Tulsa Police: Unsolved Double Murder A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Wednesday, January 26th 2011, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – A Tulsa family is finally breaking their silence, 18 years after a double murder.

The Phillips brothers were killed inside their south Tulsa home right before Christmas in 1992 and the case remains unsolved.

12/7/2006 Related Story: Seeking Clues In A 14 Year Old Tulsa Double Murder Investigation

The family talked exclusively to News on six crime reporter Lori Fullbright.

Police believe they know who killed Bobby and David Phillips. They believe the killer wanted to murder another family with the last name of Phillips, but went to the wrong address by mistake.

Bobby and David's family don't understand why the killer hasn't been brought to justice.

The brothers were found murdered in their home, one shot to death, the other beaten with an ax.

The killers cleaned up the scene and tried to set the house on fire to destroy evidence. Neighbors saw a red Mitsubishi in the drive-way. Police investigated but never found anyone with a motive to kill these two young men.

"They assume if somebody came into the house and did this, there must be something going on in that family that we don't know about. Well, that's not the case, they got the wrong house," Mary Ann Frost, the victims' sister, said.

It wasn't until six years later, Mary Ann and her mother learned police had suspected Jackie Wright was the killer and the murders were a case of mistaken identity.

"They just kept us in the dark, making us wonder who would do this to us," Frost said.

Two years before Bobby and David were killed, a couple named Tonya and Coy Wilkerson were murdered in their Tulsa home. The killers had tried to destroy the evidence by setting the house on fire and a red car was seen there too.

One suspect committed suicide. Jackie Wright was the other.  Police took the case to the District Attorney, but it wasn't filed for lack of evidence.

Tonya's parents, Jim and Jill Phillips, were relentless in their pursuit of Jackie Wright, doing everything they could to get him tried for their daughter's murder. Police believe Wright decided the only way to stop the angry parents was to kill them.

Jim and Jill Phillips lived in Owasso, his first wife was named Wanda. Bob and Wanda Phillips lived on Oswego, so the killers murdered the wrong Phillips.

"The only reason he showed up at our house is because he was not put in prison for the first murders he committed," Mary Ann said.

Eight years after Tonya and Coy Wilkerson were killed, Jackie Wright finally stood trial for their murders and was sentenced to life without parole.

Wanda and Mary Ann believe if police had pursued Wright sooner in Bobby and David's case, he could've been tried for their murders too.

"If they would've gone to investigate Jackie Wright just on their hunch, they would've caught him red-handed, I have no doubt," Mary Ann said.

The detectives who initially worked the Phillips brothers' murder have since retired. The current detectives say they are still interested in Jackie Wright and constantly looking for new evidence that would bring Bobby and David's case to trial.

They say a hunch is not evidence and they've had experts around the country look at the case and it's still an open investigation.