Did Robert Fisher set off an explosion in his own house to kill his entire family?

Wanted: Robert Fisher

Suspect:

Gender: Male
DOB: 4/13/61
Height: 6’
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: Has surgical scars on his lower back and a gold crown on his upper left canine tooth
Remarks: Reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest

CASE DETAILS

A powerful explosion rocked a quiet residential neighborhood one morning in Scottsdale, Arizona. The force of the blast ripped through the roof of the house, causing it to burst into flames. Most of the home was destroyed before firefighters could contain the blaze.

An explosion set the house ablaze

The house was owned by Robert and Mary Fisher, who lived there with their two children; 13-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby Jr. When rescuers were finally able to get inside the house, they found the remains of Mary and the two children still in their beds. They appeared to have died in their sleep. But Robert was nowhere to be found.

Autopsies of the victims produced a stunning revelation: all three had been stabbed to death. Could Robert, the seemingly dedicated family man, have killed them? Detective John Kirkham of the Scottsdale Police Department was one of the investigating officers:

“Robert was a very private person. Outwardly, he was perceived as a good father and good husband, a church-going man. During the investigation, we found that Robert Fisher had a number of faces, a number of masks that he wore.”

Police think Robert broke the gas line

Most people took Robert Fisher at face value, like his sister Jean:

“My brother loved his kids and his wife. A year ago, there’s no way I would have imagined any of this. I trusted my brother with my life. There’s no way I would have thought he would be capable of this.”

Robert and Mary met in high school and they’d been married for 16 years. Robert had served as a firefighter, until a back injury ended his career. Investigators learned that there had been tension between Robert and Mary following the injury. One day, Robert came to Mary with upsetting news; he was having an affair. Mary was shattered and asked Robert to leave.

A full scale manhunt turned up few leads

Robert headed north to the forests where he usually went to hunt. When he returned a few days later, he and Mary decided to go to counseling at their church. Robert had apparently suffered deep emotional scars after the divorce of his own parents, and he was determined that his children would not experience that same emotional pain. Myrna Bitzer is Mary’s sister:

“Robert had told my dad often that divorce was not an option. He would not be divorced like his parents were. Robert stated that several times.”

But Mary may not have shared those feelings, as Det. Kirkham discovered:

“We spoke with a very close friend of Mary’s and learned that she had confided in her that she was thinking about divorcing Robert.”

Neighbors told investigators that on the night of the murders, the Fishers had a loud argument. Det. Kirkham believes that if Robert did, in fact, murder his family, it may not have been pre-meditated:

“I don’t think that he planned that, ‘On this particular day, this is what I’m going to do.’ I think that it precipitated over a long period of time and there was that one thing that triggered it. And that could have been the argument.”

Police searched the remote area

Could Robert Fisher have murdered his wife and children rather than put them through the heartache of divorce? The crime scene investigation uncovered intriguing clues. A disconnected natural gas line, an out of place candlestick holder, and the residue of some form of highly flammable liquid were all discovered.

Detectives began to piece together a chilling scenario of what happened on the night of the murders. The stabbing wounds clearly could not have occurred during the fire. Investigators theorize that several hours before the explosion, Robert Fisher slashed the throats of each of his children, and then his wife. In addition to having her throat cut, evidence showed that Mary was shot. Also, the fire was too intense to be caused by a gas explosion, leading to the speculation that some other type of flammable material was used. Investigators believe that after spreading gasoline around the house, Fisher disconnected the line leading to the gas furnace. Det. Kirkham:

“As a source of ignition, we believe that a candle with a candleholder was used as a timing device in order to allow Robert time to leave the residence. Robert committed the arson in order to cover up the murders, believing that the bodies would be burned beyond recognition, covering up any sign of what had happened. But it didn’t cover it up quite as well as expected.”

A full-scale manhunt for Fisher initially turned up few leads. Then, ten days later, Mary’s SUV, which disappeared on the night of the murders, was spotted by a hiker. According to Det. Kirkham, it had been abandoned near Fisher’s favorite hunting area:

“It was clean. There was no dust on it. It was underneath pine trees and there were very few pine tree needles on top of the vehicle or in the vehicle, which indicated to us that it had probably been dumped there within 24 hours of discovery.”

Investigators hurried to the remote area. But the landscape was riddled with hundreds of caves and days of searching produced nothing. But two theories did emerge. One, that a despondent Robert Fisher took refuge in one of the caves, where he eventually committed suicide. The other theory suggested that a cunning Fisher left the SUV behind to divert the attention of investigators and then vanished.

Robert’s sister, Jean, is left to wonder what became of her brother:

“Where would he be? How could he have gotten to where he would be? He didn’t take any money with him. And he would be in so much physical pain from his back. I don’t know if he did this. I don’t know how he could be alive, knowing how much my brother loved his family.”

However, Det. Kirkham believes Fisher is still alive:

“The vehicle itself was about a quarter of a mile off an improved forest service road. It’s a fairly active area with a lot of traffic. And there are various places that one could use a phone, catch a ride, that sort of thing. He has probably started a new life under an assumed identity.”

Mary’s sister, Myrna, also believes that Robert is alive:

“If Robert wanted to kill himself, he would have done it when he killed Mary, Brittney and Bobby, that’s my belief. So I do believe Robert is alive.”

Robert Fisher has been indicted for the murders of his wife and children.


