SIX On Assignment - Cold Cases
Friday, May 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
The Phillips brothers homicides are among the small percentage of cases in Tulsa that go unsolved.
They are called cold cases... but they are not forgotten.
Two detectives work full-time, trying to uncover new leads and track down the killer. The first thing these detectives see each day when they walk into their office is the pictures of people who's killers are getting away with murder. Powerful reminders that the cases are real people with hurting families.
In the Cold Cases series of stories, we're going to open up these files and tell you new information about a case. We'll show actual photos from the crime scene all in hopes you can help solve the crime.
We begin with the 1992 murders of two brothers in South Tulsa.
The case is a puzzle with the evidence making up the pieces. For instance, a footprint belonging to the killer tells detectives about the perpetrators shoe size and style. Detectives also reveal that a red sports car, perhaps a Mitsubishi Eclipse, was parked in the driveway on the night of the murders.
Other pieces - blood splatters on the floor and wall. Fingerprints found in the bathroom. Knowing the killers turned on the gas and lit candles before making their get-away. Detectives can only guess at what the other pieces reveal.
Sgt Mike Huff, Tulsa Police: "We're not going to give up on a case. There's no statute of limitations. We're working them like they were yesterday."
Detectives found nothing in the lives of Bobby and David Phillips or their parents that would make them targets... no dark secrets, no questionable relationships, no quarrels or grudges.
But, someone killed them. And for some reason, the killers took their time doing it.
19-year-old David, the younger son, was home alone upstairs when the killers came in.
Sgt Mike Huff: "We feel he was the first person to be murdered and then they waited, they watched television, they made themselves at home in the house."
When 26-year-old Bobby got home, he fought with the killers; but the attackers were too much and beat him to death with an axe.
Sgt Mike Huff: "Then, they cleaned up the scene, moved some evidence and probaly waited for other family members to come home.
But, the phone kept ringing and ringing and probably scared them off. They stole Bobby's car and left it at Memorial High School not far away.
We think there's a very good possiblity these boys were murdered by mistake, they were not the intended targets."
Detectives believe the intended targets were another family named Phillips... Jim and Jill Phillips, to be exact.
Their daughter and son and law were also murdered in Tulsa. One killer committed suicide, and one got away.
Jim and Jill Phillips hired investigators, pressured politicians and would not let up in their pursuit of the second killer.
Police believe someone wanted to kill the Phillips to stop their investigation.
Sgt Mike Huff: "This was a retaliation murder, unfortunately, they ended up at the wrong house."
Jim and Jill Phillips live in Owasso. The Phillips brothers lived on Oswego.
And, the two murders scenes are similiar... the Phillips' daughter and her husband were killed at home after dark, so were the Phillips brothers.
Also, the killers tried to destroy evidence with fire in both cases, and each time, it failed. Then, there's the red sports car... it was first spotted at a break-in at Jim Phillips' business.
Sgt Mike Huff: "Unknown to the Phillips family in South Tulsa, that red sports car started stalking their home prior to these murders."
And then it was seen in their drive-way the night the brothers died. Neither case had any witnesses.
Sgt Mike Huff: "I don't believe the people involved in this murder could've kept their mouth shut. This is too major of an incident not to talk about."
Sergeant Mike Huff conducted an on-line chat Thursday night on kotv.com. Below is the transcript:
raceman: so sgt what is the oldest case you have going?
@SgtMikeHuff: We have a case in west Tulsa from the 1940s.
faye: Wasn't someone arrested a couple of years ago regarding the murders of the Phillips murder ( the young couple)?
@SgtMikeHuff: Faye. No one has been arrested.
faye: Or was he just questioned regarding it?
raceman: do you guys regularly look through cold files like the phillips case in hopes of finding the person(s) or wait for leads
@SgtMikeHuff: We review the cases continually.
Rochelle: How long have the parents known that their murders was a case of mistaken identity?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Parents were informed several years ago. That is only speculation.
mrfrosty: my dad wants to no if u will call him
@SgtMikeHuff: Faye. We have questioned hundreds.
raceman: thats good to know we have the resources and people like yourself in tulsa to keep on top of those
@SgtMikeHuff: Thanks raceman
@SgtMikeHuff: Jayne. I dont understand the probation either.
afriend: why did the finger prints not lead to a suspect?
@SgtMikeHuff: Mrfrosty. Who is your Dad?
SandSpringsRYAN: If a case continues to be unsolved, with no leads, how long does it remain active? Or is it active until its solved or what?
faye: I remember he was blonde and they arrested him in Kansas--I've kept my eye on this case because I used to work with some of their (the Phillips boys) neighbors.
