Unusual Suspects, Part 3

A mercenary knocks, almost everybody talks, and a new light shines on two mysterious deaths

Even though Broward authorities weren't taking her investigation seriously, every new fact about Roger deepened Barbara's suspicion. The cocaine, the silencers, the Kentucky deaths, the fact that he boasted that he was a hired killer -- it all seemed to fit. The only thing missing was a proven link between Roger and Rick's true enemy, Bobby Gordon.


Like Roger Sexton, Bobby had lived a life full of deception and secrets. Gordon, for instance, wasn't even his given name. He changed it from Kerner after he was busted for selling stolen seafood in his native Long Island in 1966. The outcome of that case isn't known -- Bobby had it expunged from the public record.

With a new identity in Florida, Bobby went from one venture to another before creating a plastic card company that made him a very rich man. Bobby built his vast wealth with the help of an odd business strategy: He never paid federal income taxes. For years, he failed to file returns on millions of dollars in income. Neither did his 120 employees.

With so much money at his disposal, he spent great sums on his favorite pastime, womanizing. Though he was extremely jealous of Barbara and threatened to kill for her, Bobby was a serial cheater, even dating a teenaged girl named Mindy Lynn. In November 1988, a few months after Barbara moved out of his house, he threw a party on a yacht for blond-haired Mindy's 17th birthday. A videotape of the party shows Bobby, then 48 years old, making out with the girl on the dance floor while relatives and friends, including her mother, watch. As one of two male strippers Bobby had hired for the party shakes his bare buttocks in Mindy's face, Bobby goads her, "It's your birthday -- you can do anything you want."

One woman who began to play an increasing role in Bobby's affairs was Jeannine Turner, the Ohio woman who had raised the specter of Roger's being a suspect. After the deaths, Jeannine spurned Barbara while remaining close to Roger and aligning herself with Bobby. On September 30, 1989, Jeannine accompanied Bobby to an unlikely place: a Kentucky state prison, where the millionaire visited Roger Sexton. The conversation between the two men was taped by Roger's attorney, who hoped that Bobby would help his client beat the cocaine and weapons charges. It remains one of the most intriguing -- and perplexing -- pieces of evidence in Barbara's case file.

"I've never met this man," Bobby says of Roger when he sees him.

"I know I've never met him," Roger interjects, prompting both men to laugh.

Within a couple of minutes, Bobby is talking about his hatred of Rick. "Every time I would say, 'I'm gonna kill you,' Ricky would say, 'I'm gonna get Roger to kill you,' " Bobby tells the inmate.

It becomes apparent that Roger too despises Rick, even though he cozied up to him before the deaths. He calls Rick, whom he oddly refers to in the present tense, a spoiled brat.

"He's a habitual liar and a hustler, has been all his life," Roger tells Bobby. "Rick's the type of guy that, if you can help me, I'll pat you on the back, but if you can't help me, fuck you, go on!"

The two men agree to help each other with their respective legal problems. Bobby says he will do what he can to help Roger beat the cocaine and weapons raps. Roger agrees to testify in Bobby's divorce case against Barbara.

"She's so evil inside; she's such an evil person," Bobby says of Barbara.

"She's Rick!" exclaims Roger.

"She is -- she is Rick!"

Bobby speaks frankly about why he believes she is evil.

"She said, 'I'm not gonna stop until I find who murdered Rick and Jane,' " Bobby complains to Roger. "To this day, she won't stop. She's evil as can be."

Bobby further complains that Barbara has spent his money on the private investigator. "I wrote those checks, and Barbara used them against me..." he says. "I don't talk out of school. I don't talk out of school!"

The two men seem almost eerily in agreement on every topic. Both, for instance, say they believe that Rick and Jane were murdered, mainly because they truly didn't use cocaine. And, most strangely, they suggest the same man as the culprit, Chris Bell, who was Rick's best friend in Florida.

Just before the conversation concludes, the two men have this exchange:

"I wish you came to me four years ago when [Bobby's feud with Rick] first started," Roger says.

"He may still be alive today," Bobby opines.

"Yeah."

"I never wished the guy dead -- I was happy he was dead..." Bobby says. "I wouldn't admit it to Barbara, but I am happy that he's dead."

Spurred by comments like that, Barbara contends their mutual theory that Chris Bell committed the murders is ludicrous. Indeed, he had no plausible motive, and nothing points to him as the perpetrator. Barbara sees it as further collusion between Roger and Bobby. Barbara, however, may not be able to speak impartially about Bell: She married him in 1996.

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