[UPDATED with Phoenix Coverage:] Robert Douglas Fischer Held for Murder of Stepdaughter's Husband Norman "Lee" Radder

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Robert Douglas Fischer
UPDATE, MAY 18, 9:06 A.M.: Phoenix New Times, the big sistah paper of OC Weekly, includes coverage today of the Maricopa County case against San Clemente's Robert Douglas Fischer, who is accused of second-degree murder for allegedly staging what he called in as the "suicide" of Norman "Lee" Radder.

Valley Fever blogger Matthew Hendley includes sheriff's and coroner's evidence that will make the case tougher for the retired cop-turned-family law attorney.

As mentioned in our Thursday posts, Fischer is said to have told a dispatcher and deputies that he was unsure who the suicide victim was, even though he knew Radder for 14 years and conceded he had been sleeping in the next room when a gunshot woke him. Radder, a former Irvine entrepreneur, was the husband of Fischer's stepdaughter, who some leaving comments to our posts claim was also in the Queen Creek, Arizona, home at the time of the shooting.

As Hendley reports, the probable cause statement reveals Fischer had blood spatter on his clothing, which would indicate he must have been in the room when the gun that belonged to him was fired, unless he moved Radder's body. Fischer is said to have told investigators he was "uncertain" if he touched or moved the corpse.

Maricopa County's medical examiner concluded blood-splatter analysis revealed it was a homicide, not a suicide, anyway.

UPDATE, MAY 17, 4:26 P.M.: Based on court documents filed in Maricopa County, Arizona, Robert Douglas Fischer did not make it hard for investigators to determine he was involved in a shooting death he'd called in as a suicide.

According to a probable cause statement, Fischer told 9-1-1 dispatchers he did not recognize the man who had been shot once. Sheriff's investigators quickly determined it was Norman "Lee" Radder, the husband of Fischer's stepdaughter. The San Clemente man had reportedly known Radder for 14 years.

The court documents, which also indicate Fischer lives in San Clemente--his town in these posts has previously been given as Orange, where he's a divorce attorney--claim that the gun used to shoot Radder was Fischer's own .38 handgun, and that the magazine and ammunition were in one compartment of his bag after responding deputies arrived.

Oh, and the gun itself? It was in Radder's right hand.

Radder was left-handed.

Paging, Columbo

Here is the probable cause statement:

On 12/30/2010 at approximately 0508 hours Deputies responded to 20395 E. Via De Colina, Queen Creek Arizona, in reference to an individual that had been shot. The defendant had been the 911 caller and stated during the call that the victim had shot himself. Furthermore, the defendant did not recognize the victim to the 911 operator, deputies or investigators. Of note is the defendant had known the victim for approximately fourteen years. During the 911 call and upon speaking with deputies and investigators the defendant claimed to have been asleep within a room in the residence when he heard a gunshot and came out of the room to investigate. Upon examination of the scene and the defendants clothing it was determined that the defendant was present and in close proximity to the victim when the victim was shot. This was determined through blood spatter analysis. Furthermore, it was determined that the scene had been staged in order to appear to be a suicide based upon blood spatter analysis. It was further determined that the defendant was responsible for staging the scene due to the size of the victim and the defendant positively being identified as being within the scene. The firearm which was used in this instance was the defendants, there were no other firearms within the residence and the firearm which was used in this incident was recovered from the victim's right hand (it was later learned the victim was left handed). The defendant made statements to investigators and to witnesses in regards to the firearm that the firearm was unloaded and the ammunition separated from the magazine and the magazine separated from the weapon. The ammunition and magazine were placed in one compartment of the defendants bag and the weapon placed in another compartment. Of note is the defendant resides in California and had arrived at the victìm's residence in the afternoon of Post Miranda the defendant stated he was uncertain if he had touched' or moved the victim. The Office of the Medical Examiner conducted an investigation into the victim's death and determined the manner of the victim's death to be homicide.

On 05/02/2012 Mr. Fischer was taken into custody on a Grand Jury Warrant (CR 2012-006869-001) at his residence by members of the Orange County, California, Sheriffs Office.


UPDATE, MAY 17, 12:43 P.M.: According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department website, Robert Douglas Fischer was booked into an Arizona jail Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree murder.