@SgtMikeHuff: afriend. Fingerprints are not always involved.
@SgtMikeHuff: Faye. We made an arrest on the related murders of the Wilkersons. His name was Jackie Wright.
Rochelle: Was their not any DNA or anything left behind at the scene?
@SgtMikeHuff: Ryan. The case remains active forever. No statute of limitations
raceman: is it suspected the car was stolen? or has it been located?
jayne: the court records on denise's case are open aren't they?
map: Is Jackie being prosecuted for this murder?
rango: Sgt. just a note to say thanks for the job you guys do for us every THANKS
@SgtMikeHuff: Jayne. That deal is out of my hands. In the hands of the court. I do not understand either.
faye: Thanks, that's what I was remembering.
SandSpringsRYAN: yes, you guys do do a great job, want to say thanks as well!
@SgtMikeHuff: Rango. THANKS alot
map: Is Jackie Wright being prosecuted for these murders?
@SgtMikeHuff: We do like to brag that we solve nearly 90% of our murders. National average is 65%
SandSpringsRYAN: those are great statistics!
jayne: thanks anyway
bud: was the murder case involving a jogger in river parks ever resolved, I think it was the first and also a female
@SgtMikeHuff: Bud. We are working active on that case right now. Her name was Suzanne Oakley.
bud: thanks sgt huff
June: Are they checking all the cold cases? My grandmother was killed in 86
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Who is your Grandmother?
Rochelle: wow, what happened to your grandmother? That's too bad, :o(
@SgtMikeHuff: TMM. I am working on your Mothers case.
@SgtMikeHuff: Map. Jackie Wright was convicted for the Wilkerson murders. and got life without parole.
@SgtMikeHuff: TMM. 596-9135 please
dadsagent: does this thing include owasso cases also. my dad was killed in 87
@SgtMikeHuff: dadsagemt. no owasso cases.
June: My grandmother is Nora M. Davis. The susspect was CRF8701
afriend: What was the motive behind the other Phillips family murders?
@SgtMikeHuff: but i know some guys up there
stangman: could a match of fingerprints not be made in the phillips case
rocky: sgt Huff.do you tkink Butch Bastion was involved in the Phillips brothers
SandSpringsRYAN: are you still working on a case from the 80's where a girl last name Stringer was murdered.. they were friends of the family
nichole: I am the sister of Tonya and Coy Wilkerson
faye: Keep up the good sgt huff--your dedication is appreciated.
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Nora was killed where.
dadsagent: thanx for the info. good luck with all the cases
Bill: how do you feel about the connection between the Phillips families -- Bill
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. Hello.
@SgtMikeHuff: towntamer. dont have much hair to cut
raceman: I see Sgt on T.V. cool...
@SgtMikeHuff: Bill. Speculation only
TPDDispatcher: Sgt Huff, any luck w/ the stabbing/murder at falcon ridge yet?
@SgtMikeHuff: TPDDispatcher. Case to DA tomorrow
TPDDispatcher: we've been getting several calls on it
nichole: Sgt Huff During Wrights appeals case Jason Poorboy said that the reason he decided to testify is because after seeing the other murders on TV he felt bad.
June: North Columbia Street Tulsa her home on Christsmas Eve or Day
TPDDispatcher: thanks J
nichole: What other case was he talking about?? The Phillips boys?
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. yes
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Did we not solve that one and execute the killer?
nichole: Has Poorboy been questioned on this?
Rochelle: Is Dennis Campbell not a detective anymore?
@SgtMikeHuff: Probably more than one killer of the Phillips boys.
map: Did Jason Poorboy testify that Jackie killed the phillips boys??????
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Dennis works UDSW dayshift.
nichole: No he did not
@SgtMikeHuff: Jason did not at this time. Map.
map: thanks nichole
June: Negative. He got two years for taking her tv but nothing for the murder
Rochelle: He's a character and close friend, just haven't talked in awhile, :o)
@SgtMikeHuff: Wayne. The Phillips are fine people. Both families.
raceman: SGT. We had a motorcycle cop get cut off in front of my house on New Years day while chasing a vehicle, slid on his backside and ended up under a van, do you know him and if so is he ok, we have not seen him again in our neighborhood 26th and 129th e ave area
nichole: But the cases are too similar! I believe that Wrights mothers involved in the Phillips boys murder
Rochelle: If you have names in some of the cases, how come you can't go after those suspects?
Bill: Do you think that a woman was present when the Phillips boys were killed
@SgtMikeHuff: June. I thought he waived his appeals and was executed. Was he from New York
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. Call me at 596-9135 some day.
