In a jailhouse interview Thursday, a man described by police as psychopathic killer who escaped a Hawaii psychiatric ward and flew to the California Bay Area explained why he did it.
Randall Saito, who walked out of a mental hospital Sunday, then hopped two planes to get to the Bay Area, says he just wanted to prove he could live normally.
"They won't give me a chance," he said in an interview with NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento.
Saito's escape ended Wednesday in Stockton, where he was arrested and booked into San Joaquin County Jail.
"They're not going to release me. And once I kind of understood that, I kind of figured, well, if anything's going to happen, it's going to happen with me," Saito said. "I'm going to have to do something pretty risky and gutsy."
So he says he devised a plan to escape.
"I decided to run away and come to the mainland and to live as long as I can on the money that I had in the community without getting into any kind of trouble," he continued.
Saito says he had $7,000 and some help. Surveillance photos captured him leaving the psych ward in Honolulu Sunday. He walked to a nearby park and hopped a cab to the airport.
"The sooner we get there the better," he said to the cab driver.
Saito made it all the way to Mineta San Jose International Airport, via Maui, before the hospital realized he was missing. Police finally arrested him when his taxi driver recognized him and delivered him to officers.
"I can live in a community without doing drugs, without hurting anyone and prove without a doubt I did it," Saito said.
Saito was found not guilty by reason of insanity for a murder in Hawaii in 1979. He was diagnosed as a sadist and necrophiliac who had fantasies of killing women.
On Thursday, he addressed the 1979 murder.
"Three years of substance abuse," he said. "I actually snapped that night. I lost it, killing the woman, stabbing her to death. I regret it every day. I pray for her every day. I believe the family I offended has the right to take my life, but no one else. I owe them something I cannot repay."
Saito would not say who helped him with his escape. The hospital is investigating.
Saito will be held in the San Joaquin County Jail until Hawaii authorities come and take him back.