A rock band bass player-turned-computer whiz vanishes after telling a 911 operator he was going to commit suicide.

Smiling Philip Taylor Kramer in grey suit

Philip Taylor Kramer

CASE DETAILS

On February 12, 1995, a Los Angeles, California, 911 operator received a phone call from a man who said that he was going to kill himself.  Then he hung up.  Right after making the 911 call, he disappeared, and his wife and the police are still trying to understand why.

Philip on a lake outing with his wife and two young children

The former rock star became a family man

His name was Philip Taylor Kramer.  Philip, known to his friends as Taylor, was the bass player for the rock band Iron Butterfly during the 1970s.  By the 1990’s, Taylor had settled down with his wife and two children. Taylor was also a math and computer whiz who had founded his own high-tech multi-media company in 1990. According to Jennifer Kramer, Taylor’s wife, in the weeks leading up to his disappearance, he had been working around the clock on a new breakthrough project:

“He said, ‘It’s very simple. It’s been here the whole time.  It’s so simple that no one has discovered it.’  And he said, ‘Imagine, Jennifer, a computer and a camera being able to find a missing child in a sea of thousands of people by just showing the computer a small piece of that child’s face, and then finding that child in a fraction of a second.’”

Multiple cars driving down a california highway

Kramer drove off one day and didn’t return

According to Jennifer, Taylor’s behavior grew more and more bizarre:

“The day before he disappeared, we went on a hike to the top of the hill by our house and we looked across and you can see the whole valley where we live. And there’s a cross up on the hill that belongs to one of the colleges nearby.  And he turned around and he pointed to the cross and he said, ‘Look, honey, our house is right in the path of this cross.’  He started to see sacredness in everything.”

The day after the hike, Taylor left home around 9:00 A.M.  He planned to pick up friends who were flying into town. Taylor went to the airport as scheduled, but left before his friends arrived. From his car, he made a series of phone calls. One of the calls was to Iron Butterfly drummer, Ron Bushy:

“His voice sounded stressed and scared, like maybe he’d even been crying. I don’t know.  But apparently, he also called Jennifer and a lot of other people.”

Kramers van parked in front of his house

Kramer’s remains were found in his van

During Taylor’s call to Jennifer, he told her that he would not be able to meet his friends at the airport. Jennifer also said that he told her he would always be with her:

“I said, ‘Taylor, where are you?  Where are you going?  What are you doing?’ And I started to get scared and I thought something was wrong with him.”

Jennifer also said Taylor told her he’d meet his friends at their hotel that afternoon:

“Really calmly and lovingly, like he normally talks to me, he said, ‘When I see you, honey, I have a big surprise for you.’ But I knew in my gut that Taylor wasn’t going to be at the hotel.  I just knew that he wouldn’t be there.”

Update:

In May of 1999, four years after Taylor’s disappearance, two hikers exploring Decker Canyon near Malibu Beach discovered the rusted shell of his van. Taylor’s remains were inside. The cause of death was a blunt force trauma, but authorities can’t determine whether his death was a suicide, an accident, or a homicide.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season eight with Robert Stack and in season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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22 Comments

  1. Michael

    Sadly, by far the most likely scenario is misadventure as a result of (probably undiagnosed) paranoid schizophrenia. Accounts of his last months show a steadily increasing emotional agitation; intelligent people normally approach challenges methodically and he was certainly able to do so but he did not.
    Schizophrenia affects about 1.1% of adults throughout the world; my late mother was one of those. She was the disorganized type, but the most prevalent type is paranoid. The great majority are functioning people but instability is also part of the life. Refusing medications is common.
    FWIW, Paranoid Personality Disorder is even more common but does not include delusions as schizophrenia does. The NIH estimates the prevalence of PPD at 4.4% in the US, varying widely from country to country. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793931/ Paranoia is part of the American experience.

    Reply

  2. bitter

    I don‘t believe that it was suicide..

    Reply

  3. Darren w m a c k r i s

    A man like Taylor had it made he was successful he was intelligent a genius he had money and a beautiful family he was talented and very successful amen like that does not kill himself I believe unfortunately I’m sorry to say I believe he may have been murdered he may have went to the airport to meet a drug dealer to purchase drugs and the dealer made him drive to an isolated location and Rob Taylor and maybe Taylor was beat with a blunt instrument by the drug dealer and left for dead that’s why he never picked up the friends coming in on the flight that’s why he sounded like he was crying to the band member that he called on the phone because he was crying he was very afraid for his life but he could not say anything else on the phone because his murderer was sitting with him in the truck he was allowed to make one phone call or two phone calls to his loved ones by his assassin and then he was murdered that is my best assumption my best guess nevertheless he was a good soul may he be in the right hand of God

    Reply

  4. Carol Smith

    Why can’t people believe the obvious…he was up for two weeks straight, developed some psychosis as a result and drove off a cliff ?

