Research Blog

Welcome to my Research Blog!

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates. Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Reader Discretion is Advised. **Explicit Content Ahead**

The research is disturbing. Schools try to provide a safe learning environment, but they’re underfunded, understaffed, and need more training. 

Should you become aware of a person who you believe may be a danger to someone at a school, NEVER attempt to handle the situation yourself. See or hear something – say something by REPORTING your suspicions to school administration or law enforcement.

If you’ve experienced school violence, have suicidal thoughts or know someone who needs help please call:

US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (8255)

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

**Explicit Content Ahead**

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Robin Lyons Blog

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Disclaimer:  All data and information provided on this site is for information and research purposes only and not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. Criminal cases may have been appealed or verdicts overturned since a case was researched.  All information is provided on an as-is basis. The opinions expressed by individuals providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Robin Lyons.

 

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Fugitive On The Run

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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Fugitive On The RunBLOG POST #233: This week, I’m sharing research on a fugitive who has been on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since June 2002.

As always, everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in court.

On the attached FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives flyer, it states Robert William Fisher allegedly killed his wife and two children—a 12-year-old daughter and 10 year-old-son.

He’s a U.S. Navy veteran and has worked as a respiratory therapist among other public service type jobs. Take a look at the flyer, it seems since the world is battling a respiratory disease, he may be working somewhere in that capacity.

He and his wife had been married fourteen years at the time of this tragedy.

A few years before the tragedy, the couple sought marital counseling through their church. Fisher had control issues similar to his father’s, which led to his parent’s divorce. His parents’ divorce during his teenage years triggered a debilitating fear of losing people close to him.

About three years into marital counseling and a few weeks before her death, his wife reportedly told friends she planned to divorce Fisher.

Neighbors reported hearing the couple arguing late one night. The following morning their home exploded with enough force to shake homes one-half mile away.

Law enforcement theorizes that Fisher murdered his family, tampered with the gas line, lit a candle giving him about a ten-hour head start. Once firefighters extinguished the flames, the bodies of his wife and children were found. His wife had been shot, and the children’s’ throats were slashed.

Fisher is the only person charged in this case. Ten days after the home exploded, investigators found his wife’s vehicle parked in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest, along with the family dog.

There are many caves and places to hide in the Tonto National Forest. Some speculate that Fisher may have hidden in a cave and accidentally died. The caves are dark and can be deep with limited oxygen. Plus the decomposing plant matter creates carbon monoxide which hinders the lungs ability to absorb oxygen. Rappelling gear is needed, but if you were on the run and fell into the dark abyss, your remains, by now, would be buried under years of debris.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website where we talk about true-crime.

Do you know of a true-crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Source: FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, azcentral.com, azfamily.com

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Auto Shop Indecency

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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What is far too common in these type cases is the teacher socializing with students after school or on the weekend. That’s a BIG RED FLAG.

It doesn’t matter if the relationship is consensual. Until a student is 18, a sexual relationship with an adult is against the law.

BLOG POST #232: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an auto shop teacher and one of his students.

The teacher may have gotten away with his crimes had it not been for another case. Because of the other case, law enforcement looked through the victim’s phone activity. They found evidence of an inappropriate relationship between her and her teacher.

She was an aide in his automotive repair class. They talked about personal stuff and exchanged phone numbers.

Their inappropriate relationship began when the teacher took the victim shopping, except, they didn’t go shopping. They drove around, and then he offered to pay her to take her clothes off, which led to sex.

There were even a few times when the two had intercourse on the school grounds.

The county prosecutor said, “It’s outrageous, anytime a teacher takes advantage of a student.”

The prosecution offered a plea agreement of one year in county jail with no time served applied, no contact with the victim, forfeit teaching credential in exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He accepted the agreement.

Worth mentioning: In this case, the victim has filed a civil lawsuit against the ex-teacher and the school district. The ex-teacher filed a request, which the court approved, to hold off on the civil case until his criminal case has concluded.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Source: ABC 12 News, Grand Blanc View, International Business Times

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Restless Teen

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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Robin Lyons, Author website postWhile schools have been closed due to COVID-19, state and federal judicial systems are continuing to deliver sentences for crimes related to schools.

BLOG POST #231: This week, I’m sharing research on a true-crime involving a bored teenager.

Small towns make restless teenagers, especially in the summer, when schools aren’t in session. I get it—I was a bored teen growing up in a small, rural town. But destructive acts are not the answer.

Male body parts, racial slurs, swastikas, ‘88’ (a Hitler reference), and obscene comments about a woman were painted on local schools. The racial slurs bumped the misdemeanor crimes to hate crimes—felonies.

