Dead in a cave? Living as an Innuit in the Alaskan boonies? Or did the guy find the perfect hinding spot?
5 years after the deaths of his wife and 2 kids, FBI still seeking suspect Fisher
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 11, 2006 12:00 AM
Five years have passed, and investigators are still hunting for Robert Fisher.
The elusive murder suspect vanished after his Scottsdale home exploded in flames in April 2001, leading police to the bodies of Fisher's wife and two children. They were found doused with some type of accelerant after their throats were slit.
Since the slayings, Scottsdale police and the Phoenix bureau of the FBI have received hundreds of tips about Fisher's whereabouts, thanks in large part to vigilant fans of America's Most Wanted.
Eyewitness accounts out of Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and across the United States have all led to dead ends. However, investigators believe that Fisher is alive and that he will eventually be caught.
"We would not be going through all these steps if we didn't think he was alive," said Scottsdale police Detective John Kirkham, the investigator in charge of Scottsdale's murder investigation.
Authorities once considered that Fisher might have committed suicide in the woods of the Tonto National Forest, where his family's abandoned Toyota 4Runner was found near one of Fisher's favorite hunting spots outside of Payson 10 days after the murders.
A manhunt through the caves and rugged terrain of the Naegelin Rim country turned up no trace of Fisher or his corpse.
"No one believes he's dead in a cave," Kirkham said. "We would have found some trace (of his body) by now."
However, investigators now believe the avid hunter, who attended Scottsdale Baptist Church and worked as a catheter technician at Mayo Clinic, was not the type of man to take his own life.
Numerous interviews with people close to Fisher have painted the picture of a controlling, dominating husband who drove his wife to consider filing for divorce.
Fisher would tell friends that his kids would "never experience the pain he felt" from his own parents' divorce and that divorce was not an option, police said.
Fisher, who turns 45 this week, also had a dark side, according to investigators. He would cover himself in animal blood to celebrate his trophies and exhibit other bizarre, anxious behavior while hunting.
When divorce became a possibility, police believe Fisher started plotting the murder of his wife, Mary, 38, daughter Brittney, 13, and son Bobby, 10.
Mary Fisher was shot once in the back of her head before her throat was cut.
"(Fisher) was very into himself, very self-centered," said FBI Special Agent Bob Caldwell, who has been tracking Fisher since 2002.
"Things were not going well with his family, so he wanted to start a whole new life with a clean slate," Caldwell said.
Fisher is one of the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted criminals. His mug shot can be found next to terrorist Osama bin Laden and Boston crime boss William "Whitey" Bulger, among other notorious criminals.
People call the Phoenix branch of the FBI and Scottsdale police dozens of times each week to report Fisher sightings or other information related to the case.
In February 2004, police were almost positive they had Fisher cornered in a Canadian town just north of the U.S. border. The man reported by witnesses was missing a tooth where Fisher has a gold tooth, and he had a similar surgical scar on his back.
Fingerprints turned up negative.
"Enough time has gone by that he's looking over his shoulder and living in fear that he will be caught," Caldwell said.
The FBI is offering $100,000 for information that leads to Fisher's capture. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call the FBI at (602) 279-5511 or Scottsdale police at (480) 312-5000.
Photos computer-altered by the FBI show what Robert Fisher may look like.
Don't know where he is, but I know where he's headed if he aint there already.
This guy is facinating. I wish he had not killed the kids.