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Monsters Among Us: Randy Pool murder July 18 – 20, 1999 *Beaten, then forced into a duffel bag where he suffocated to death*

remembering the victimsFrom Salem Mathew Bernhardt’s appeal 2004: On July 18 and until July 20, Pool was bound with duct tape and repeatedly beaten.   Another acquaintance of appellant, Isaac Engstrom, testified that McCollum called him on July 19 and asked him to come to the Pool residence because he found out who had “snitched” on appellant and Caldwell.   When Engstrom arrived, Ecklund, McCollum, Toby Johnson, and Pool were present.   When Scott Bernhardt, appellant’s brother, arrived, the group began to beat and question Pool again.   Pool was punched, kicked, and beaten with a closet rod.   After each questioning and beating, Pool was duct-taped to a chair and placed in a small cellar that could only be accessed through a trap door in a closet floor.   Other witnesses-including Brian Amundsen, David Oliva, Jessica Fank, Tina Artmann, and Chad Moehring-also testified to being present at the Pool residence over the three-day period and seeing Pool taped-up, beaten, or placed beneath the floor in the cellar.

On the evening of July 20, Pool was forced into a duffel bag by McCollum, and the duffel bag was zipped up.   Ecklund sprayed aerosol into the bag, and McCollum stood on Pool’s neck until his breathing could no longer be heard.   McCollum and Engstrom carried the duffel bag containing Pool’s body to a car and loaded the bag into the trunk.   Ecklund then drove McCollum and Engstrom to a train trestle over the Clearwater River.   Engstrom tied a concrete block to the duffel bag and, with McCollum’s assistance, threw the duffel bag over the edge of the train trestle into the river below.

A citizen discovered the duffel bag floating in the river on July 28, 1999.   The body had duct tape around the hands and feet, and a ligature around the neck.   Doctor Janis Amatuzio, a medical doctor and forensics pathologist, testified that Pool died approximately five to seven days prior to being found.   She also testified that the cause of death was lack of oxygen, but not by drowning, because there was no water in Pool’s lungs.   The body was not identified until August 3.

Two more charged in Pool murder case
Bernhardt granted change of venue
Last defendant in Pool murder sentenced
Artmann not guilty in Pool case
Toby Earl Johnson v State of Minnesota 2002 (conviction and sentenced affirmed)
Shawn Allen McCollum 2002 (conviction and appeal affirmed)
Salem Mathew Bernhardt v State of Minnesota 2004
State of Minnesota v Toby Earl Johnson 2014
In Re Contempt of Ecklund 2001

Main Street Mysteries: The Wrong Man

Shawn Allen McCollum – pled guilty, sentenced to LWOP
Heather Lynn Ecklund – pled guilty, sentenced to 36 years in prison; conviction overturned
Isaac Leroy Engstrom – pled guilty, sentenced to 30 years in prison
Tanya Ann Caldwell – pled guilty to kidnapping, sentenced to 4 years in prison
Richard Patrick Ligenza – pled guilty to kidnapping, sentenced to 3 years in prison
Toby Earl Johnson – pled guilty, sentenced to life in prison
Mary Alice Artmann – acquitted at trial
Salem Mathew Bernhardt – convicted, sentenced to LWOP; conviction overturned
Scott Randolf Bernhardt – ?



Demographic Information**
MNDOC Offender ID: 167754
Name: Shawn Allen Mccollum
Birth Date: 05/13/1973
Current Status: Incarcerated as of 04/07/2000. Currently at MCF Oak Park Heights.
Sentence Date: 04/07/2000
Anticipated Release Date: Life without Parole
Expiration Date: Life
Caseworker: Ricardo Lopez (651) 747-8869

Current Offense Information
Highest Ranked Offense: Homicide (Liability for)
Court File Number(s): McLeod – 43K699000280



Demographic Information**
MNDOC Offender ID: 205171
Name: Isaac Leroy Engstrom
Birth Date: 08/17/1977
Current Status: Incarcerated as of 06/14/2000. Currently at MCF Lino Lakes.
Sentence Date: 06/09/2000
Anticipated Release Date: 08/01/2019
Expiration Date: 07/30/2029
Caseworker: Keith Halseth (651) 717-6148

Current Offense Information
Highest Ranked Offense: Homicide
Court File Number(s): McLeod – 43-K899281



Demographic Information**
MNDOC Offender ID: 205064
Name: Toby Earl Johnson
Birth Date: 11/14/1980
Current Status: Incarcerated as of 05/30/2000. Currently at MCF Rush City.
Sentence Date: 05/26/2000
Anticipated Release Date: Life – Contact co-records.doc@state.mn.us for release information.
Expiration Date: Life
Caseworker: Jodi Gibis 320-358-0511
Current Offense Information
Highest Ranked Offense: Homicide (Aid/Abet)
Court File Number(s): McLeod – 43KX99279

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