How and Why Was Roy Radin Killed?

‘The Sons of Sam: A Descent into Madness’ is a documentary series on Netflix from Joshua Zeman. The show delves into journalist Maury Terry‘s research regarding the possibility that more than one person perpetrated the Son of Sam killings. The show takes the viewers through the increasingly disturbing connections that he makes in the case, ultimately alleging the involvement of a satanic cult that had its hand in other murders from coast to coast. Maury theorized that the murder of Roy Radin, a producer in the entertainment industry, was connected too. Curious to know what happened to Roy? Here’s everything we know!

How Did Roy Radin Die?

Roy Radin was born in 1950 to Al, a Broadway show promoter, and Renee, a showgirl. After his birth, Renee quit the business and moved to Long Island, New York, with Roy. Eventually, Roy’s parents divorced, and at the age of 16, he moved to live with his father in Florida. Over there, he dropped out of high school to make a foray into the entertainment business, starting with working in the publicity department for the Clyde Beatty Circus. Soon, he started producing vaudeville shows of his own, becoming a millionaire by his 20s. Roy was married and divorced twice.

But Roy’s ultimate dream was to make it big in Hollywood or Broadway, and it was regarding the same that he had traveled to Los Angeles, California, in May 1983. He was last seen being driven in a limousine to a dinner appointment on May 13. He was reported missing by his secretary about four days later. Almost a month into the investigation, Roy’s body was found by rangers in a forest 65 miles north of Los Angeles. His remains were heavily decomposed, and Roy was identified through dental records. There were signs of a struggle, and the cause of death was confirmed to be a gunshot wound behind the right ear.

Who Killed Roy Radin?

Investigation revealed that Roy was in contact with Robert Evans, a Hollywood producer who was looking for funding for a new film ‘The Cotton Club.’ It seemed like the perfect opportunity for Roy who jumped at the chance to enter Hollywood. They were introduced to each other by Karen Greenberger, also known as Elaine Jacobs. She was a drug dealer who was dating Robert at the time and was also supplying the two of them with cocaine.

Furthermore, there were allegations from earlier of a rape taking place at a party in his sprawling mansion in Southampton, New York. Melonie Haller, an actress, had claimed that she was raped and beaten at that party in April 1980. At the time, Roy was charged with criminal possession of cocaine and LSD, illegal possession of a handgun, and menacing Melanie. Her date for that night, Robert McKeage IV, pleaded guilty to beating her. Roy pled guilty to the illegal possession of a weapon, while the other charges were dismissed.

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While the investigation into his death was ongoing, Maury Terry received information from a prison informant that Roy had a major role in this satanic cult that Maury was looking into and that Roy’s death was connected to the cult. He even published these findings in his book in 1987. As part of their investigation, the authorities discovered that Roy was with Karen in the limousine on that evening. She gave the police conflicting stories regarding that incident. She initially said that they had an argument and he dropped her and drove off.

Later, Karen said that Roy asked the limousine driver to drop him and take her home. A few years later, Karen and three others were convicted in connection to Roy’s murder. It was revealed that Karen had ordered Roy to be kidnapped and killed because she felt that she was getting the short end of the stick in the movie deal. It was also her belief that Roy was behind the robbery at her house. Karen was convicted of second-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Two former bodyguards – William Mentzer and Alex Marti, were convicted for their role as the triggermen and were handed down the same sentence. The limousine driver, Robert Lowe, was convicted of murder and kidnapping. While this brought an end to a years-long investigation, it also meant that Maury’s theory that Roy’s death was connected to the cult was incorrect, further denting his reputation.

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