The Evidence Room, Episode 15 - Murder at Malibu Grand Prix

Season 3 of the KPRC 2 Investigates true crime docuseries underway now

This year marks 40 years since the notorious Malibu Grand Prix murders in southwest Houston. During its time, Malibu Grand Prix was an immensely popular entertainment center with a full arcade and go-karts shaped like Formula-1 race cars.

But on July 1, 1983 - it became known for being one of the grizzliest crime scenes in the city’s history.

That’s the day Anil Varughese, Roddy Harris, and brothers Arnold and Joerene Pequeno were murdered inside.

All four victims worked the night shift at Malibu Grand Prix in southwest Houston near Westpark and were found the next morning by a manager opening the business and a delivery man.

“It was probably the bloodiest murder in the history of this city,” veteran Houston Police homicide detective, JC Mosier said. “They were completely, I’m sure, drained of any blood they had left in them.”

The blood-stained shirt one of the victims of the Malibu Grand Prix murders was wearing at the time. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Mosier said Harris and the Pequeno brothers were stabbed to death in a restroom, while Varughese was murdered in the office. Mosier said robbery was the motive. Roughly $2,000 was taken from the safe.

While Mosier was a homicide detective, he also doubled as a public information officer providing details of the crime to reporters. Mosier said when he returned to the homicide division after giving interviews to the media, he received a call.

Screengrab of video from 1983 showing HPD detective JC Mosier. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“I walked in the front door of the homicide office and the girl at the desk there said, ‘Mosier, line 3,’” Mosier recalled. “[The caller] said, ‘Is this the detective Mosier that I just saw out at the Malibu Grand Prix on TV?’ And I said, ‘Yes, ma’am, it is.’ She said, ‘I think my son killed those people.’”

Mosier said that call put his fellow detectives on the trail of Richard Wilkerson, Kenneth Ransom, and James Randle. Court records read Wilkerson had been fired from business and used the pretense of collecting his last check as a way to get inside after closing time.

Mosier said it did not appear Wilkerson was angry with anyone at Malibu and the motive was strictly robbery. Court records read Wilkerson enlisted Ransom and Randle to help with the crime.

“Do you think they ever had any intention of leaving them alive?” asked KPRC 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Mosier. “They knew they were going to have to do that because they were all buddies of theirs and they’d worked with them. I mean, no witnesses.”

Court records read Randle and Ransom took Harris and the Pequeno brothers into the restroom while Wilkerson followed Varughese into the office.

A photo of the statement Richard Wilkerson gave on July 2, 1983 admitting to the murders. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“When I shut the door Anil looked at me and said, ‘No.’ Then I just started stabbing him,” Wilkerson said in a statement to police on July 2, 1983.

Wilkerson was executed for the murders in 1993, followed by Ransom’s execution in 1997. Randle was 16 at the time of the murders and ineligible to receive the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Catch up on seasons 1 and 2 of ‘The Evidence Room’ here

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About the Authors:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”

As an Emmy award-winning journalist, Jason strives to serve the community by telling in-depth stories and taking on challenges many pass over. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his girlfriend Rosie, and dog named Dug.