December 7, 1992 was supposed to be a happy time. Thanksgiving had just recently passed, and Christmas was fast approaching. Christmas is what the Phillips family had in mind that day, as Robert and Wanda Phillips left their Tulsa home to go shopping for gifts. When they would return later that day, Christmas would be the furthest thing from their minds

26 year old Bobby Phillips and his mentally handicapped 19 year old brother David were found murdered in their parents home. Bobby was found in a small bathroom and had been bludgeoned in the head with the blunt end of an axe. Police believe that he was attacked as he walked into the home, probably around 8pm that evening and then moved to the bathroom, as he still had his jacket on, and there was a small trail of blood that had been covered by a throw rug.
David had been shot in the head while in a bedroom, and was probably killed just upon waking. The police believe that David was killed first, and hours later Bobby was killed, with evidence showing that the killer or killers spent a sordid amount of time in the home watching tv and drinking soft drinks while waiting for their victims to arrive.

Candles had been lit in the home and the smell of natural gas was present, indicating that someone had attempted to catch fire to the home in order to cover up any evidence. There was also a family car missing from the garage- it was later found the morning after the murders in the Memorial High School parking lot, but nothing was ever found evidence wise from the car. Police also believed at the time that they had found the murder weapons.

From the beginning of the case police had little to go on in regards to motive. They had theories, but nothing concrete…until a few years ago.

Police now believe that the murders of the Phillips brothers were a case of mistaken identity. The belief is that the killer responsible for the May 8, 1991 killings of Coy and Tonya Wilkerson are also responsible for the murders of the Phillips brothers. The idea is that the killers were actually after Jill and Jim Phillips, Tonya Wilkerson’s parents, and just got the wrong Phillips. There are several similarities in the cases, and in 1998 there was a conviction in the Wilkerson case. Jackie Wright was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree.

However, there have never been any charges brought against any person in the murders of either Bobby or David Phillips, despite the case being looked at by the FBI and members of the Vidocq Society.

The family and friends of Bobby and David Phillips still mourn their loss, and they want answers. Even if that answer is that the murderer is already behind bars, the family still deserve to know a definitive answer.

If you know anything regarding the unsolved murders of Bobby and David Phillips, please contact the Tulsa Police Department at (918) 596-9135

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