Welcome to part two of my series (not sure how many there will be so there is not an “of…..” to follow this). This series of posts dives into each chapter of the fabulous literature of Georgia and Karen from the podcast My Favorite Murder, and also explores my own connections to each.
Chapter two, Sweet Baby Angels. This is a phrase that Georgia uses many times during the podcasts to refer to those that are the victims of brutal crimes. We often remember the names of the perpetrators but never the victims. Close your eyes, preferably in a safe place so you yourself do not become a sweet baby angel talked about on the podcast, and think of a serial killer you know you have watched a show or read a book about. Now challenge yourself to think of the names of any one of their victims. I am not innocent of this because aside from Sharon Tate I am drawing a blank.
There are three sweet baby angels whose names I will remember forever, as will many in my town. Mary, Brittney, and Bobby Fisher.
What happened to the Fishers? Well I should give a warning up front, to explain what happened to the Fishers is to share some graphic information.
Mary Fisher (38) was the mother of two beautiful children, Brittney (12) and Bobby (10), and the wife of a very distant and deranged man named Robert Fisher.
On the morning of April 10, 2001, Robert disappeared after an explosion rang through the neighborhood from his home that would be found to contain the bodies of Mary, Brittney and Bobby. They would all be found with their throats slit. Mary would also be found to have a gun shot to her head. Robert did leave somewhat of a trail leading investigators to his truck and his dog in northern Arizona, but to this day he remains on the loose and on the FBI top ten list.
Mary was an active member of the Scottsdale Baptist church and was described as a good mother who loved her children. Brittney and Bobby attended school in the Scottsdale School District and were beloved by many of their classmates. When trying to write this, it was so hard to find information about these three victims. Even on articles in which the title specifically referenced Mary and her children, there was very little about them. The articles instead talked at length about Robert Fisher. While it is understandable that there needs to be information about Robert Fisher available to increase the chances of someone being able to help finally capture this monster, it would be nice to also have information available about the Mary, Brittney and Bobby. Or perhaps the surviving family decided to keep information about them to themselves, which is completely understandable and what is needed at times to heal.
There have been many crimes in the various areas of Arizona I have lived in, so why does this one stick with me.
It was April 10, 2001. A Thursday. And there was 14-year-old Sarah heading to the Coronado High School library to return a book after rehearsing during first period music class. If we ended music class early I would try to head towards my next class since it was on the opposite side of campus. I didn’t feel like walking so fast my shins would burn just to get to learn what a hypotenuse was in geometry class. This particular day I heard a loud boom in the distance and saw a huge plume of smoke. I thought nothing of it and added a mental reminder to ask someone during lunch period if they knew what had caught on fire. Little did I know that my ears had just witnessed an attempt by a monster to discard the evidence of the family he had just brutally slaughtered. I could have thrown a rock towards the park across the street and had a chance at hitting his vehicle. I still to this day cringe to think of what that family went through while all of us kids were just a block away laughing or complaining about a test we weren’t ready for. To give some perspective, I included a map to show how close my high school was to the explosion, and how large the blaze was.
It was horrific, and the whole community was in shock. Scottsdale is known as a safe and quiet city. The specific neighborhood where this happened is a known area where retirees and families live. When I was a kid, my brother and I would play in the park until it was dark and never felt unsafe because we knew our neighborhood was a good one. The worst thing that ever happened to me was that my bike had been stolen a couple of times. I thought at the time that was the worst thing that had ever happened and that a search party should be put together to find this bike thief. My bike was the furthest thing from my mind when I learned the next day what had happened. There was no evidence that the authorities had a heinous crime scene on their hands since the bodies were so badly burned that we just kept on as normal at school that Thursday. Later we would all have a moment of silence for the Fisher family.
A decade later while I was working at a local movie theatre, a small independent film director came in looking for a venue where he could show his film Where Is Robert Fisher? This film explored the crime and gave information that could possibly be used to find Robert Fisher. The film itself was not great, and even included a psychic that predicted that he would be caught in the next year. I think she may have missed the mark. The thing that really got to me was there again was no mention of the what the family was like. Same rant as above regarding the news articles. This director would come into the theatre every day to ask about sales and what we were doing to promote the movie to get more people to see it. We display any promotional materials the studio gives us within the theatre, but that is about the end of our involvement in marketing. We told him this and he seemed so annoyed with us that would not help bring justice for this family. After watching the film (sorry director, but I watched it for free), I talked to the director and the psychic (yes he brought her to the theatre) about my perspective of the incident, they seemed uninterested. They brushed me off and then said they would be back Monday to get updated numbers since it would be a busy weekend for theatres as there were some good releases. As a group who seemed to be fascinated by this case, it was odd to completely ignore someone who had a first hand account of the explosion and was reminded of it constantly due to its link to our community. I wanted to tell him to take his movie and get the heck out of Scottsdale.
As I write this I realized I want to do better learning about the sweet baby angels and the ones left behind after they were taken. It is something I think we as a society are getting better at, but still have work to do. I remember watching CNN after the Las Vegas shooting happened in 2017, and Anderson Cooper refused to show or mention the shooter’s name and instead showed each victim one by one. If rocked me to the core because it made what had happened so much more personal. I wanted to grieve with the families rather than start googling everything I could about [insert shooters name here]. So next time I find myself watching the latest true crime series, before all of the gory details are revealed, I will learn more about the victims and their families and make sure to be able to tell friends and family just as much about them as I can about the person who took their lives.
Remind all of the sweet baby angels in your life that they are loved and that they will always hold a special place in your heart ❤