Police rule suicide when a man is found shot in his own bedroom, but sixteen years later a note arrives from a man confessing to the murder.

Robert Dirscherl

Who wrote this cryptic murder confession?

CASE DETAILS

March 13, 1977.  Robert Dirscherl and his wife Jinny of Dunedin, Florida, were dressing in preparation for church. Jinny Dirscherl recalled:

“I heard a sound, a loud sound. But I assumed it was the slamming of the back door.”

A few minutes later, Jinny went to the bedroom to dress. She found her husband dead, shot through the chest. Investigators found no evidence of a break in. No sign of a struggle. A shotgun was found on the bed nearby.

Police investigated the scene

Jinny tells the police that her husband was applying medicine to a foot ailment before putting on his Sunday shoes. But within 15 minutes, the police concluded that Robert’s death was a suicide. And with that they close the case.

Sixteen years later, Robert Dirscherl’s son, Guy, received a mysterious letter. It was short — just 33 words — but the disturbing message put the theory of suicide in question. When Guy got the letter, he noticed it was postmarked March 13, exactly 16 years to the day after his father’s death:

“I read it once and I read it the second time. And I was just totally flooded with emotion.  It was as if I’d been kicked right in the chest.”

Did Robert shoot himself?

The letter said:  “I have AIDS. I am dying. I must make my peace with the Lord. I killed your daddy 15 years ago. He found me in his bedroom. I had no choice. Please pray for me.”

The unsigned letter prompted the Dirscherl family to obtain a copy of the original police report on Robert’s death. The Dirscherls had never seen it before, and they went over it word by word. Kandace Whitehurst is Robert’s daughter:

“It was just so full of untruths, guesswork, interviews with people that hadn’t seen my father in more than two years. Close friends weren’t spoken to.”

In the report, investigators had concluded that Robert committed suicide because of an unsuccessful surgery years earlier. Robert’s son, Guy, said his father was relatively healthy:

“The one interview that they probably weigh on most heavily is from a nurse who hadn’t seen him in two years who gives a report about his health that is so far from the truth, it’s ridiculous. She portrays him as a bedridden vegetable, where he was a happy, fairly healthy man, had a social life, he still traveled, and still was a productive salesman.”

A psychic detailed the murder to Jinny

Jinny Dirscherl accused the police of botching the investigation:

“It was strictly investigated as a suicide. I don’t think there were any fingerprints taken of the gun or any place in the house. And that was the biggest mistake they made, not investigating.”

Marianne Pasha of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department defended her agency’s work:

“In law enforcement, we have to deal with what the evidence tells us.  There seemed to be no sign of a struggle. No forcible entry. No disarray of any description in the bedroom where this encounter allegedly occurred, which, again, gives us more belief that this was a suicide.”

But for Robert’s wife, Jinny, and their children, the case was far from over. In February of 1995, while traveling by train from Florida to California, Jinny’s sister, Fran, met a psychic who was able to describe Robert’s death in eerie detail. The young woman was a total stranger, yet she seemed familiar with Fran and the Dirscherls. According to Jinny, Fran told her the woman correctly named long dead relatives:

“I didn’t believe in psychics. I’m sorry. And yet, the more I heard, I had to say ‘I believe in this.’”

The psychic told Fran she saw a narrow door opening, with a gun case showing. Robert went to a cabinet to look for foot treatment for athlete’s foot. When he looked up, he saw a stranger in the adjoining room. A brief struggle ensued, and Robert was shot.  Robert’s daughter, Kandace, found the story hard not to believe:

“The things that were written by the young lady on the Amtrak train were startling in that, some of this information wasn’t anywhere to be found. It was just too real. It was as if this person was in the room.”

Guy Dirscherl also believes the woman had some type of ability:

“She made no effort to gain from it. She did not approach us, which you would expect if there was a hoax, and I honestly believe that it was a situation that took place that I can’t explain in the reality of this world. It’s kind of spooky.”

Robert Dirscherl died at 54, well before his time. Robert Dirscherl’s wife passed away without ever resolving the mystery of her husband’s death. But Robert’s children hope the truth will someday be revealed. His son Dan:

“There may be somebody out there who was talked to by the killer, revealed something in prison to an attorney, to a parent, to a friend. That’s one of my hopes, that somebody out there can fit the last piece of the puzzle into place.”

The unsigned confession letter was mailed from Tampa, Florida, and postmarked March 13, 1993.


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

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6 Comments

  1. Black Bieber

    For a confession letter to be mailed to Bob Dirschrel’s son Guy precisely 16 years after Bob died sounds like a murder to me. Also seems like Bob was murdered because of the way that the young psychic lady was able to describe Bob’s death in vivid detail to Fran, who was Jinny’s sister.

    Reply

  2. LUIS FREEH

    SOMEONE WERE HE BOUGHT HIS SOFT GUN CASE KILLED OR ASK SOMEONE ELSE TO KILL HIM. A FOOT DISEASE FROM BEING TRAINED IN SCANDONAVIAIN STEAD OF ATHLETES FOOT FOR CREAM AND WITH OLD AGE USING THE SHOTGUN TO “BRACE HIMSELF ON THE BED TO APPLY IT TO HIS FOOT AND HITING THE TRIGGER WITH HIS TOE WOULD LEAVE HIM “IMPAILED” (WITH LUCK) OR HE WOULD HAVE FELL ON THE FLOOR SO! THEY THOUGHT HE WAS “MOB OR MAFFIA” WITH HIS CHOICE IN GUN CASE.

    Reply

  3. Adeta

    Actually I will contact you both, maybe you can compare the cases to see if there are any similarities. I have few details about him because I was in high school at the time but I can find out more.

    Reply

  4. Adeta

    Hi I spoke with my mom and it turns out to be a similar case. Her neighbor did go to the police before he died and they contacted that family and solved the case.

    Reply

  5. Adeta

    My mom had a neighbor around 1993 who died of AIDS, before he died he told her that he had murdered someone earlier in his life and got away with it Since he was near death he wanted to make amends. We don’t know if he ever contacted the family about it but he made confession to a leader in our church right before he died. I don’t know if this is possibly the same person.

    Reply