Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Spangler: Black Widower

The Confession

The way to handle Spangler, the investigators realized, was to play to his enormous ego. When they finally knocked on the door of his Grand Junction home and invited him to the police station for questioning, they had already set the stage.

Spangler had to walk past boxes and boxes marked "Spangler Task Force." This pleased him.

The police began by telling him that they'd never investigated a killer quite like him before.

His response? "It requires a singular focus in committing the actual crime, quite cold-bloodedly," Spangler said.

Facing death by cancer, he was eager to unburden himself, and readily confessed to the killing of Nancy and the children. Strangely enough, he wanted to confess these crimes to a profiler, who could perhaps answer a few questions about himself. He was adopted, he said. He didn't know how he could have behaved the way he had.

Arrest photo of Robert Spangler
Arrest photo of Robert Spangler

Investigators said that profilers only spoke to serial killers those who had killed more than three people. Apparently, one had to be a real killer for an interview with a profiler. Just killing three wasn't good enough.

Spangler was fascinated with the idea of talking with a profiler. He thought about that for a moment, then asked to speak privately with his wife. They agreed, and let Bob and Judy have some time alone together.

When he returned, he said, "You've got your serial."


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