Who Is James Ray Of New Jersey? What Did James Ray III Did?

In the quiet suburb of Montclair, New Jersey, a seemingly idyllic life took a horrifying turn on October 22, 2018, when 44-year-old Angela Bledsoe was found lifeless on the kitchen floor of her home. The culprit? None other than her boyfriend and daughter’s father, James Ray III. As we delve into the disturbing details of this case, a saga of love, betrayal, and tragedy opens out.

DateEvent
October 22, 2018Angela Bledsoe found dead on the kitchen floor of her Montclair home; James Ray III, her boyfriend, flees the country, initiating an international manhunt.
October 2018James Ray III claims self-defense, stating Angela picked up a gun as he was about to clean his firearms, leading to her death.
November 2018FBI gets involved, and Ray is located in Cuba, a country without an extradition agreement with the U.S., after escaping to Mexico City.
June 2023James Ray III found guilty of murder after a lengthy trial. His sentencing, expected to be life in prison, looms.
Four Days Before SentencingJames Ray III found unconscious in his cell at the Essex County Correctional Facility; efforts to revive him with Narcan fail, and he dies.
December 8, 2023ABC’s “20/20” airs a special episode titled “Diary of a Killer,” examining the disturbing twists and turns of the case, including insights from James Ray’s journal.

The Genesis of a Troubled Relationship

In the quiet suburb of Montclair, New Jersey, a seemingly idyllic life took a horrifying turn on October 22, 2018, when 44-year-old Angela Bledsoe was found lifeless on the kitchen floor of her home.
In the quiet suburb of Montclair, New Jersey, a seemingly idyllic life took a horrifying turn on October 22, 2018, when 44-year-old Angela Bledsoe was found lifeless on the kitchen floor of her home.
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James Ray III, a former Marine turned New York City lawyer and one-time NYPD officer, crossed paths with Angela Bledsoe, a successful financial adviser, when he hired her for his insurance brokerage firm. Their connection blossomed, despite Ray being a married man at the time. The revelation of his marital status strained their relationship, but with the arrival of their daughter, the ties between them became more complicated.

Tensions simmered beneath the surface as accusations of infidelity were hurled from both sides. What began as a professional relationship evolved into a tumultuous affair that ended in tragedy. Bledsoe’s family attests to the problems in their union, emphasizing her desire to provide the best for their daughter.

The Fateful Day and the International Manhunt

On the day Angela Bledsoe was meant to explore a new home with a realtor, James Ray claimed self-defense as he fatally shot her. Fleeing the country, Ray first sought refuge in Mexico City and later landed in Cuba, a nation without an extradition agreement with the United States. The international manhunt involved the FBI, local authorities, Interpol, and the Department of Homeland Security.

After extensive efforts, FBI agent Gregory W. Ehriee’s promise held true – James Ray was brought back to New Jersey to face justice.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Ray’s defense claimed self-defense, arguing that Angela had become increasingly hostile. On the other side, prosecutor Michele Miller painted Ray as a calculated killer, capable of intricate planning even as he fled the country. The jury, deliberating for just a few hours, found Ray guilty of murder in June 2023, with a life sentence looming.

However, just four days before the sentencing, a shocking twist left everyone in disbelief. Ray was found unconscious in his cell at the Essex County Correctional Facility and, despite efforts to revive him with Narcan, he succumbed to his demise.

A Journal Reveals the Mind of a Killer

In a chilling revelation, a journal maintained by James Ray during his time on the run sheds light on the disturbing events leading to Angela Bledsoe’s murder. Titled “On the Move,” the diary provides a meticulous account of the tragic day, showcasing Ray’s calculated mindset. Forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland analyzes the journal, describing it as a window into the mind of a killer.

Unanswered Questions and Lingering Grief

The death of James Ray before his sentencing leaves Angela Bledsoe’s family grappling with unanswered questions and a sense of unfinished justice. Despite the international manhunt, the promise of closure slips through their fingers.

Tonight, ABC’s “20/20” airs a special episode delving into the twisted tale, providing insight into the case through interviews with Bledsoe’s family, law enforcement, and forensic experts. The tragic saga of Angela Bledsoe and James Ray III serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable and often devastating turns that life can take.

FAQs

Q1: What was James Ray’s defense during the trial?

Ray claimed self-defense, asserting that Angela Bledsoe had become increasingly hostile, leading to the fatal confrontation.

Q2: How did the international manhunt unfold?

Involving the FBI, local authorities, Interpol, and the Department of Homeland Security, the manhunt successfully led to Ray’s capture in Cuba.

Q3: What role did James Ray’s journal play in the trial?

The journal, titled “On the Move,” provided a detailed account of the events leading to Bledsoe’s murder, offering insight into Ray’s calculated mindset and played a crucial role in the trial.

Q4: What were the reactions of Angela Bledsoe’s family to the trial’s outcome?

Angela Bledsoe’s family, grief-stricken but seeking justice, appeared in court every day. The shocking twist of Ray’s death before sentencing left them with lingering questions and a sense of unresolved grief.

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