Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Spangler: Black Widower

Brilliant Police Work

The first time the police went to visit Bob was right after Sharon's death, in August, 1995.

Alerted by one dead wife too many, investigations were reopened into the death of Nancy and her children by the Arapahoe County police. Investigator Paul Goodman began working in conjunction with Investigator Bev Perry with the FBI on the death of Donna on federal lands in the Grand Canyon.

Investigator Paul Goodman
Investigator Paul Goodman

Bob was not surprised to see the police, and invited the investigators in, spoke calmly with them about the tragedies that had befallen him.

He continued to change the details of his stories, and when asked about that, he said, "I compartmentalize things and don't live in the past."

Investigators left him, but behind-the-scenes work had just begun.

It required an amazing coordination of efforts since he was being investigated for not only a Colorado state murder case, but also a Federal murder. And then there were the suspicious deaths of both his father and his second wife, Sharon.

Over the years, the Spangler file began to build with questionnaires sent to many Durango residents and the re-examination of old forensic evidence with up-to-date technology. Camille Bibles, Assistant United States Attorney, was now involved, and the wheels of justice began to grind a little more rapidly.

But once his terminal diagnosis was confirmed, they had no choice but to make their move.


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