Seeking Clues In A 14 Year Old Tulsa Double Murder Investigation
Thursday, December 7th 2006, 3:28 pm
By: News On 6
Thursday was the 14th anniversary of one of Tulsa's most mysterious unsolved murders, a case that haunts the family as well as Tulsa Police.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has been covering this case since it happened on December 7th, 1992.
In 1992, it was cold and there was snow on the ground and Christmas lights on houses. The last thing Tulsa Police were expecting was to get a double murder call at the south Tulsa home of a highly respected family.
What started as an ordinary day for an all-American family, ended in a tragedy that affected the entire city of Tulsa. Robert and Wanda Phillips came home from Christmas shopping and found the unthinkable, their two sons, brutally murdered. David, 19, had come home from school and checked in with family.
Tulsa Police believe he was upstairs alone when the killers came in and shot him. They say the killers waited, watched TV, and made themselves at home until 26 year old Bobby arrived. He fought back, but was beaten to death with an ax. Tulsa Police Sgt. Mike Huff, who's recovering from a work related neck surgery, says the Phillips case is always present. "The guys at the scene with me, those involved in investigating the case have retired and moved on, but they never left that case."
Police have pieces of evidence, the killer's footprint, blood splatters on the floor and wall, fingerprints in a bathroom. They know the killers cleaned up the scene, and then tried to destroy it by turning on the gas, but that didn't work. The victim's car was taken and found the next morning at Memorial High School.
Police just don't have enough to pinpoint a killer. This case is never far from detectives' minds. They even had a volunteer create this timeline so they can study it and see if there's anything they missed.
One thing they want people to remember is they're still looking for a red, Mitsubishi sports car that was seen stalking the neighborhood before the murders. That car was seen in the Phillips' drive-way, the night of the killings.
Tulsa Police say nothing in the lives of the victims or their parents would make them targets. One theory is a case of mistaken identity. The killers were after another Phillips family who had been relentless in tracking down their daughter's murderer. Another theory is someone close to the family who stood to gain from the murders.
But nothing solid, so Tulsa Police are desperate for help. Sgt. Mike Huff: "We want someone to call Crimestoppers tonight. We know the person is either in prison or has been and has probably told people, so even if they are two or three people removed, we want that phone call."
The Phillips were highly regarded in their church and the community. Their oldest was engaged and being groomed to run the family's insurance business. More bad things have befallen the family, the father, Robert Phillips, died two years ago. His business went to his son-in-law, Brad Frost. Frost was found guilty in 2005 of defrauding more than 50 people out of their insurance money and sentenced to 72 months in prison.
Getting this case solved, might finally bring the family some peace. People can stay anonymous; they just need to call 596-COPS.