NBC's Dateline tonight dedicates an hour to the story of retired police officer-turned-Tustin lawyer Robert Douglas Fischer, who ran into some trouble in Arizona.
Anyone who knows the case knows I am being coy, but not nearly as much as this NBC announcement: “Dateline Correspondent Keith Morrison reports on the story of Rob Fischer, a retired police officer, who went to Phoenix to visit his grandchildren, and discovered his son-in-law dead in his home.”
Actually, it was Fischer who called 9-1-1 anonymously from Norman “Lee” Radder's Queen Creek, Arizona, home, around 5 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010, to report the 49-year-old former Irvine entrepreneur and dirt bike magazine publisher had shot himself.
Fischer told dispatchers he did not recognize the man who had been shot once, when the San Clemente resident had actually known Radder, the husband of his stepdaughter, for 14 years.
The stepfather also told authorities he had been asleep in another room of the home when he heard a gunshot, but blood splatter on his clothing indicated he was in the room at the time of the shooting, which Maricopa County's coroner later ruled a homicide.
The gun was Fischer's own .38 handgun and the magazine and ammunition for it were in a compartment of his bag after the fact. Also, the gun was in Radder's right hand, even though he was left-handed.
So, based on all this, you can just imagine one of those typical, drawn-out Dateline stories Morrison narrates where it begins as a mystery before shifting to an obvious slaying. Fischer was convicted last month of second-degree murder.
Tonight's show begins at 8 on Channel 4.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.