20/20 Diary of a Killer: Angela Bledsoe & James Ray III Episode & Case Details

In a new installment of ’20/20,’ the disturbing homicide of Angela Bledsoe, a highly regarded financial analyst and beloved mother residing in an upscale New Jersey neighborhood, takes center stage. The primary suspect in this tragic event is her longtime partner, James Ray III, who falls under scrutiny after Angela is discovered deceased in her residence. The story unfolds dramatically, revealing how Ray, a prominent attorney and former police officer, abruptly left their young daughter in the care of his brother and embarked on an international escape from justice. Deborah Roberts, co-anchor of ’20/20,’ explores the intricate aspects of this case, including the relentless investigation that ultimately led FBI agents to Cuba, where Ray was captured through an unusual extradition process.

This special two-hour episode features interviews with key individuals from Angela’s life, including her 11-year-old daughter, Ray and Gaynelle Bledsoe (Angela’s parents), Lisa LaBoo and Diedre Hill (Angela’s sisters), Brooke Dean (Angela’s cousin), Michele Miller (Essex County assistant prosecutor), Theodore N. Stephens II (acting Essex County prosecutor), and John Petillo (former Essex County assistant prosecutor). Additionally, the program includes discussions with Mattie Simms (James’ cousin), Sgt. Frank Ricci and Lt. Charlie Cunningham, and FBI special agent Brandon Lackey, who played a pivotal role in apprehending Ray in Cuba. Furthermore, the episode provides a glimpse into Ray’s mental state through recorded phone calls made shortly after the murder and offers insight into the diary he maintained while evading authorities during his fugitive period.

Catch this ’20/20′ episode airing on ABC from 9:01 to 11:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 8.

Angela Bledsoe & James Ray III: The Full Story

In the days leading up to the tragic murder, Angela Bledsoe’s sister and cousin grew increasingly alarmed for her safety and strongly advised her to leave her Montclair residence, which she shared with James Ray III. On October 12, 2018, a mere ten days before her untimely demise, Angela’s sister, Lisa LaBoo, sent her an urgent text message, strongly recommending her swift departure from her living situation due to mounting concerns about her well-being. James Ray III subsequently admitted to shooting Angela on October 22, 2018, claiming he acted in self-defense, alleging that Angela had pointed a firearm at him.

The apprehensions expressed by Angela’s family were exacerbated by her accounts of Ray’s peculiar behavior and his threats, not only against her but also directed at her new romantic partner. Angela’s relatives encouraged her to file a police report, but she hesitated, partly due to Ray’s denial and manipulative tactics. Furthermore, Angela was reluctant to leave the premises as she wished to maintain a stable, two-parent household for the sake of her daughter.

In the days preceding her tragic demise, Angela diligently recorded her thoughts in a journal, articulating her yearning for a loving and respectful relationship that contrasted starkly with the criticism and contempt she experienced in her relationship with Ray. She also expressed remorse for becoming involved with a married man like Ray.

Following a family conference call imploring her to leave her situation and report Ray’s threats, LaBoo embarked on a weeklong cruise, losing contact with Angela. On October 23, she received the heart-wrenching news of her sister’s untimely passing.

Subsequently, Ray was found guilty of first-degree murder and weapons offenses related to Angela’s death, which occurred as she was planning to move out of their shared residence. Ray was scheduled for sentencing on July 11, facing a potential sentence of 30 years to life in prison. However, less than a month before his sentencing, he was discovered deceased in his cell at the Essex County Correctional Facility. The specific cause of his death was not immediately disclosed.

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