Michael Eugene Richardson

Michael Richardson

Courtesy 10News

Crimes: Multiple Murders, Sexual Abuse, Pedophile

Michael Eugene Richardson murdered 3 people, and almost murdered another. If anyone deserves the death penalty, he does.

In 1975, James Johnson was a cab driver in North Carolina. He had the horrible misfortune of having Michael Eugene Richardson as a fare. He wasn’t, of course, to know that his passenger had recently been discharged from Pope Air Force Base and was currently armed and dangerous.

When James Johnson got to his fare’s destination and parked, Michael Eugene Richardson shot him in the face with a 32 caliber pistol. He handed over all of his change, which was only about $10, and was shot twice more for his efforts.

James Johnson escaped from the cab which Michael Eugene Richardson immediately commandeered.

With wounds to his face, back and shoulder, James Johnson was still able to seek refuge at a nearby residence. He was later taken to hospital for surgery.

“It took about 2 years to recover from the injuries to face and shoulder. I still carry the bullet in the back,” James Johnson reported. “I lost my house, my car, and my job because I couldn’t work… I am now on disability.”

As horrible as all that is, James Johnson is the luckiest of Michael Eugene Richardson’s victims. He lived. The other 3 didn’t.

Police nabbed Michael Eugene Richardson as he was driving the stolen cab. The murderous monster pled guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 28-30 years in prison. That’s a reasonable sentence — too bad he never served it all.

After 6 years of incarceration, Michael Eugene Richardson escaped while working on a roadside crew. That was back in 1982. For the next 18 years he remained on the loose.

Michael Eugene Richardson eventually had made his way to California. He owned and operated Mike’s Auto in Poway. Nobody there knew he was a fugitive — not until 2000 when he was finally caught and sent back to North Carolina.

You’d think that the North Carolina justice system would be really ticked off with him, escaping and eluding capture for so long. Apparently they didn’t have a problem with that. Instead of having to serve the 22 years remaining on his original sentence, he was paroled after only 7 months!

WTF was North Carolina thinking? Of course they weren’t to know that Michael Eugene Richardson was a bona fide murderer.

JovitaBack on April 30, 1992, Jovita Collazo disappeared off the face of the earth. She’d been Michael Eugene Richardson’s girlfriend for several years.

On the fateful day, Jovita Collazo, 38, told her 12-year-old daughter, Michelle, she was going out to buy some beer. An hour later Michael Eugene Richardson phoned home and asked Michelle if he could speak to her mother. The girl told him that Jovita Collazo hadn’t returned. It turned out that the woman never, ever returned.

I don’t know if Michael Eugene Richardson killed Jovita Collazo because he was molesting her daughter or planning to. I do know that Michelle later testified that she’d been molested by him for 3 years. Poor kid, she had such a rough time of it. She’d been placed in a mental institution for 5 months after the disappearance of her mother.

I cannot imagine what young Michelle went through — her mother was gone and I’m sure she felt abandoned. And there was nobody coming to rescue her from the pedophile who was molesting her.

Michael Eugene Richardson had reported Jovita Collazo missing, and he told the police a cock-n-bull story about her packing up and leaving after an argument. Police considered him a “person of interest” but the investigation went nowhere. They didn’t know then he was a fugitive from justice, convicted of shooting James Johnson multiple times.

It makes me wonder just how in-depth the investigation was that the police didn’t look into their suspect’s history. I don’t think he even changed his name to hide his identity!

Jovita Collazo’s body was sadly never found. Michael Eugene Richardson was free to move and he did — to Washington state. He took young Michelle with him.

This I do not understand — why was he allowed to have custody of Michelle? She was not his biological daughter, and he’d never married her mother. He was a “person of interest” fer gawd’s sake in her mother’s disappearance! Did nobody care about Michelle?

Michael Eugene Richardson happily lived the life of a free man until he was arrested in 2000 and sent back to North Carolina. After only 7 piddly months he was once again a free man. His parole ended in 2004.

Thao Richardson and motherMichael Eugene Richardson moved back to Poway, California. He ran his auto repair business and he got married to a beautiful woman, Thao. His mother-in-law, Than Lyi (also written Phan Lai), shared their Chula Vista home, as did his wife’s 17-year-old niece.

It can come as no surprise that Michael Eugene Richardson began having sex with the niece. We know he likes them young.

In 2010, Thao Richardson found out about the illicit relationship after reading text messages. She gave her husband an ultimatum — end the relationship or she would contact authorities.

Michael Eugene Richardson did not end his relationship with the niece. Instead, he convinced the niece not to testify against him, and promised her that he’d leave Thao and run away with her.

In March 2010, Thao Richardson carried out her threat. She contacted the Chula Vista police and told them about her husband having sex with a minor. The police did investigate but without the niece’s cooperation they could not file charges. Damn!

In June 2010, Michael Eugene Richardson decided to rid himself of his beautiful wife and her mother. I guess he figured it was easier than running off with the niece.