@SgtMikeHuff: Bill. Speculation only. Maybe. What do you think?
@SgtMikeHuff: Raceman. I think he is back on bikes.
nichole: prior to the murder of the Phillips boys, my dad put a reward poster under his mothers door. She was familiar with the other person involved in the case Butch Bastion
@SgtMikeHuff: Adidaschick. We are talking murders here.
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. YEs
SandSpringsRYAN: Sgt. do you know of a murder from the 80
SandSpringsRYAN: of a girl wtih the last name Stringer?
@SgtMikeHuff: Jack. Unaware of the book.
June: No the one you are thinking of was a white guy who killed a black woman My grandma was a white woman killed by a black guy from Sebastian County Ark. He was returned there for a felony rape but got no time for the murder. I heard he died in prison tho. How could I check that out?
nichole: Sgt. Huff do you think Poorboy was involved in the murders or can you not say?
@SgtMikeHuff: Ryan. TCSO investigated that one. Don Bell is the one that has looked into that case. He is with Tulsa County DA
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. I would love to chat in person.
SandSpringsRYAN: have there been any recent leads in that case?
SandSpringsRYAN: i know her mother, and she still hasn't given up hope
keyonazz: is it possible to almost make fun of an individual to make him come clear for example, get them to feel dumbass for something they might have overlooked
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Do you have his name?
Bill: I read that the mothers was involved --is there more than one mother
nichole: Sgt Huff How can I reach you to visit with you in this case?
nichole: Bill Typo on my part.
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. 596-9135
June: Larry Ray Hamilton CRF87-01. I was working as a nurse at TCSO when he was arrested.
@SgtMikeHuff: Keyonazz. That is a tactic.
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Oklahoma Department of Corrections. They have a website.
@SgtMikeHuff: Bill. Several mothers involved.
@SgtMikeHuff: Lawman. Call me tomorrow ok? 596-9135
jack: Anyone read the book about the Phillips' boys murder? What is the name of it...and the writer?
keyonazz: do you think that if we as americans followed say for example the german police policy of no police brutality would make our crime level go down?
nichole: I didn't know there was a book out?
raceman: i didn't know they wrote a book
@SgtMikeHuff: Lawman. Call me tomorrow ok? 596-9135
raceman: i'd like to read it too
SandSpringsRYAN: hey there you are on TV SGT!
@SgtMikeHuff: Soccarfan. What murder?
Bill: nichole it seems bizzar that a mother would be involved in such a murder
PercyD: Sgt - One of my ex-high school student is in McAlester and I would like to contact him. Do you know if that is possible?
@SgtMikeHuff: Keyonazz. German cultures abit different.
nichole: I guess you haven't seen his mother.
raceman: bill: look at that job bena girl
@SgtMikeHuff: PercyD. Call Dept. of Corrections for inmate number.
raceman: :can't spell, jon bena? i think is the spelling
SandSpringsRYAN: Well, again I want to thank you guys for all the great work you do, thanks for making Tulsa (and surrounding areas) safe!
@SgtMikeHuff: Lawman. thanks
map: There was a book written by Terry Rush
@SgtMikeHuff: Joe. ???
Morte: SgtHuff what about the phone book that was found on the stairs in the house?
raceman: map: do you recall the name?
map: sorry, no
@SgtMikeHuff: Ryan. Thanks we appreciate your support.
ADIDASCHICK: JON BENA RAMSEY?
nichole: Being a mother doesn't mean your a good person!
@SgtMikeHuff: Morte. phone book on the stairs?
map: get out of here adidaschick
raceman: yes thats the spelling adidas
keyonazz: have you guys ever found anything more on those girls that disappeared from welch, OK
@SgtMikeHuff: Adidaschick. Boulder Colo. PD is working the Ramsey case.
raceman: map: thanks for the author though will look it up on amazon
Bill: map where do you get the book
ADIDASCHICK: WHY DO U WANT ME TO GET OUT OF HERE
@SgtMikeHuff: Keyonazz. That is OSBI case. they are still missing.
map: stay on the subject
Rochelle: what unsolved murder are they working next week?
@SgtMikeHuff: Adidaschick. Please stay around.
Morte: the phone book that was found at the house on the night of the murder
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Patricia Palmer.
ADIDASCHICK: I AM BUT MAP WANTS ME TO LEAVE
@SgtMikeHuff: Morte. We dont know what to think of that.
nichole: Sgt Huff I forget the detective that worked the Wilkerson case, is he still on?
Rochelle: who was Particia and what happened to her? How long ago?
