Video: Tara Perry on boyfriend Randy Miller's rampage and suicide

tara perry.jpg
Tara Perry.
Tara Perry, the subject of this week's cover story, "The Girl Who Fell to Earth," has made a remarkable turnaround since she was first incarcerated thirteen years ago, at the age of sixteen. Corrections staff, teachers and others view her as a model of rehabilitation, one who's tried to transform her remorse for her crimes into positive action. She's earned a college degree, excelled at every program prison has offered her, and is considered a leader in promoting conflict resolution and nonviolence.

That's a far cry from the dysfunctional high school sophomore who got mixed up with a 22-year-old street hustler and parolee named Randy Miller -- and then, over the course of three days in May of 1999, joined Miller in a terrifying series of armed robberies and home invasions that spanned three states and ended in Miller's suicide. Although Perry didn't kill or physically injure anyone during the crime spree, she was charged as an adult with crimes ranging from kidnapping to attempted murder and is now serving a forty-year sentence -- the longest sentence of any juvenile in the Colorado adult system who didn't actually commit homicide.

Understanding how Perry got into such a desperate situation means understanding what was driving Miller, the tormented mastermind (if that's the right word) of the crimes. In the video excerpt below from my prison interview with Perry, she recounts her arrest on May 22, 1999, by Kansas state troopers after a high-speed chase -- and her efforts to get Miller, who'd taken two elderly men hostage, to give himself up. During her three-hour phone conversation with Miller, he kept circling back to his rage over Robert "Pops" McCalmant, the pedophile who'd molested him when Miller was eleven years old and led him into prostitution.

McCalmant sexually assaulted at least a dozen young boys while operating out of an East Colfax motel. His conviction and 1,338-year sentence was a direct result of the investigation Miller had launched against him. McCalmant died in a prison infirmary in 2006.

Miller didn't live to see that day, as Perry explains below.

More from our News archive: "Charles Farrar: Appeal denied in sex-abuse case despite 'victim' recanting."

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9 comments
anonymous
anonymous

I'm a victim of Randy's and Tara's crime, a bullet went past my head because I trusted a "friend". There is a different side to Randy, and his character. he was very manipulative and charismatic. He could easily convince people to do what he wanted, and made it hard to tell him no. However, you make your own choices in life: Tara made hers....and she made a choice that not only affects her life....it affected so many lives in a huge way.  and our lives are forever changed

Chelsea Scott
Chelsea Scott

Of course she got 40 years. Had she actually killed somebody or violated a child, she could have been out in a decade.

Jermaine
Jermaine

She knew right from wrong at the age of sixteen. No one knows what was going on in her mind when she was on her spree.Even doe she didn't kill anyone,she was involve in a kidnapping.At the age of sixteen they shouldn't have gave her all that time.She was young at the time,and impressionable.The judge should of took her state of mind in to consideration when he  gave her forty years.I don't no the laws in Colorado,and how they do time on a sentence that long.From what I read she really change her life around.She got a college education,she a model inmate.Even doe society have their laws,but some of the sentences that they giving out are to long.That's why they call it blind justice huh.

Mya Adams82
Mya Adams82

Hey I am tramya I am tara biggest fan

onyx
onyx

What does "doe" mean?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Q: What goes "ho de doe, hoe de doe, ho de doe" ?

Steve
Steve

doe, a deer, a female deer...ray, a ray from the sun...

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