators were witness accounts of Randy’s behavior. According to them, Randy rowed slowly to the shore with an unresponsive Cynthia with him, never calling for help. Lifeguards stated that while they tried to revive Cynthia, Randy went about deflating and rolling up the raft.
The authorities also learned of a life insurance policy over $300,000 in Cynthia’s name, with Randy named the beneficiary. That seemed like a possible motive for murder. Once they looked into Randy’s past, they realized that his second wife also died suddenly, leading to him collecting life insurance above $100,000. Janis Miranda and Randy had gone hiking in Skamania County, Washington, in November 1981, when he claimed that she slipped and plummeted to her death.
Now, with a pattern emerging, the police believed Randy had something to do with Cynthia’s murder. He was arrested in October 1991 after additional circumstantial evidence pointed to his guilt. At his trial in 1992, Stacey Reese, a single mom who was his colleague at a car dealership, testified that Randy talked of being free from Cynthia days before she died. Then, she said he also asked her to go to Reno with the tickets Cynthia had gotten for their anniversary.
Linda Baker, Cynthia’s best friend and the guardian of her two sons, said that Cynthia kept her will in a safety deposit box at a bank. When Linda finally got access to it, she found that the box was empty. Bank records showed Randy visited about two days after Cynthia’s death. In an interview with the police, Randy claimed that Cynthia didn’t tell him of any will that existed. The authorities also found a crumpled-up note in a dresser drawer at the family home. Believed to be written by Cynthia, it said that Randy hated different things about her.
Where is Randy Roth Now?
The prosecution painted Randy as a cold and unemotional man whose motive was cashing in on the insurance money. Additional testimony came from Janis’ daughter, who stated that her mother showed her an envelope with money which she asked to take if anything ever happened to her. The daughter then said Randy took that envelope. The defense contended that the case was circumstantial, and there was no direct evidence linking Randy to Cynthia’s murder.
Nevertheless, in April 1992, an 8½-hour deliberation by the jury resulted in his being found guilty of murder. He was also convicted on one count of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree before later pleading guilty to additional counts of second-degree theft. Then 37, Randy was subsequently sentenced to one year for theft and 50 years for first-degree murder. Therefore, from what we can tell, he remains incarcerated at the mixed-level Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Washington.