In the 1970s, Raymond Scoville was transitioning from hippie to businessman. As the editor of an underground Chicago newspaper in 1970, he had penned an article entitled “How to Get a New Identity,” geared toward those sought by law enforcement.
In the 1980s, Scoville personally tested his work, as he made another transition, from businessman to murderer. Unfortunately, he has aced the test.
Scoville knew about what he wrote, and, evidently, practiced what he preached as he has been on the lam for over 37 years.
By the latter part of the 1970s, as the counterculture movement was coming to a close, Raymond Scoville was remodeling his Chicago drug paraphernalia shop into a record and videotape shop.
Scoville’s new store was a success, and the hippie-turned-businessman soon opened five more stores in the Joliet, Illinois, area.
Colleen Racich was a bubbly teen hired by Scoville as a part-time clerk at one of his stores. She proved herself a good worker, but Scoville was evaluating more than her job performance. The former deadhead had a thing for redheads. Colleen was flattered by the attention of the “hip” business owner. Soon, the 31-year-old Scoville and his 14-year-old employee were having an affair.
The two continued their romantic relationship as Colleen grew into adulthood. By 1982, as she proved herself a good businesswoman, Scoville made his now 22-year-old trophy girlfriend the part-owner of three of his businesses. Colleen was on the fast track, but she soon discovered her lover and business partner had been off track for several years.
Colleen, the astute young businesswoman, examined the company books and was startled at what she found. For several years, Scoville had been skimping on his responsibilities. Colleen’s lover-partner was heavily in debt, had defaulted on several bank loans, and had not paid taxes for
several years. Colleen immediately ended the romantic partnership and took the first steps toward dissolving the business partnership.
After Colleen alerted the authorities, several of Scoville’s stores were shut down. The former lovers and partners became bitter of enemies as each filed civil suits against each other.
On August 3, 1982, Scoville and Colleen met in one of the record stores to discuss the state of their businesses and partnerships. Several people saw the two engaged in heated arguments. These were the last sightings of Colleen Racich.
Colleen’s family reported her missing the following day. Four days later, police found her car at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital parking lot. Beneath a pile of newspapers in the back seat lay Colleen’s body. She had been shot eight times.
When police questioned Scoville, he admitted killing Colleen but claimed it was self-defense, saying she had attacked him with a knife. Under interrogation, however, Scoville broke down, admitting he had struck his former lover on her head with a mallet before shooting her to death. Afterward, he took Colleen’s keys, wrapped her body in a bag and blanket, put it into her car and drove to the hospital parking lot.
Raymond Scoville was arrested on August 10, 1982, and charged with the murder of his former lover and business partner, Colleen Racich. In a written confession to police, he stated he had shot Colleen after she accused him of embezzling funds from their businesses.
Scoville’s mother posted his $50,000 bond. On April 12, 1983, four days after his trial began, a motion to suppress his confession to Chicago police was denied. The following day, Scoville was a no-show in court.
On June 20, 1983, nine weeks after fleeing, Scoville was seen by a former employee at a Chicago restaurant. This is the last confirmed sighting of Raymond Scoville.
Scoville’s trial continued without him and in September of 1983, he was convicted in absentia of Colleen’s murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Instead of sitting in a prison cell, however, Scoville has been in hiding for nearly that amount of time.
Scoville is also suspected of killing two former girlfriends, one of them being Jill Clark. Soon after Scoville began his affair with Colleen, Jill was found shot to death. Although it was determined the gun that killed Jill belonged to Scoville, her death was ruled a suicide.
I was not able to find a source naming the other ex-girlfriend Scoville is suspected of killing. I also could not find a picture of Jill Clark.
In recent years, retro stores have become increasingly popular, and vinyl records have been making a comeback.
Not so, Raymond Scoville. He remains in hiding over 37 years after killing Colleen. Scoville spoke fluent Spanish, and authorities believe he may have fled to central or South America. He may be using the names David Shaw, Robert Branch or Harvey Lnu. Scoville would today be 68-years-old.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Raymond Scoville, please contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 746-6000 or the Chicago FBI office at (312) 421-6700.
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• America’s Most Wanted
• Chicago Sun-Times
• Chicago Tribune
• The Herald News (Joliet, IL.)
• New Lenox Patch
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Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)
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