Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Spangler: Black Widower

The Third Wife

Donna Sundling, an aerobics instructor with five grown children from nearby Evergreen, Colorado, answered his ad. Donna fell head over heels in love with Bob, and was willing to do just about anything for him.

The first thing she did was marry him on August 18, 1990, after a whirlwind courtship. Then he talked her into selling her expensive, upscale home and move with him, on an apparent whim, to Durango, Colorado.

KRSJ Radio logo
KRSJ Radio logo

There he got a job as the morning drive-time on-air personality for KRSJ, a country music station where he grew to enormous popularity. According to The Durango Herald, He also worked part time as a referee for Durango Parks and Recreation, officiating at youth and adult basketball and soccer games.

Bob was crazy for hiking the Grand Canyon, and their home was filled with large framed photos of the canyon, left over from his days with Sharon.

A spot in the Grand Canyon
A spot in the Grand Canyon

Donna was fit, and willing to do about anything for him, but besides suffering from vertigo, she was afraid of heights. A fitness instructor is not the same as a strong hiker, and at 56 years old, she struggled to keep up with her super-fit (and proud of it) husband on some canyon hikes that scared her. She used ski poles to help keep her balance on the trails. She did it, but she didn't like it. She did it for him.

Eventually, she didn't go with him as often as he would have liked, and he sought out other hikers to join him on his treks.

It wasn't long before Bob knew this marriage was in trouble, too. Donna just wasn't what he expected. She wasn't what he wanted any more.

But divorce...divorce was expensive, as he had already discovered with Sharon.

She knew their marriage was in trouble, too, and in an effort to save it, she agreed to one more Grand Canyon hike with him.


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