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.
March 13, 1977. Robert Dirscherl and his wife Jinny of Dunedin, Florida, were dressing in preparation for church. Jinny Dirscherl recalled:
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.
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:
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:
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:
Jinny Dirscherl accused the police of botching the investigation:
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:
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:
Guy Dirscherl also believes the woman had some type of ability:
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:
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.SUBMIT A TIP
The first problem is having the Dunedin Police department in Florida handle the case
I just wonder why the killer’s name has never been mentioned since it does sound like some people knew who he was. Plus instead of hiding for a decade and a half he should have done the honorable thing in turning himself in as soon as he committed the crime. This was clearly a murder and not a suicide. Police should have checked the gun for fingerprints.
Did you ever hear back from Adeta??? If so, was her info reliable?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Adeta! Could you please email us at email@example.com and let us know a way to contact you (either email or phone number)? Thanks!