His new Maricopa County shots follow:

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UPDATE, MAY 15, 4:08 P.M.: A close friend of the late Norman "Lee" Radder has filled in some holes regarding his relationship to 52-year-old Orange divorce lawyer Robert Douglas Fischer, who is being held for Radder's murder.

Adam St. James, who writes that 49-year-old Radder "was a great inspiration, and a devoted father who taught me much about parenting, and life in general," reveals in the comments section below that Fischer is the stepfather to Radder's widow, Belinda Radder.

It was Fischer who made the 9-1-1 call reporting that Radder had shot himself to death in his Queen Creek, Arizona home on Dec. 30, 2010, according to St. James, who adds it was Fischer's gun Maricopa County sheriff's investigators found next to Radder's body.

"[T]here was only one person who claimed this was a suicide--and that man is now in jail," St. James writes. "Those who knew Lee unanimously agree: 'Suicide? Not Lee Radder.'"

A motive remains unknown as Maricopa County authorities are being understandably tight-lipped heading into a June 8 extradition hearing aimed at bringing Fischer back to the Arizona, where a grand jury has indicted him on a murder count.

Fischer remains in Orange County Jail pending that hearing. 

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Norman "Lee" Radder
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 14, 3:27 P.M.: An Orange divorce lawyer is up on murder charges in Arizona for the shooting death of a 49-year-old former Irvine resident and dirt bike magazine publisher who was originally believed to have taken his own life.

Robert Douglas Fischer, 52, of Orange, is currently being held without bail in the Men's Central Jail as Maricopa County authorities seek to extradite him for the December 2010 murder of Norman "Lee" Radder.

Around 5 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010, someone in Radder's Queen Creek, Arizona, home called 9-1-1 to say Radder had shot himself. Maricopa County sheriff's officials awaited the results of an autopsy and toxicology reports before announcing the coroner believed the death was a homicide.

Fischer, whose relationship to Radder has not been revealed, was indicted May 2 for alleged second-degree homicide and is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court June 8 for an extradition hearing.

Born in Lancaster, New York, which is near Buffalo, Radder had the perfect last name for Mx Rider, the Murrieta-based dirt-bike magazine he edited and shot photographs for. A passionate motocross enthusiast since his youth, Radder also helped riders develop personalized websites so they could share their racing exploits from the road.

The entrepreneur and father of three also co-founded the Senacon information technology company in Irvine.

On the Friends of Lee Radder Facebook page, his loved ones had long hinted at justice coming for his killer. Many posted remembrances and support in the hours after Fischer was indicted.

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29 comments
thehappychick86
thehappychick86

The tragedy was not rob going to prison it is lee not being here anymore. I said even if he would have he would NOT do it in the house where his girls were.

spiritwon
spiritwon

IF I was a betting person, I would bet that that Mr. Fischer and Mrs. Radder were fooling around and got caught.  Lee went nuts and there was an altercation between him and Rob. It's also possible that Lee became aggressive toward his wife and Rob got his gun and shot Lee.  Lee's wife Belinda acted VERY suspicious and not like a grieving wife.  She also pulled away from Lee's family which shows that she was guilty of something. During her interrogation, Belinda acted suspicious and didn't remember anything. It appears she had selective memory of what happened. My guess is that she was NOT in bed as she claims and saw the shooting.   

mab255
mab255

I know neither one. Nor do I know the widow.

But I am perceptive (not infallible).

And here's my take:

Mr. Fischer has kindly eyes. Not the eyes of a murderer.

*if* he committed this murder, the motive(s) are far more complicated than we (probably) will ever find out.

And based on what I observed (not necessarily what was said) on Dateline tonight, there just might be plenty of secrets to which we may never be privy.

Also, I don't believe that either side of the family should be engaged in any bashing - for the sake of the two daughters.

