'It Seemed Like I Couldn't Stop Firing': Killer's Diary Gives Disturbing Insight into N.J. Mom's Murder

Angela Bledsoe was murdered in her Montclair, N.J., home in 2018, and the case is examined on ABC's "20/20"

<p>Courtesy of the Essex County Jail via AP, Angela Bledsoe/Facebook</p> James Ray III, Angela Bledsoe

Courtesy of the Essex County Jail via AP, Angela Bledsoe/Facebook

James Ray III, Angela Bledsoe

Angela Bledsoe’s family was devastated when her live-in boyfriend shot and killed the 44-year-old in their home in the tony suburb of Montclair, N.J., in 2018, launching an international manhunt when he fled to Cuba.

Most of all, they wanted to know why the New York City lawyer and former NYPD officer took the life of the mother of their then 6-year-old daughter.

James Ray III died in June at 60 while awaiting sentencing after being convicted in May of killing Bledsoe. His death left many questions unanswered about what led him to violently take her life.

Tonight, a new 20/20, airing at 9:01 to 11 ET on ABC (next day on Hulu), goes in-depth on the disturbing twists and turns of the case, including shocking details about the contents of the handwritten journal Ray kept while he was on the run.

“Part memoir, part spy thriller,” says ABC News 20/20 co-anchor Deborah Roberts, the 18-page journal details “the full version of what he says happened the day he killed his live-in girlfriend, Angela Bledsoe.”

In the two-hour special, forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland analyzes the journal, which Ray titled “On the Move,” saying, “There’s no sense of being disturbed by what he’s done.”

Calling Ray’s writings “very calculated,” she says. “There is a definite urge to control exactly how people are going to understand this.”

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What viewers will understand from the narrative, she says, is that “it does take us into the mind of a killer.”

Related: 'Loving' NJ Mom Is Fatally Shot — and 'Armed and Dangerous' Lawyer Boyfriend Is Fugitive Suspect

In one chilling entry shown in the episode, Ray wrote, “Out of reaction I fired in her direction and it seemed like I couldn't stop firing.”

On the night of Oct. 22, 2018, police were called to check on Bledsoe at her 6-bedroom, $1.9 million home. There they found her on the kitchen floor suffering from gunshot wounds, which claimed her life several hours later.

By then, Ray, in his black BMW, was miles away, after fleeing the scene.

In a letter Ray wrote to his brother and left in his daughter’s suitcase after he dropped the girl off at the brother's house, he said he shot and killed Bledsoe in what he claimed was self-defense.

Related: N.J. Lawyer Convicted of Killing Mother of His Child Dies While Awaiting Sentencing

After leaving his car at Newark Liberty International Airport, he took a cab to Philadelphia, before hitchhiking across the country to Mexico, police said.

He was arrested as he tried to enter Cuba.

“I don’t think James Ray ever thought he was coming back to face a court and a jury in Essex [County], New Jersey,” News Channel 12 New Jersey reporter Chris Keating says in the special.

Prosecutor Michele Miller tells Roberts in the special that the diary played an important part in convicting Ray.

“You compare it to the evidence you have,” Miller says, “and you are able to corroborate or contradict what he is claiming.”

Ray faced a sentence of 30 years to life before he died.

The two-hour special includes interviews with Bledsoe’s daughter, who is now 11; Ray and Gaynelle Bledsoe, Bledsoe's parents; Lisa LaBoo and Diedre Hill, Bledsoe's sisters; Brooke Dean, Angela’s cousin; Sgt. Frank Ricci and Lt. Charlie Cunningham; and FBI special agent Brandon Lackey, who arrested Ray in Cuba.

The episode also includes recorded phone calls Ray made in the hours right after the killing.

20/20 airs tonight, December 8 (9:01–11:00 p.m. ET), on ABC, next day on Hulu. 

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