This 18-year-old was racking up a list of bad decisions; two auto thefts, vandalizing mailboxes (while joyriding in the stolen vehicles), damage to the stolen cars, add to those the graffiti.

The local authorities received a tip that the teen had recorded him in one of the stolen vehicles and posted it on Snapchat. After looking deeper into his online presence, the investigators were able to connect him to the graffiti.

His defense, or maybe it could be considered his rationale for his actions, was living in his small town is so boring. Teenagers have nothing to do, so he and some friends decided to have some fun.

Last month, which was nine months after painting the schools and one month before his trial on the vandalism charges, he pleaded guilty to eight counts. The judge sentenced him to nine months in jail, 20 hours of community service, and two years of probation.

Last week, I shared my experience touring my county jail. I’d bet the teenager, in this case, will be a lot more bored in jail than he ever was hanging out in his small town. Here’s a link if you missed the post on the Jail Tour.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading! Sending you and your loved ones wellness wishes.

-Robin

Source: Fox News 11, News Media Inc., NBC 26 – Green Bay, First Alert 2.

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Citizen’s Academy Part IV

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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BLOG POST #230: This week, I’m sharing more information from my local sheriff department’s Citizen’s Academy I attended.

Have you been inside a jail? Not necessarily a jail cell, but inside a facility? 

Years ago, I visited someone in jail. Follow this color line then this color line, and then that color line, sit down at the phone while you wait for the prisoner to be brought to the other side of the glass partition.

Prisoners arrive at the jail via the receiving area. First, you pass through the sally port, a heavy-duty mesh barricade that opens and closes when vehicles enter and exit the receiving area. It’s basically a massive carport that’s both tall and wide.

Inside the processing area, there’s a drunk tank to sober up, safety cells for people who may be a danger to themselves, and an infirmary should someone be ill.

Once someone is booked and moved to a cell, they are segregated based on a variety of criteria (gender – of course, gang affiliation, prejudice, etc.). Maximum security cells are where prisoners are kept isolated for everyone’s safety.

There were large day rooms where the general population could mingle (again separated to minimize conflict), watch TV, or play games for one hour each day. Outdoor “yard time” was limited to three hours per week.

Our tour group of about 30+ went to the circular area with a central guard tower in the center. The guards could see every nook in the day rooms and cells. We couldn’t see the guards due to the level of glass tinting.

As we walked around the tower listening to our tour guide, the inmates on the other side of the glass walls between us stopped what they were doing and became more interested in us.

I felt extremely uncomfortable and a little like a zoo animal. While at the same time, the inmates in the maximum-security cells watched us from the other side of their solid steel doors with just a small pane of security glass to look through.

Several of the men in maximum-security cells became agitated and began pounding their heads against the doors. Because of the level of agitation among the maximum-security inmates, our tour of the cells and day rooms ended abruptly.

Here’s something gross I learned on the tour, the term gassed. You might think of a death penalty which wouldn’t happen at the jail level. I had no idea the often occurring act of being gassed is when an inmate throws bodily fluids at a guard.

As I’ve said in the previous posts about the Citizen’s Academy, you should sign up and go through whatever course is offered in your area. When you do, you’ll now be better prepared for the jail tour than I was.

In case you missed the earlier Citizen’s Academy posts:
Citizen’s Academy Part I
Citizen’s Academy Part II
Citizen’s Academy Part III

What are your thoughts about the jail tour? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Wellness wishes to you and your loved ones. Thank you for reading!

-Robin

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Not So Fast

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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Robin Lyons Author websiteLast month, while schools closed due to an abundance of caution with the COVID-19 outbreak, the court system continued to sentenced people for school-related crimes.

This woman thought she’d set herself up for a comfortable retirement life. Not so fast—she received a wake-up call when law enforcement came knocking.

BLOG POST #229: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school student finance clerk.

She had worked as a student finance clerk for 19 years before she retired. Almost two years after she’d retired, she was indicted on 222 felony embezzlement counts.

The District Attorney said, “Not only did she steal taxpayer funds, she stole money that was intended to help educate the lives of our children.”

After she’d retired, the school district received a late notice for an invoice marked as “paid” in their system. An audit was performed and found more than $700,000 missing.

Through the audit, the school district learned the student finance clerk had writing checks to herself, her husband, and her deceased mother from student body accounts. Students had raised the money in those accounts through fund-raising activities.

She pleaded guilty to all 222 felony counts of misappropriation of money by a public officer with an enhancement of aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $500,000.

The judge sentenced her to 14 years in prison. She’ll be 78 when she’s released.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Be safe and thank you for reading!

-Robin

 

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Source: Orange County District Attorney Office, Orange County Sheriff Department, Orange County Register, L.A. Times.