And, frankly, the only bashing that I have observed, sadly, (and, perhaps, understandably), has been from the victim's family.

thehappychick86
thehappychick86

You know what, I don't know that awful person you all are sticking up for, the murderer Rob very well however I did know lee . We all know that even if lee would kill himself (although we know that man would never have done that) we all know damn well he would not have done it in the same house where his beautiful girls lay sleeping. Rob your guilty of murder, we have to deal with the loss of a good man and you being in jail for16 years will not bring him back.I sincerely hope that during your stay you wish you would have shot yourself instead of lee.

mhhs2010
mhhs2010

UPDATE: Robert Fischer was convicted of the murder of Lee Radder in Maricopa County Court, Thursday, December 19th, 2013.


At the trial his attorney conceded that many of Fischer's statements to the police the night of the shooting were untrue, including the original story that Fischer was asleep in the bedroom when Lee was shot in the kitchen. Forensics proved this to be untrue, and Fischer's attorney admitted in court that Fischer was actually at the kitchen table with Lee when Lee was shot.


Forensic science is pretty incredible these days. It's pretty hard to hide the truth, no matter how badly you would like to do so.


Also working against Fischer: the fact that Fischer's blood alcohol level was something in the range of .24 when the police took him in for questioning, and that several hours had gone by between the shooting and the 911 call, and that the scene had been staged in an attempt to make it look like a suicide...


Fischer appeared practically catatonic in the courtroom during the six week trial, staring straight ahead and not making eye contact with anyone, hour upon hour, as if heavily sedated. Or resigned to his fate, perhaps?


Sentencing portion of the trial is coming up. Fischer will be serving at least 16 years. If or when he gets out, Lee will still be dead.

Pearl
Pearl

Lee wrote with his left hand but played drums as a righty, just saying.It will be interesting to see how this trial goes down. Lot's of questionsWith this one. Suicide, murder, insurance money, financial problems?Has the wife made any statements?

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

Here's the thing I don't get. Maricopa County deals with about 500 homicides a year. By comparison, Orange County has less than 100. With all those cases and Sheriff Joe Arpaio rounding up and arresting anyone with brown skin AND trying to prove Barack Obama was not born in this country, why would the department want the extra workload when it could just write this off as a suicide?

Kris
Kris

Mr. Hendley, I wish i had a dollar for every time one of you want to be reporters or reporters themselves misquoted evidence in a high profile case. In my 27 years in law enforcement i cant remember any of you getting it right.At first glance it all sounds ominous, until you start dissecting it as I'm sure a competent investigator and or attorney will do. Everything you mention has other very plausible  theories as to what might have happened .  A few would be, any forensic evidence on Robs clothing, whether GSR or blood could be explained by him merely entering the room. If he attempted to render aid or examine his son in law could explain any blood transfer or the position of the body. The fact that he can or can't recall everything he did or didn't do under an extremely stressful situation is not surprising. ( if thats true)  Can you imagine the emotional stress he must have been under, awakening to this horrific scene.Regarding the gun, could have been just like Rob said. Doesn't mean any adult wouldn't know where it is and have access. I have entered many a friends and relatives home over my life with a gun, and asked them where i could put it, or where i had it and in what condition. Especially where there were kids.  And oh! Columbo, i have a twin brother who writes and eats left handed and shoots and throws right.. doesn't mean a thing in a suicide. Most times they have 2 hands of the gun.  Trial is for court not the newspaper and opinion. You sound like the Zimmerman case in Florida, and we know how thats shaping up.....

Ice
Ice

Thanks for posting this on behalf of Rob. We all love you Rob. Rob loved spending time with his family and had a great relationship with them. Rob is innocent. 

Friends of Rob
Friends of Rob

Rob is innocent and the truth will prevail ... suicide!

Kris
Kris

I didn't know Lee Radder, but i have known Rob Fischer for 20 plus yrs.  No way he did this! He happen to be there spending time with his step family, like every Christmas. I hear Lee was distraught over some business deal not coming thru.  And the fact that it MAY have been Rob's gun means nothing.  Lee could have gotten it from a perfectly safe place, so please!

And by the way, what would his motive be? What would he possibly have to gain. NOTHING The fact that some small town medical examiner doesn't like the forensics is open to opinion and interpretation.

Rob is a former police officer, who retired do to injury and now  has successful family law practice. He is not mean spirited and one of the most fair minded and moral people i know. If he said that Lee shot himself, then he did. Regardless of what you all thought he was capable of or not. We all  know someone who has taken their own life and no one thought they would. Jr. Seau ring a bell. 