@SgtMikeHuff: Nichole. Roy Heim. 596-9156
dadsagent: one quick question, how can i contact the owasso police
map: What ever happend to Jackson?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. 1981 She was selling her wedding dress.
nichole: Is Roy still involved in the Phillips boys case?
@SgtMikeHuff: map. Jackson?
TPDDispatcher: was murdered for selling her wedding dress? this world is messed up!
raceman: sgt. I forget what happened to the black teenager who was abducted from woodland and body was found in a field, was from broken arrow, was it her dad that did that?
map: The detective that first worked the case
@SgtMikeHuff: dadsagent. phone number listed. Chief Jim Greene
Rochelle: No solid leads there or any strong suspects?
June: Do you if anybody is still looking for the guy who killed nora Davis since they said Larry Ray Hamilton did not do it?
@SgtMikeHuff: RAceman. It was her DAD. We convicted him and he got the death penalty.
dadsagent: what about on the internet
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Call us when you can about Ms. Davis 596-9135
raceman: good, deserved it, I just don't understand how a parent can murder there own child, guess it happens more than I think
Rochelle: My friend works with the black girls mother, Beverly and can you believe that she stands by him still????
klf: how difficult is it too investigate a murder that is 9 years old?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Strong leads. Some suspects . Need more help on the case.
raceman: rochelle: that's crazy, i would drop him like a fly
@SgtMikeHuff: KLF. Nine year old murder is worked like it happened yesterday with the outstanding detectives we have in cold case unit.
raceman: speaking of cold case unit, how long have you been in?
June: My parents are the ones who found the body. They have both since passed away. Does that mean the guy goes free?
ADIDASCHICK: I BELEIVE THAT IF U MURDER SOME ONE WHEN THE FIND OUT IT IS U THEN JUST ONE DAY WHEN THERE NOT EXPECTIN IT DO TO THEM WHAT THEY DONE TO THE PERSON THEY MURDERED I DONT LIKE THE INJECTION THANG THATS TO EASY
Rochelle: We all think she is afraid of him, that he will have someone from the outside do something to her if she stands up to him.
@SgtMikeHuff: RAceman. 20 + years working homicides
klf: after 9 years you still have all the evidence and none of it could have been misplaced after all this time?
@SgtMikeHuff: June. Please call me.
@SgtMikeHuff: klf. we have a good system for storing evidence.
travler: HAS THE DNA BEEN CROSS-CHECKED IN BOTH OF THE PHILLIPS CASES.
raceman: have you been able to solve most of your cases?
June: Ok. I will. Thank you
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. we have solved most of them.
map: IS IT TRUE THAT EVIDENCE WAS LOST IN THE PHILLIPS CASE WHEN THE FREEZER BROKE DOWN SEVERAL YEARS AGO?
@SgtMikeHuff: map. not in the phillips case. mostly sex assault cases affected.
Rochelle: What about the ones on Northside, drive bys, do you find out
most of them?
nichole: IN the Wilkerson case there was no DNA evidence,
@SgtMikeHuff: travler. not dna involved in all cases.
jack: This is a joke...too diverse to mean anything.
ADIDASCHICK: WELL IM LEVIN THANK YOU SGT FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO DO THIS ITS WAS FUN AND INTRESTING
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. We solve most northside cases.
@SgtMikeHuff: adidaschick. seeya
@SgtMikeHuff: jack. joke?
@SgtMikeHuff: towntamer. thanks seeya call me
raceman: i guess jack hit the road
Rochelle: Do the Phillips parents still live there and are they not afraid to stay there still??
map: Do you think the Phillips case would benfit from shows such as Unsolved Mysteries or America's Most Wanted since so much time has elapsed?
Bill: I agree with jack - this is awfully confusing -- how many cases are we discussing at one time?
Carly: I just got on and didn't see the news. Is it true that they think the Phillips boys were killed by mistake?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. They still live in Tulsa
@SgtMikeHuff: Carly. Speculation only.
jack: The concept of a "chat"....seems to work for some..."fun and interesting"
Rochelle: Do they have any suspects in the case ?
@SgtMikeHuff: Bill. It seems like we are discussing several .. kinda confusing. Main case is Phillips brothers
Rochelle: Parents I mean? Did they have anyone that wanted to harm them?
Carly: How does a parent live with that kind of thought? Scares me.
klf: i was wondering about the red sports car do you not have any kind of identifing numbers from it ?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. We have suspects
@SgtMikeHuff: klf. mitsubishi eclipse no tag number avail.
raceman: i was wondering if sports car was stolen and took to chop shop
Rochelle: Can you not go after them or do you not have enough for prosecutuion?
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Not enough evidence at this time. Hoping some one will come forward
map: DO YOU THINK THE PHILLIPS CASE WOULD BENEFIT FROM SHOWS LIKE
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED?
