The Fisher Family Murders

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

The “Man of the House” is supposed to protect his family not slaughter them and torch the family home.


Guest Post By Ian Granstra

April 10, 2001

When William and Jan Fisher divorced in 1976, their 15-year-old son Robert was devastated. The split was far from amicable and young Robert struggled through his high school years. As he became a young adult, he always believed his life would have been better if his parents had stayed together.

Eleven years later, when Robert married his high school sweetheart, Mary Cooper, he made her two promises: to always be faithful and to never divorce. The first promise he would break; the second he would keep in an extraordinarily heinous fashion.

Robert Fisher is wanted for the murder of his family, but for the past 18 years, he has been a ghost. Even after so much time, his crime is considered so brutal that he still occupies a spot, as the senior member, of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1a.jpg
Photo courtesy of Murderpedia.org

In the home’s remnants, the firemen found the bodies of Mary Fisher and her two children, 12-year-old Brittney and 10-year-old Bobby. Autopsies revealed a gruesome surprise; instead of perishing in the fire, all three victims had had their throats slashed and each had lacerated traumas to their necks. Mary had also been shot in the head.

The fire from a gas explosion is usually not as intense as was the Fisher fire. Robert Fisher, a former firefighter, knew what materials to use to cause such a gargantuan blaze. Robert Fisher, husband, and father, was nowhere to be found.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

Several months before the fire, Mary told friends she discovered Robert had had sex with a prostitute and with the massage therapist who was treating him for a back injury. Already disillusioned with her marriage, Mary confided she was considering leaving him.

On the evening before the fire neighbors heard Robert and Mary engaged in a loud argument. Investigators theorize it was related to Mary’s wanting a divorce and they believe she told Robert of her intentions to leave him. For Robert, the prospect of reliving his troubled teen years all over again was too much and, authorities believe, he snapped.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

It is believed that several hours before the fire, Robert slashed the throats of his wife and children because he did not want them, but primarily him, to go through the trauma of a divorce. He then doused the home with the flammable fluid and disconnected the line leading to the gas furnace. As a source of ignition, investigators believed he used a candle and a candle holder as a timing device providing him time to leave. Once a sufficient amount of gas had built up, the candle triggered the explosion and ignited the fire. Investigators believe Robert committed the arson in an attempt to cover up the murders, believing the bodies would be burned beyond recognition. However, the fire did not hide his crime as he hoped.

Robert Fisher was last seen on a Scottsdale ATM machine approximately 1 1/2 hours before his home erupted in fire.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

On April 20, ten days after the fire, Mary’s SUV was found by a hiker 100 miles north of Scottsdale in the Tonto National Forest. The vehicle was clean and underneath pine trees; however, few pine needles were found atop the vehicle, indicating it had been left there within 24 hours of being discovered. The car was in the vicinity of a favorite hunting area of Robert’s but two weeks of searching turned up no trace of him.

The area terrain where the car was found was surrounded by hundreds of caves. Area spelunkers believe the police did not search the subterrane sufficiently, positing that the survivalist Fisher could have hidden there, before either escaping, killing himself, or succumbing to low oxygen levels.

The police, however, believe Fisher left his wife’s SUV in the forest in an effort to divert them. The vehicle was found about ¼ of a mile off a heavily trafficked service road and near several facilities where he could have used a phone or gotten a ride.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

The police were certain they had captured their man in February of 2004. An individual described as a “dead ringer” to Fisher was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Despite the uncanny resemblance and strikingly similar fingerprints, the man was confirmed not to be the fugitive.

In October of 2014, police raided a house in Commerce City, Colorado, after receiving a tip that Fisher was hiding there. They found two people wanted by law enforcement but failed to reel in their prize catch of Robert Fisher.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

Fisher was featured several times on America’s Most Wanted. Over its twenty-five season run the show helped in the capture of nearly 1,200 fugitives. AMW host John Walsh called Fisher his personal most wanted fugitive. Upon AMW’s ending in 2012, Walsh said his biggest disappointment was not capturing Fisher.

In 2016, Fisher was profiled on Walsh’s new show “The Hunt” on CNN. The FBI said they received several new tips relating to Fisher as a result of the broadcast. They have not commented on the nature of the tips but the information, so far, has not led Fisher’s apprehension.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

Not even the FBI’s famed Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List has produced Fisher’s capture. A $100,000 reward is still offered for information leading to his arrest or confirmation of his remains.

The $100,000 question; is Robert Fisher dead or alive?

The 18 years since the murders have not produced a confirmed sighting of Fisher, leading many to believe he committed suicide in the vast Arizona mountains.

Psychologists generally agree Fisher exhibited suicidal tendencies. However, he was also a loner and an outdoorsman– two attributes useful for someone needing to drop off the radar.

