Written by: Jenae
Trigger Warning: deaths of children
Robert Fisher was born on April 13th, 1961 in Brooklyn, NY. From what I was able to tell through research, Robert had a normal upbringing. His father was a banker and he had two sisters. At the age of 15, Robert’s parents decided to get a divorce, this is something that he mentioned to people in his life as having a large impact on him. He even believed his life would be different if his mom stayed with the family. Other than this, there were no remarkable events that I could find in his early life. One other thing we do know, Fisher was in the US Navy.
By 1987, Fisher married Mary Cooper and had begun a career as a respiratory therapist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. Robert was described as an outdoors man, who loved hunting and fishing. In the past, he had worked as a firefighter and a catheter technician. Everything seemed to be going well in his life. Over time, Mary and Robert would have two children, Brittany and Robert Jr.
He was obsessed with keeping the image of a happy family, and many traced this back to his experiences with his parent’s divorce in childhood. However, this seemed to just be a facade. Many described Fisher as “controlling and awkward” with his children. Fisher’s mother said that Mary was reluctant to stand up to her husband and Fisher’s mother even tried to warn Mary that she was seeing similar dynamics to that of her marriage to Robert’s father. Trying to make it work, Mary brushed off these concerns.
The Fisher were heavily involved in the church, including marriage counseling with the church in 1998. In the months leading up to his crimes, Robert’s behavior became strange. He withdrew from church activities, and began using massage parlors to cheat on his wife. He told some co-workers about a time where he got an UTI from an encounter and he was paranoid that his wife would find out because of it. He claimed he only did this once.
Robert’s fears of losing his family became more intense, he was even telling friends that he was ready to renew his commitment to his family because he “couldn’t live without them”. Unfortunately, Robert’s fear would soon come true. Mary had been telling friends that she was filing for divorce in the weeks before her death. On April 9th, 2001, neighbors heard the Fishers arguing in their home. Just ten hours later, the house would burst into flames. If he couldn’t have them, no one else could.
In the early morning on April 10th, 2001, Robert shot his wife and then slit the throats of Brittany, 12 and Robert Jr, 10. The home then blew up at around 8:40am. Investigators discovered the home’s furnace was pulled out to allow gas to leak throughout the home. Robert had left a candle lit, which caught the gas and set the home ablaze. The use of the candle as a more delayed fuse gave Fisher an almost ten hour head start on the police. The firefighters had some difficulty putting the 20-foot-fire out because things like paint cans and gun ammo began exploding from the heat, injuring some of the first responders.
Once the blaze was put out, police discovered the bodies of Mary, Brittany, and Robert Jr. on the remains of a bed. The common theory is that Fisher couldn’t stand to allow Mary to divorce him and he couldn’t let his kids go through what he did as a child, dealing with the divorce of his parents.
Fisher was quickly named an official person of interest in the case.He would later be charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of arson. Ten days after Fisher murdered his family in cold blood, investigators got the one and only piece of physical evidence of Robert’s whereabouts. Police found Mary’s car and the family dog in the Tonto National Forest, about 100 miles away from the crime scene. This area is known for having many caves nearby. While authorities searched the area, they didn’t conduct a good search of the caves. To this day, the prevailing theory is that Robert used these caves to commit suicide or to hide, where he died of lack of oxygen. However, his body has ever been found.
In 2004, a man with a similar face and build to Fisher was arrested by RCMP in Vancouver. Upon fingerprinting the man and comparing them, they found that he wasn’t Fisher and released him. In 2012, FBI received tips that Fisher might be in another Arizona area. In 2014, there were more tips that led the FBI to raid a home in Commerce City, CO. Fisher has never been found.
How You Can Help:
In 2002, Fisher was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. There is currently a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture. He’s 6’0, white, 190 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. He has surgical scars on his lower back and a noticeable gold crown on one of his teeth. He chews tobacco and has ties to Florida and New Mexico. He is likely in possession of many guns.
Robert Fisher is considered armed and dangerous, he shouldn’t be approached. If you or anyone you know has any information on Fisher’s whereabouts, please share that information. I will leave links in the description on how to report. After 19 years, it’s time this family gets justice.