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

SUBMIT A TIP

 

24 Comments

  1. Jay

    This guy looks just like James Franco (the actor)

    Reply

  2. Anonymous

    I had this strange dream , that I was hiding in a house and RF was sitting there and all at once his eyes got really cold, like you mentioned. But before that he seemed really nice like a basket ball coach, and he was in an old house ,1950, and I woke up. A couple of weeks they tore the house down and 3 years later they still havent built anything there. I think that ,also that he didnt take lots of money ,only because he desirs to be poor, probably he moved back to san diego, and runs over t o mexico on the weekends.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous

    Dallas, Tx

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    Why don’t you mention Blue, his dog, was found with the SUV? WHAT HAPPENED TO BLUE? Did family members keep him?

    Reply

  5. K

    I went to school with Bobby and Britney and played on the same basketball team as her. I remember them being very quiet, well behaved children and very bright. I watched their house burning live on the news early morning in Scottsdale where we lived and it seemed like it took forever for the fire fighters to put the blaze out to see who was in the house. There were many rumors circulating around about what actually happened. The affairs were known about. I remember Robert attending the basketball games we played in and just the look in his eyes were like ice. To this day thinking about him sitting on the stands not smiling and dead silent still gives me the creeps. The other rumors that no one ever found to be true or not, were that he was in a lot of debt with some scary people, that he was actually a victim as well and part of his punishment was to watch his family die. I don’t believe this. His family held out a lot of hope saying he wasn’t that kind of man. But people snap and he definitely looked the part. I believe he did it. I believe he ran and is still living his life somewhere while his wife and children lie in graves. He was an avid outdoors man and could have survived out there in the woods for a good amount of time. He knew those woods better than the police. His dog was found with the SUV seemingly unharmed. I believe he left his dog and car to throw people off. Of course they are going to catch him if he’s driving around in his deceased wife’s vehicle. People who have dogs and know their loyalty, know the dog would have waited there forever for him to come back. I hope they catch this monster. Britney, Bobby, and their mom deserve justice and Robert deserves to rot in prison like the pathetic, selfish person he is. I have a feeling he fled to Mexico. We were close enough to the border and everyone knows that if you are running from the feds go to Mexico and you’re pretty much safe. The little amount of money he took from the ATM would have given him a fine start in the poor country. He is on America’s top ten most wanted list. Most of America has seen his face and he would have no safer choice than to be in Mexico. If he killed himself he would have done it in the woods. They would have found his body. I just hope that either one day he steps foot back in the US and gets caught or dies a painful death like he put his wife and children through.

    Reply

  6. tanya

    What do they mean when they say ” He fell in love with his massage woman?” Is this just a make-believe story? Do they know where she worked? I saw a television show about Scottsdale , they said “most people who live there are divorced and are really trying to sell the houses they live in and nobody will by them because of the economy.” Maybe he is really poor and living at a salvation army in Texas somewhere. I dont belive someone would marry a man who just killed his whole family,especially, a massage woman.

    Reply

    • The Messenger

      Believe it . ..and it can happen to your friends , sisters , daughters , grand daughters , Always be Alert , Involved , Protective . It almost happened to me too .

      Reply

  7. Sarah

    Exactly! What definitive proof is there? Couldn’t someone have kidnapped him with his own gun and threatened with killing his family so he would take out the max amount of ATM money then murdered anyway? There has been no definite ID since 2001, no mention of going back to the caves to search, and if he were out there alive the dog would not have been waiting at the vehicle.

    Reply

  8. JOHN NELLS

    WAS THERE ANY PROOF HE DI D THIS ON HIS OWN

    Reply

  9. ihetu ramsey

    he probably fled the country to mexico or central or even south america

    Reply

  10. ihetu ramsey

    I think its possible that he had help fleeing the country maybe to mexico, central or south America. think about it he in Arizona. the Mexican border is not far.

    Reply

  11. Michele Doucette

    He was gorgeous!! Maybe he became a woman and that’s why they can’t find him. He would have made a beautiful woman

    Reply

  12. Anonymous

    he’s gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!….maybe he is a transsexual and that’s why they can’t find him.

    Reply

  13. thomas

    What the Feds need to do is come to Reno, NV and walk the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. There are 100’s of hobos that live in tents all along it. They are called Tent City community. Breakout the scwab and fingerprint machine.

    Reply

  14. ROSE ANDREWS

    this man be put a way .and naver see the light of day I know that he did it .he is nothing but a monster .get him be fore hurt some one he is out there find him. two kids did not get two kids live life .

    Reply

  15. Anonymous

    He’s still in the woods in Scottsdale Arizona

    Reply

  16. jay

  17. Anonymous

    He was a hunter that solves the food problem.

    Reply

  18. megadude

    he probebly died why because if a person run away then when are the going to find food so they probebly rob at a market and hide and rob again so my comment is that he is probebly deid

    Reply

  19. Sam Madsen

    I think he is probably hiding in the remote mountain wilderness of the west somewhere, in a cabin, trailer or tent. I think he is definitley catchable if we can figure out the area he is residing in, which will be a great challenge on it’s own. This guy can’t run forever, the instant he comes out of his habitat (which will happen eventually) and into society, he WILL be busted.

    Reply

  20. DJ

    Dumping the SUV at the Tanto National Forest, was to throw everybody off his trail. The last known photo of Robert Fisher was of him, withdrawing money from an ATM machine. He often frequented sex shops and strip clubs and was very selfish and greedy who had no love for anyone but himself.

    Reply