By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
This is where the strange and contradictory actions of Barbara's husband, Bobby Gordon, who also was in the house that night, come into play.
Bobby, who police have never named a suspect, said that he noticed nothing unusual when he woke up and left the house for work at his usual time of 3 a.m. He also told them he forgot his keys, which he said might happen "20 times in my lifetime." He said that he returned to the house, which was just a five-minute drive from his business, at about 5 a.m. to retrieve them. Again, he said he noticed nothing out of the ordinary. "Not a soul was around," Bobby told detectives.
The police, incredibly, didn't question Bobby's employees about their boss' whereabouts that morning. So in 1991, Barbara hired a private investigator, former Miami police homicide detective Robert Stotler, to question them. And the workers' sworn statements, taken after Bobby's business was sold, are revelatory. No fewer than four recalled that Bobby brought the Dobermans with him to work on the morning that the deaths occurred. When asked why he remembered that detail, supervisor Michael Burke noted, "He never, ever brought the dogs in." Burke also said that Bobby had boasted to him on more than one occasion that "he had so much money that he could kill someone and get away with it."
Several employees claimed that Bobby, shortly after arriving, locked the dogs in his office and left the business until nearly 6 a.m. His parking space, which had a sign in front of it saying "Don't Even Think About Parking Here," was empty during the predawn hours. When he returned to the office, he was covered in perspiration, according to employee Willie Shaffer.
The workers' sworn statements, of course, directly contradict Bobby's story to police. And Bobby, by his own admission, definitely had a motive to kill Rick and Jane. He conceded that he felt that Rick was destroying his marriage, which he desperately wanted to save. As he told detectives of his hatred for Rick, he blurted, "Look at the motive I'm building up to."
"Uh huh," agreed Det. Jim Milford.
Barbara also told detectives that Bobby, who had physically abused her on several occasions, warned her that he'd hired a hit man to kill Rick and Jane. But she told police that she didn't believe Bobby killed her friends. She believes that her ex-husband orchestrated the murders, but would never have the guts to do it himself.
So who could it have been? Who would have access to large amounts of cocaine, a gun with a silencer, and the mercenary's will to kill?
Enter Roger Sexton, a very dangerous Kentucky man who showed up in Coral Springs a few months before the deaths.
Next Week: Barbara's investigation leads to two more mysterious deaths in Kentucky.