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

Wanted: Robert Fisher


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


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.




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    I think he used that $280 to board a bus in Payson. Investigators should look at routes and the price of one-way tickets back in 2001. He’d probably keep some cash on him for motels/food/etc., or he might have just slept in shelters until he was able to find a job. I bet he’s not as far away from Scottsdale as everyone thinks. His sister said he hated to travel. I bet he’s within one or two hundred miles of the scene.


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    I feel that Robert’s sister knows more than she’s telling and that her state of disbelief is either a ruse or is overplaying it.


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    I am very dubious about the possibility of Robert Fisher still being alive. In the Tonto National Forest, there are caves all over the place, the overwhelming majority of which have never been searched by authorities; only a few in the relatively immediate vicinity of where his SUV was located. He could have easily wandered much farther, if he was so inclined, and shot himself inside a more distant cave. In the documentary produced about this incident, experts agree that there are many caves in the area where the sound from a gun shot, made in a suicide attempt, would not be heard for any substantial distance from such a cave. Over the years, the local wildlife would have consumed most of his remains. At least, this is my speculation. The money he withdrew from the ATM would not be enough to keep him going for very long. He had military training and, most probably, survival training. However, today this man would be about 57 years old, supposedly living off the grid for some 17 years. If you’ve ever tried to do such a thing, then you know how difficult and precarious such an undertaking actually is, even for a relatively short period of time. Yet there have been no other traces found in the area that might indicate that some other human was actually attempting to live there or in the vicinity of where his SUV was located. I cannot say that his escape and re-integration into some other community is impossible. Certainly, it is possible. However, I think it more likely that he probably killed himself not long after he abandoned his dog and SUV in the Tonto National Forest and the remains of his body are lying in some remote as-yet-unexplored cave.


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    This guy looks just like James Franco (the actor)


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    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.


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    Dallas, Tx


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


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    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.


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    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.


    • Avatar

      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 .


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    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.


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    ihetu ramsey

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


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    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.


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    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


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


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    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.


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    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 .


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    He’s still in the woods in Scottsdale Arizona


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    He was a hunter that solves the food problem.


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    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


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    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.


  22. Avatar


    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.


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In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.