By John Maino for the Maino Project on NBC26
Green Bay, WI -- He's the most infamous Packer hopeful of all time. Randy Woodfield was drafted 40 years ago, but his story didn't end the day he got cut. In fact, it was just beginning.
The Manitowoc Chiefs of 1974 were semi pro but serious about the game.
"We were very talented, had some pretty good cast-offs from the Packers," said Joe Laux.
Fred Auclair was one of those former Packers spending a month in training camp with the likes of future Bears' coach Dave Wannstat and his St. Norbert roommate, a 17th round draft pick from Portland State, wide receiver Randy Woodfield.
"He was a hell of an athlete. I was surprised he got cut. He could run and jump. He was as good as they come," said Auclair.
Both were released before the regular season, but they didn't part ways as teammates or roommates.
Auclair says, "When I got cut, he was right behind me. I said, 'Randy if you want to stick around for a little while, why don't you give me a call? I've got room in my apartment. Maybe you want to come to Oshkosh, hang out and play some semi pro football?'"
A new team in a new town, but Woodfield was accepted as one of the guys.
"He was pretty normal, a likeable guy," explained Laux.
There were no outward signs of problems at the time but possibly in retrospect.
"There was an apartment full of girls just down the street that I know he spent a lot of time with, and I think he got somewhat close to one of them. She doesn't talk about it. I tried to chat with her about it since then," said Auclair.
Woodfield excelled on the field and held a regular job off. Once the season ended, he headed back to Oregon. It would be 20 years before his old roommate, once again, heard his name.
"My mother had called me and said she read an article in the Milwaukee Journal about serial killers and right there with John Gacy and Son of Sam was Randy Woodfield," Auclair said.
By this time, Woodfield was known as the I-5 killer for his horrific spree of murders on the west coast. Police believe his victims could number in the forties. Cold case detectives recently contacted Auclair about the murder of a co-ed near Eau Claire that occurred at the same time Woodfield was traveling to Green Bay to sign his contract with the Packers.
Auclair says, "A young lady was hitchhiking from Minnesota to Chicago. She never made it."
Woodfield is serving life in prison for his string of murders and sexual assaults.