    Reply

  5. Mark Winchester Sr

    This guy was murdered. Nobody like him calls 911. They just do it. Nobody like him warns his father he fears for his life, nobody like him says don’t think I’ve killed myself…. Then kills himself. A professional hit either CIA or corporate hitmen. Either way it was centered on $$. RIP bro.

    Reply

  6. RB

    Watch “The Mysterious Death of Philip Taylor Kramer” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/ApHpVouMjHo

    UNSOLVED MYSTERIES

    Reply

  7. R B

    I was watching Hawkins and Einstein on the Science Channel when they mentioned traveling on gravitational waves which Taylor Kramer of the Iron Butterfly had discovered but was murdered for his knowledge. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on our own government.

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  8. R B

    I thought the story was that Taylor had learned a
    method of how travel on gravitational waves.

    Reply

  9. Rhonda

    I believe he was killed because if this technology he stumbled upon could find missing children anywhere then it would expose pedophiles EVERYWHERE! Including those people in government, those in authority…and there are many from what I gather these days.

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  10. thinkingoutloud

    maybe he did stumble upon really advanced technologies and the government found out and were after him. seems like someone found out and they killed him because of it. he didn’t wanna involve his friends or family which is why he was very vague with his information

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  11. Annette Cole

    I think he was killed by someone at either the FBI OR LEDIOS. THE PEOLE WHO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT THE FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE FOR THE FBI. PHILLIP TAYLOR CREATED THIS SYSTEM BEFORE THE FBIs launch of theirs. Follow the evidence…it’s all there. I MEAN IT’S NOT LIKE THE FBI HID THE SYSTEM FROM THE WORLD BC IT’S IN THE NEWS ALL THE TIME…IDK WHAT ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT…BC AT TIMES THE FBI CAN BE UNTOUCHED BUT WITH MULLER AND COMEY BEING FIRED MAYBE NOW IS THE TIME TO INVESTIGATE TO EXPOSE ALL THOSE INVOLVED…
    https://www.leidos.com/transportation-security/biometrics/next-generation-identification

    Reply

    • Annette Cole

      Let me be clear. I’m NOT blaming the FBI AS A WHOLE. BUT THERE’S SHADY PPL IN EVERY PROFESSIONAL GROUP…AND IF LEDIOS IS THE CULPRIT. THEN FBI SHOULD INVESTIGATE.

      Reply

  12. Anonymous

    so, he calls 911, says he is going to kill himself, and then hangs up. Why make the call? If he wanted to make sure he was found, then he could have simply kept the line open, Maybe it was a test to see if his software would find him; maybe it was just a trial stunt gone wrong….

    Reply

  13. CHANITA

    Oh MY GOD! Why WOULD HE COMMIT SUICIDE?

    Reply

  14. LUIS FREEH

    “I” THINK HE WENT TO “DOJ” TO JOIN “WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM” AND TWO “FAKE AGENTS” MET HIM (NOT AT A AIRPORT) AND “KILLED HIM” FOR WANTING TO TELL ON DRUG DEALER’S IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS! “RINGO” MAY “HAVE TOLD ON MANY” BUT WHAT HE NEVER TOLD WAS HE WAS A DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE F.B.I. NEVER! RINGO STAR THE BEATLES PAUL MCARTNEY.

    Reply

  15. Slight ends

    The government killed him he had to much knowledge of what could possibly cause an uproar and have people upset with the law so he killed himself or someone else did and got away with it

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  16. E Goldstein

    We need to investigate who Philip Taylor Kramer REALLy was to meet at the airport, including his background. I can almost guarantee you that in itself will reveal the RIGHT direction to take…leading, ultimately to the truth…the truth behind the technology claims, threats against his family, and what some believe now, was a failed attempt by Philip to fake his own death.

    Reply

  17. leafyishere

    People all die at some point anyway.

    Reply

  18. Anonymous

    The government has facial recognition software. This man happend to think what he was doing was right, but in reality he would have unknowingly released the software to terrorists & foreign governments access to finding covert operatives. He was contacted by someone threatening the lives of his family leaving him instructions to do to keep them safe.

    Reply