Andrea Harriet Sax
16 Years Old

June 26, 1961 to November 6, 1977

Andrea was born Monday, Jun 26, 1961 on my first wedding anniversary. She was the eldest of 4 lovely, intelligent, creative daughters. Although she didn't speak until age 2, when she began, it was with complete sentences. She was able to understand multiple instructions from a very young age and astounded a former teacher of mine when she informed her that her dress was not "blue", it was "navy blue". Her intelligence, as she grew, became an embarrassment to her and in Junior High, she referred to herself as an egghead. Her dream was to become a biochemist was nurtured in 8th grade when she researched a multiple-award winning science fair project on Chromatography of Plant Pigment. The date of April 12, 1975 shows she was not quite 14 years old at this time. But she was prouder when a teacher congratulated her on the pair of slacks she had made in a home economics class than any science awards, because the latter came so natural to her but "sewing" was somehow unique. At the time of her murder, although barely in her junior year, she was taking college-entry courses.

Her artwork still abounds in my home as does representations of her poetry. My walls exhibit her craftwork: string and nail art, macrame, collage, wood burning, her hooked-yarn rug. An original pattern of the Beatles, her favorites, remains in my house. When I was bedridden from an auto accident, an 11 year old Andrea taught me how to knit. Throughout her young life, her creativity knew no limits.

From childhood, she had a compassionate heart and was so loved by her immediate and extended families, especially her maternal Grandmother, whom she loved deeply in return. Often Andrea would go to "Gramma's house" after school, just to keep her company.

She was also especially close to daugher "number 3", Gail., with whom she shared a bedroom rather than her next eldest sister, Karen, who then had to share her bedroom with the youngest, Linda. I treasure an audio tape I have (before VCR tapes existed to record everything) of the four sisters yelling at each other - which she secretly taped to show that they all yelled but all she was trying to do was quiet them down!

She began working at age 15 in a neighborhood restaurant - and then in an office - to earn the extra pocket money we were unable to provide. And she spent most of it on pre-CD records, and tickets to rock concerts and T-shirts bought there. And then near the end, on gasoline for her car.

Then at the end of 1976, she informed me that all she wanted for her "sweet 16" birthday was a "nose job" - which was done during Christmas vacation. Years of suffering from sinus problems and severe nasal bleeding hopefully would be resolved at the same time. A photograph taken in January of 1977 shows her looking very sophisticated having changed her hairstyle and tweezing her eyebrows unnaturally thin to go with her new look. It was the last professional portrait I have of her, but I remember her most as she appears in the attached candid shot taken at her sweet sixteenth party.

All her life, she made me so proud, but if she were here, I know she wouldn't want me to brag about her. Above all, she wanted to be like other girls her age - although just to be different and years before it became the norm, she did have two holes piereced in one earlobe! But to go to rock concerts, to parties, to go on dates and all the other exciting things a teenager can do - to buy a car with money she earned herself - to hang around with her pals - and it was one of these "pals" who, on November 6, 1977, 4 and 1/2 months after her "sweet sixteenth" birthday, for reasons still unknown, stabbed her 26 times.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Sixteen year old Andrea Sax was stabbed to death Sunday, November 6, 1977. Her body was found the next morning outside a school in neighboring Skokie, Illinois, next to a police station where possibly she was attempting to run. Her murderer was a fellow classmate, Randall Kramen, whom she went to meet that night "just to hang out", because her boyfriend, Jeff, was working.

The savagery of the attack - 26 stab wounds - one piercing the aorta, plus evidence that showed premeditation, led to his being tried as an adult. In fact, it was his phone call at about 10:30 that night asking where "Andy" was (a nickname only he used) that began my nightmare that has never ended. He had already murdered her and was setting up an alibi!

After court hearings lasting about 10 months, the case was brought to a trial that was to last 5 and 1/2 weeks, from Jury selection to verdict. It was now November, 1978, one year later.

Sentenced to 16-20 years, we were assured he would not be back on the street for 11 years, 8 months, but a change in Illinois' Class X Laws allowed him his freedeom in less years than half of his minimum sentence.

After his release, we know he moved to California. Rumor has it he later moved to New York City where he became a Rabbi! He would be 39 now, the same age Andrea would have been.

back to 3

Andrea Sax