Altered images of Robert Fisher.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

In 2016 the FBI and Scottsdale police released new computer-aged images of Robert Fisher, who would now be 58-years-old. The FBI describes the fugitive as “arrogant. He’s cocky. He’s a know-it-all…and a loner.”

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

Authorities have recently sought the medical community’s aid in locating Fisher. When last seen, he was often walking in an odd, erect manner with his chest out due to back pain. If he is still alive, the back problems have likely continued to plague him and he would probably need treatment from a medical doctor and/or chiropractor or massage therapist.

C:\Users\CLIENT\Pictures\1.jpg

SOURCES:

THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Reading:

ABC News
America’s Most Wanted
AZ Central
Fox News
Phoenix New Times
The Hunt


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)

Recommended Reading:

Need Synova’s Fedora? Get your’s here!


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

2ndDIYpackage-templates

SIGN UP HERE


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


If you’d like to check out Synova’s true crime books follow this link to her Amazon Author Page.

Synova’s Amazon Author Page

81XSqT-n3BL._AC_UL320_
“One of the few books written that gives the reader an insight into the criminal mind” – Retired FBI Agent Egelston Raised in a mob-controlled suburb of Chicago, Sidney Heard grew up wanting to be a gangster. He was on probation by the age of thirteen and continued building his criminal resume over the next half a century. He was a professional arsonist for nearly twenty years; escaped from jail twice; ran a gold scandal grossing over a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s just to name a few of his illegal escapades. To top it off, he played a role in one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions of all time (Gideon vs. Wainwright).Sidney’s underworld connections ran from the Chicago-based Italians to the Mexican Mafia. He even worked undercover for the Federal Government at one point in his life. However, all of Sidney’s so-called glory would come with a price. While working undercover for the F.B.I. D.E.A., Sidney became hooked on drugs. He soon found himself staring at 125 years of jail time , a massive criminal record, and pushing his fiftieth birthday. Can a career criminal change? Frank Abagnale’s criminal career lasted ten years and was featured in the movie Catch Me If You Can. Sidney Heard’s criminal career spanned five decades!
41d90mk2i0L
Sit back and relax as Synova regales you with tales of master art thieves, bumbling criminals, and multi-million-dollar art heists from around the world. There will be stories of mafia-commissioned heists, of Daredevil art thieves, and of the brave men and women of the FBI Art team who are trying to stop this multi-billion-dollar industry of art crime. Enjoy.

wp-image-675446049
It’s a tale of two judges; one a well-liked defender of the law, and the other a cold-blooded manipulator. Judge C.E. Chillingworth was by all accounts a man of honor, so why were he and his wife taken from their home on June 15, 1955, in the wee hours of the morning, bound, gagged, weighted down, and thrown into the ocean?

When the Chillingworths disappear it would take nearly five years and one drunken hitman to finally uncover the truth behind West Palm Beach’s “crime of the century.”
seriously-stupid-box-set.jpg
Now you can own all Synova’s best-selling Seriously Stupid Criminals Series in one box set!

Shattered: behind every story is a shattered life

Every year Synova compiles the most popular blog post from the previous year into a case files book. In 2018, Synova Ink was filled with serial killer cases, cold cases, famous cases, and many obscure unsolved missing persons’ cases. Don’t miss this one.

Preorder your copy of Synova’s New Casefiles book HERE!


Synova’s Swag Store is now open check out her new merchandise by clicking on the Shop! link at the top of this page!

Come Quick!


Published by

synovacantrell

Synova Cantrell may be known for her fedora, but she wears many hats. Synova volunteers with the Missouri Missing organization by highlighting obscure cold cases on her true crime blog to help generate tips. She firmly believes together we can give grieving families answers, hope, and support. Synova works as the Production Editor of True Crime: Case Files Magazine. http://www.truecrimecasefiles.com As SWMO’s #1 True Crime Writer, Synova authored Unorganized Crime; a biography of the ex-gangster Sidney Heard of Chicago, IL. This thrilling tale of con games, bank robbery, and mayhem has recently been endorsed by a retired FBI agent. Her best-selling series, Seriously Stupid Criminals, is a fan favorite in both paperback and e-book formats. Her latest e-book, Grim Justice tells the story of a judge and his wife retired in Palm Beach, Florida in 1955. Her first case files book, Snatched was released on New Year's Day. Fans eagerly await her newest serial killer series set to launch late 2019. Synova has a passion for helping fellow authors and knows how overwhelming it can be to get started in this business, that is why she created Synova's Simply Biz. Synova breaks down the business of writing in a simple way. If you need help with your business check out her new page www.synovaink.com/simplybiz. To follow all her adventures and read her true crime blog, log onto www.synovaink.com Connect with Synova: Twitter: https://twitter.com/synovaink Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synovacantrell Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/synovaink

Leave a Reply