Unusual Suspects, Part 3

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

Bobby also remarried -- to young Mindy, just two weeks after his January 1990 divorce from Barbara. At the time, the IRS was investigating him, and he changed his name again, this time to Robert Newman. Bobby sold his business for $8 million and bought a house in Hawaii, where he also brought Jeannine. There, he began hiding his considerable assets. But he couldn't escape the IRS. He cut a deal with federal agents to testify against his employees, including a former mother-in-law. He pleaded guilty to "money structuring" in 1992 and wound up doing just ten months in prison. Some of his employees did more time.

"They gave the deal to the whale and went after the minnows," says Rory McMahon, a veteran private investigator and former federal probation officer hired by some of the employees. "Where is the justice in that? Bobby Gordon is the biggest piece of shit I have ever come into contact with, either personally or professionally."

Roger also cut a deal with the feds, pleading guilty to the gun and weapons charges in exchange for a ten-year prison sentence. He was released in 1998, and his whereabouts today are unknown.

Barbara and Bobby were no couple made in heaven.
Colby Katz
Barbara and Bobby were no couple made in heaven.

Barbara has no proof that Bobby or Roger killed her friends, but she believes that a thorough police investigation -- which has never been done -- could provide the answers. The Coral Springs force, however, sticks by the almost impossible idea that Rick and Jane died of simultaneous cocaine overdoses. An obviously incomplete 1991 probe by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement backed up the department. To this day, neither agency can explain the signs of foul play found in the room.

The only law enforcement official who ever took Barbara's extensive work seriously was Barton, the former Kentucky detective. And he believes that Broward authorities made their faulty ruling because the victims were involved in sadomasochistic sex and could easily be written off. "I think there was an oversight by the Coral Springs police from the very beginning, and I think it had to do with [the victims'] lifestyle," he says. "Their lifestyles throw everything off kilter. I think when they seen the homemade videos of what you could call deviant sex, they just said they would call it a cocaine overdose. I've seen it happen before in law enforcement. It's not right, but it happens."

Barbara doesn't claim that she or her friends were without sin. She admits that she did, for a time prior to her marriage to Bobby, work as a paid escort for men. She concedes that she was arrested for prostitution in Pompano Beach in 1977 but adds that the charges were quickly dropped and insists she has never been paid to have sex with anyone. She denies that Rick was some kind of a Charlie Manson-type, a theory touted by Roger and Bobby and apparently shared by police. "If they feel that they have to drag me down, then drag me down -- but while I'm down there, look at the facts and look at the case," she says. "That's all I want."

Barbara and Bobby are still involved in a bitter divorce dispute, and at times, she's used the legal proceedings to help her investigate the deaths. She obtained telling depositions from Roger, Jeannine, and Bobby in 1994. The latter still owes Barbara more than $3 million for the divorce, and he has pleaded poverty to avoid paying it. Yet he runs an apparently successful business in Brooksville, Florida. He claims that the firm, called Bar Codes Talk, is owned solely by Mary Davis, his current girlfriend. So far, Broward Circuit Court Judge Linda Vitale has apparently believed Bobby's protestations of penury. The most recent hearing occurred on February 2 and was attended by Bobby and his Fort Lauderdale attorney, James Pedley. Vitale made no decision on the case.

After the hearing, Bobby was asked if he had anything to do with the deaths of Rick and Jane. He's denied involvement in the past, but this time, he simply greeted the question with stony silence, stepped on an elevator, and waited for the doors to close behind him.

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