Episode 536: The Murder of Gary Triano

Morbid

Feb 8 2024 • 59 mins

On the evening of November 1, 1996, Tucson, Arizona real estate developer and businessman Gary Triano got into his car at the La Paloma Country Club intending to head home, where friends and family were waiting for Gary’s surprise birthday party. However, before Gary had even put the key in the ignition, the car exploded in a ball of flame, plunging the club into panic and chaos, and killing Gary instantly.

To investigators, the car bomb planted under Gary’s car had all the hallmarks of a professional hit, and with Gary’s business dealings and financial troubles, there were at least a few people who would have benefitted from his death. However, within just a few weeks, suspicion fell to Triano’s ex-wife, Pamela, who’d taken out a life insurance policy on Gary during their marriage that would eventually pay out $2 million dollars.

Despite being confident that Pamela was involved in Gary’s death, the year-long investigation failed to turn up any conclusive evidence tying her to the murder. Undeterred, investigators continued to pursue the case across the country and eventually around the world and in 2009, more than a decade after his death, the people responsible for Gary Triano’s death were finally arrested, but many years would pass before anyone was held accountable.

Thank you to David White, of the Bring Me the Axe Podcast for research!


References

Bodfield, Rhonda. 1996. "Broke Triano kept optimistic ." Tucson Citizen, November 9: 1.

—. 1996. "Triano threats srcutinized." Tucson Citizen, November 5: 2.

CBS News. 2017. "The Hit in Arizona [transcript]." CBS News, July 11.

Huicochea, Alexis, and Enric Volante. 2006. "'96 bomb slaying is getting a new look." Arizona Daily Star, September 7.

Innes, Stephanie. 1996. "Gambling link eyed in Triano murder." Tucson Citizen, November 4: 1.

Limberis, Chris. 2001. "Requiem for a heavyweight ." Tucson Weekly, November 1.

McNamara, Patrick. 2014. "Conflictring pictures painted of Triano murder suspect." Arizona Daily Star, February 20: A2.

—. 2014. "Ex-wife going on trial 17 years after bomb death." Arizona Daily Star, February 16: C1.

—. 2014. "Phillips gets life for fatal bombing." Arizona Daily Star, May 23: 1.

Miami Herald. 2005. "A TV 'Most Wanted' fugitive is captured." Miami Herald, November 22: 138.

Pence, Angela, John Rawlinson, and Alexa Haussler. 1996. "Black powder pipe bomb killed Triano." Arizona Daily Star, November 7.

Sate of Arizona v. Pamela Anne Phillips. 2018. 1 CA-CR 17-0285 (Arizona Court of Appeals, July 10).

Smith, Kim. 2011. "Additional mental exams for murder suspect denied." Arizona Daily Star, March 8: A2.

—. 2010. "Life, no parole for killer in Triano case." Arizona Daily Star, May 4: A2.

—. 2010. "Triano case closing arguments." Arizona Daily Star, March 27: A2.

State of Arizona v. Ronald Kelly Young. 2012. CR20084012 (Court of Appeals State of Arizona , February 29).

Teibel, David. 1996. "Blast fragments studied ." Tucson Citizen, November 1: 1.

Tucson Citizen. 1973. "Realtor seeks seat on council." Tucson Citizen, June 15: 4.

Volante, Enric. 2006. "Detective: Secret recordings link Triano ex, suspected death plot." Arizona Daily Star, September 8.

—. 1997. "Triano assassination task force disbanded." Arizona Daily Star, August 2.

Wagner, Dennis. 1996. "Bombing death puzzles police." Arizona Republic, November 10: 33.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.