Staged car crashThe hellbeast killer decided to stage a car wreck in Lakeside, California. He put the bodies of Thao, 39, and her mother, 72, inside a Honda Accord and sent it down an embankment off state Route 67.

On June 29, 2010, the bodies were discovered near the wreckage of the car. Police were immediately suspicious because Thao Richardson died of suffocation and her mother died of a slit throat.

I’m pretty sure not many victims of car crashes wind up with their throats cut.

Michael Eugene Richardson sure got sloppy there! Did he actually think the police wouldn’t link his wife’s death to her allegations against him? Did he actually think his niece wouldn’t change her mind and begin cooperating with police? And did he actually think the police had forgotten all about Jovita Collazo’s disappearance?

Two days after the bodies of Thao Richardson and her mother were found, police arrested Michael Eugene Richardson. Not for the murders, mind you, but for 13 charges including sex with a minor, oral copulation, rape by a foreign object and dissuading a witness.

In December 2010, Michael Eugene Richardson, who was in prison awaiting trial, was charged with the murder of Jovita Collazo. In 2011, he was charged with the murders of his wife and mother-in-law. I guess the investigators and prosecutors took time to be extremely thorough because they knew he wasn’t going anywhere.

In courtIn August 2013, Michael Eugene Richardson, 60, agreed to a plea deal. In return for having the sex charges dropped, he pled guilty to 3 counts of 1st-degree murder.

On August 12, 2013, the monster was sentenced to 6 consecutive life terms in prison with no chance of parole. IMO he should have been given a death sentence. IMO he shouldn’t have been offered life in prison unless and until he gave up the location of Jovita Collazo’s body.

I am relieved that Michael Eugene Richardson will never see the light of day again, and never victimize any other person. It’s just a crying shame that he was able to destroy so many lives.

I can’t help thinking that, if only police investigating the disappearance of Jovita Collazo had been more thorough in checking out his criminal history, he would have been recaptured earlier.

If only North Carolina had forced him to serve the entirety of his sentence after his recapture, lives would have been spared.

If only Michelle had been taken from his custody she might have had less trauma in her young life.

RIP, Jovita Collazo, Thao Richardson and Than Lyi. I extend my condolences to their friends and families.

And to Jovita Collazo’s daughter, Thao Richardson’s niece and James Johnson, I wish futures replete with happiness and contentment.

To Michael Eugene Richardson, the pedophile/murderer, I wish constant pain and suffering until the day he dies, and afterward too.

East County Magazine story – James Johnson
UTSandiego.com News article
10News.com article
CharleyProject.org article

13 Responses to Michael Eugene Richardson

  1. moodymagic says:

    Why the hell not a death sentence? Burn in hell Micheal.

    • Michelle Gutierrez says:

      Cause GOD is the only true Judge and I forgave him for taking my childhood innonce starting when I was 9 until he murdered my mom when I was 13 almost 14. But I forgave him cause I can’t have any hate in my heart. I know that I am going home to my mom and my heavenly father.

  2. 2cute says:

    I think this bastard got away with his crimes for as long as he did not because he was clever but because he was lucky that law enforcement agencies back then weren’t communicating with each other like they can now. He got caught I think because he considered himself clever instead of lucky. He’s obviously not smart otherwise he wouldn’t think police would accept a car crash victim having her throat cut.

  3. bulldoggy says:

    Why did the prosecutors make a plea deal that didn’t involve him telling where the body is? Michelle deserves to see her mother properly buried.

    • Michelle Gutierrez says:

      Thank you very much we finally got her body home and buried her 9/11/2015. They found her as a Jane Doe in San Bernardino California a hiker found her body in the desert of San Bernardino California November 1994. I forgave him cause I want to go home to my mom and my heavenly father. She’s finally at peace

  4. fuctup says:

    Still think he deserves the death penalty. Six life sentences aren’t as impressive as one death sentence.

  5. BENGALPUSS says:

    How stupid to think that the investigators wouldn’t notice the mother in laws cut throat? so glad this beast was thick as pig shit.

  6. awesomeblossom says:

    It’s so sad that Jovita is still missing. How dare that bastard consider these women expendable! They were worth thousands of times more than he ever will be. He is worthless and a complete waste of skin. Too bad he can’t be turned into an organ donor to save or improve lives. He doesn’t need those eyes, does he? And he doesn’t need his kidney, does he? And he looks like he’s got bones and skin and blood to spare. He owes 6 life sentences, so he should be made to help 6 people live.

    • Michelle Gutierrez says:

      Thanks for the support we have my mom’s body now we buried her 9/11/2015 she’s finally in peace. She was a Jane Doe in San Bernardino California a hiker found her November 1994

  7. Jerrie says:

    Jovita’s remains were found in Apple Valley in 1994, but it was not known it was her till recently when the authorities made a DNA match.

    • Bengalpuss says:

      Thank the lord that she’s been found, at least now she can be returned to her loved ones and finally be layed to rest.

    • Michelle Gutierrez says:

      Actually San Bernardino California by a hiker November 1994 we buried her 9/11/2015

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