What would lead a husband and father to kill his family one night, blow up the family home, and flee into the night? On the morning of April 10, 2001, Robert Fisher’s wife Mary was shot in the head and her children’s throats were slashed from ear to ear in the hours before their house exploded.
Firefighters were immediately called to a natural gas explosion and fire in a Scottsdale house. It tore through the home on North 74th Place at 8:42am. It appeared to have started in the living room, and the intense fire burned the house to char. The initial explosion was strong enough to collapse the front brick wall and rattle the frames of neighbor’s houses for a half-mile in all directions. Firefighters kept the 20-foot high blaze from spreading to neighboring houses with considerable and heroic efforts. Secondary smaller explosions, believed to be caused by either rifle ammunition or paint cans, forced them to keep their distance.
The gas line from the back of the house’s furnace had been pulled out. The accumulating gas was ignited by a candle that Fisher had allegedly lit after he waited for the gas to accumulate. This delayed fuse would have given Robert Fisher a 10-hour head start in his successful attempt to escape. Burned bodies of a woman and two children were found lying in their beds in what remained of the house They were identified as Mary (age 38), Brittney (age 12) and Bobby (age 10).
Today’s episode, Family Man: The Search for Robert Fisher, is a study in what lurks in the mind of a seemingly ordinary husband and father who methodically murdered those he was supposed to love the most, to care for and protect, and who has been able to elude the authorities as one of America’s most wanted fugitives.