While Lee's death is tragic, lets not rush to judgment, and pin this on a caring, loving, step father who has no motive. Who sat by Belinda's mothers side all thru cancer. Who called 911 upon discovering Lee's body. Who was questioned and released along with Belinda that night. So a year and a half later what is the new evidence? Surely forensics and medical examiner opinions don't take a year and a half. So whats the new smoking gun? Scape goat?

Adam St. James
Adam St. James

Lee was known and widely respected throughout Orange County, Southern California, and beyond for not only MX Rider magazine, which helped launch the careers of many of today's top Motocross stars, but also as an important part of the Orange County computer industry.

He was a great inspiration, and a devoted father who taught me much about parenting, and life in general, through our many decades of close friendship. He is terribly missed.

As for the story above: Fischer is the step-father to Lee's widow, Belinda, and the step-grandfather to Lee's children. It was Fischer who made the 9-1-1 call, it was his gun that was involved (which he had brought into his grandchildren's house), and there was only one person who claimed this was a suicide -- and that man is now in jail.

Those who knew Lee unanimously agree: "Suicide? Not Lee Radder."

He was a driven individual who, despite the inevitable ups and downs of business and life, was always eagerly launching into his next successful venture. He was a leader, both in our family, and in the community.

I miss you Lee, and I hope the best for your children, and all of your family.

Robin Cox
Robin Cox

Lee Radder was a good friend of mine and in no way did he deserve to die this way.

He was a hard working entrepreneur with a strong vision and gifted with the extra sense of when to seize opportunity. He headed up and led the businesses of  Programming Technology, MXRider, and Senacon Technology. He was winner who would never give up. We shared travels in Mexico, fun with our families, time at the motocross track, making music, cruising on his boat and simply hanging out.

He was a man who loved his family with great intensity. Coaching football and motocross for the boys, and then came his girls, man did he ever worship his girls. The thought that they will not grow up with his love saddens me, for they will miss so much.

While nothing will ever bring Lee back to us, there is a level of comfort that an arrest has been made.

Peace Lee - your buddy, Robin

wnd_warrior_08
wnd_warrior_08

@spiritwon What I found interesting too...during her interview with police, she told the detective they were drinking, she got up and went to the bathroom and when she came out, Lee was on the floor.  She then gave another story that she was sleeping....WHICH STORY IS TRUE??

wnd_warrior_08
wnd_warrior_08

@thehappychick86 I am sorry for the loss of Rob however, to state that someone 'would never' commit suicide is a statement without merit.  I have had several friends commit suicide and they were the LAST PEOPLE I would have ever thought to have done so.  One of those individuals was my grandfather, who put a .22 to his head and killed himself on Thanksgiving day.  Everyone that knew him said the same thing, "He would never have done that"....guess what, he did.  I hope you can come to peace and move happily on with your life despite the tragedy you endured.

keith.kudrna
keith.kudrna

@mhhs2010  More information that came out in the trial.  Fischer's fingerprints and DNA were not on the gun, Lee's were.  Blood spatter on Lee's hand proves that he was holding the gun at the time of the shooting because of the absence of blood at the trigger guard. Even the DA admitted that there was no proof of any disagreement or struggle between the two and he was never able to establish any motive.


No motive, no proof that Fischer pulled the trigger and no signs of any argument or struggle.... and that is enough to convict?


I am very sorry that Lee is gone, his two daughters should not have to deal with losing their daddy.  However tragic, it has happened and nothing can change that.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, there was no nefarious plan at work.  Lee's life was crumbling around him and he did what he did. Blaming someone else for what he did only hurts more people needlessly.

Friend of Lee and Rob
Friend of Lee and Rob

Why did they wait over a year?? It matters that two people were in that home and said it was suicide, than that is what I believe. I have known Rob 22 years and his daughter 25. We are very close. Everyone got along great in that family whenever I was with them. Rob and Lee were good buddies. "Distraught " yes... it is hard to accept, but true.

Matthew Hendley
Matthew Hendley

Nothing's "misquoted."

According to the court documents, Fischer called 9-1-1 and said the man had shot himself.