Bill: The Phillips still live in Tulsa and are confident that the murders were a mistake and they are in no danger.
Carly: Was one of the boys mentally handicapped?
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. unknown where car went. none reported stolen in the tame frame.
RLDinTtown: After all the advertising about tonites segment,do you think the it is possible that the peope(s) thats done or have info. on this murder were watching or in this chat now??
@SgtMikeHuff: Bill. Phillips are good people
@SgtMikeHuff: rldintown. hope so.
Rochelle: Can you not do a cross reference to Mistubishies or is that too complicated?
nichole: Bill are you related to the Phillips?
raceman: and I assume would be almost next to impossible to locate the car using DOT records, since we don't know where it was from
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. We have exhausted the eclipse checking.
Bill: very close friends!!
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. we have checked every way we know is possible.
@SgtMikeHuff: map. maybe. hope that this show will highlight the case and help solve it.
Carly: Sometimes it isn't enough to know they'll get their punishment in the afterlife
raceman: this is one case where I would support tracking devices in cars
Rochelle: No fingerprnts or anything credible left at the scene?
TPDDispatcher: dispatchertoo...you TPD disp?
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. interesting thought
julesg: What is the new info. we missed the news
julesg: What is the new info. we missed the news
@SgtMikeHuff: Rochelle. Some evidence but not enough for arrest
raceman: but at that time GPS and onstar had not been developed fully
RLDinTtown: it seem after several years of not "associating" with people,some have a tendencies to say "remember" some things about people who commited crimes they knew in the past
jack: Apparently some of those 100 are getting deep and personal somehow. Maybe I just don't know how to do this. First time in a chat. Sorry.
@SgtMikeHuff: julesg. Speculation that it is related to another double murder in 1991
Carly: I'm glad you brought the Phillips case to light again. I think people began to foret about it.
TPDDispatcher: race, can those really "pin point" the location of the vehicle?
@SgtMikeHuff: Jack. thanks for being here.
RLDinTtown: maybe this is what will happedn in the near future
@SgtMikeHuff: rldintown. excellent insight. we solve cases that way.
@SgtMikeHuff: hobo. think we will have some.
klf: this has been interesting and i hope you catch the terrible person who did this very soon
@SgtMikeHuff: klf. we will definately work towards that goal. thanks for the interest.
hobo: if i were you i would have some leads to work on after this chatting.
raceman: rld: strange how people suddenly "remember" isn't it
TPDDispatcher: how many people do you think were involved in the phillips murder?
@SgtMikeHuff: tpddispatcher. more than one.
Carly: Yes, it is. I have never forgotten it. It was such a horrible thing. I hope it is solved soon.
afriend: Sgt Huff: Good luck and God bless Bobby and David were wonderful guys and deeply missed!
@SgtMikeHuff: sometimes they remember when they really need some help or attention.
RLDinTtown: over years people "fall out" with one another
@SgtMikeHuff: afriend. thanks for the nice comment
@SgtMikeHuff: rld. you sound like a retired cop
RLDinTtown: and protecting their "friend" isnt a priority anymore
raceman: sgt: or money from crime stoppers, no offense to the program I think it is a great "incentive"
@SgtMikeHuff: rld. you got it going.
RLDinTtown: thank you
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. crimestoppers is an excellant program
raceman: sgt: there was no snow on the ground that x-mas was there
TPDDispatcher: well sgt huff, i hope the tv time helps w/ the cases!
@SgtMikeHuff: tpd. thanks
Carly: I think the police around here do an excellent job with what they have to work with.
nichole: Thank you Sgt. Huff I will give you a call I would love to
visit in person
Rochelle: thanks for still staying on the case and I hope it gets some new insight on it since it was on the news.
@SgtMikeHuff: raceman. it snowed flurries that nite.
RLDinTtown: good luck to you Sgt Huff and the TPD...condolenses to the family!!!
@SgtMikeHuff: rochelle. thanks for the comment. call me if you have specific information 596-9135
raceman: sgt: great talking with you and wish you all the best in the
case, i know i have offered no info, but enjoyed talking with you and everyone-----but not enough for a good foot impression i take it
@SgtMikeHuff: rld. been good talking with you. we will be back next thursday
RLDinTtown: ill be here,
Carly: God bless you Sgt. Huff. I wish you luck. I hope tonight helped.
@SgtMikeHuff: good nite everyone. if you have information or wish to contact me at 596-9135
Bill: There is available around 3,000 at Park Plaza Church of Christ where Bobby and David attended for the arrest and conviction
@admin: Goodnight everyone!