-"The defendant had been the 911 caller and stated during the call that the victim had shot himself."

Fischer "did not recognize the victim to the [dispatcher], deputies or investigators," court documents state, which is a problem, since investigators say they've known each other for 14 years.

-"Furthermore, the defendant did not recognize the victim to the 911 operator, deputies or investigators. Of note is the defendant had known the victim for approximately fourteen years.

"Fischer told investigators he was in another room sleeping, while the court documents state that Fischer must have been in the room where Radder was shot, since Fischer had blood spatter on his clothing.

-"During the 911 call and upon speaking with deputies and investigators the defendant claimed to have been asleep within a room in the residence when he heard a gunshot and came out of the room to investigate. Upon examination of the scene and the defendants clothing it was determined that the defendant was present and in close proximity to the victim when the victim was  shot. This was determined through blood spatter analysis. Furthermore, it was determined that the scene had been staged in order to appear to be a suicide based upon blood spatter analysis.

"Furthermore, the gun was in Radder's right hand -- he's a lefty -- and more blood-spatter analysis confirms the scene was staged, according to the documents

.-"It was further determined that the defendant was responsible for staging the scene due to the size of the victim and the defendant positively being identified as being within the scene. The firearm which was used in this instance was the defendants, there were no other firearms within the residence and the firearm which was used in this incident was recovered from the victim's right hand (it was later learned the victim was left handed).

"The gun also belonged to Fischer, and he told investigators he was "uncertain" if he touched or moved Radder's body.

-"Of note is the defendant resides in California and had arrived at the victìm's residence in the afternoon of Post Miranda the defendant stated he was uncertain if he had touched' or moved the victim. The Office of the Medical Examiner conducted an investigation into the victim's death and determined the manner of the victim's death to be homicide."

Friends of Rob
Friends of Rob

Well said, Kris!  Rob is lucky to have articulate and knowledgeable friends like you on his side.

Lauriegarrick
Lauriegarrick

I have known Rob Fischer for over 11 years and he is thekindest, most loving and caring man I have ever met. I watched him lovingly andselflessly take care of his dying wife,(and Belinda’s mother) Carol Fischer forover a year. He dedicated every moment to Carol and held her as she died. Heloved his step daughter Belinda and her husband Lee. Rob helped Belinda, Leeand his three grandchildren whenever they were in need, both financially and especiallywith moral support as Belinda's mother (Rob's wife) was dying of lung cancer.Rob is not a man who is capable of harming anyone let alone murder someone heloved. Rob is innocent. My love and prayers go out to him, his wife and hisfamily.  We love you Robbie Fish. God bewith you.

 LG

Hope
Hope

That is just ignorant.

Jane
Jane

Kris your a hypocrite for saying 'lets not rush to judgment' .  Proclaiming Robert's innocent, declare Lee's death a 'distraught' suicide,  calling the medical examiner ' small town' and accusing the local police of finding a 'scapegoat' is very judgemental. I pray that when all is layed before them that the jury find their decision with peace in their heart.  Those that loved Lee deserve to know the truth.  His children deserve to have their father's last memory be his undying admiration of them not lies and half truths spun by emotional opinions or self preservation.

Ice
Ice

Two people! His wife was there also. 

friend of both Lee and Rob
friend of both Lee and Rob

If everyone cares about the children than the posts to Facebook should have never been made in a public place. The children could and probably have seen this mess. Very sad. It was opened to post on Lee's behalf not to say the things I have seen on this! Shame on all of you who just were not thinking in an adult way. Someone in the family needs to do the "RIGHT" thing and shut it off!

Kris
Kris

Hey Jane, I was merely addressing the one sided opinion of the newspaper and this Hendley blogger. Giving information about what is being said and alternate theories. As well as press people rarely getting things accurate. If you read carefully, apparently NOT, I said lets save the TRIAL for court not a blogger. While I do believe Rob is innocent, that is my opinion based on knowing the man and his values. And the lack of motive at least an apparent one. Rob loved Lee i am told. And yes your right, we all want the truth, you apparently have your own opinion, although  you shroud it in claiming to want the truth. Do you, no matter what, I do. As for the children, very sad, and hope they do know how much Lee loves them, even now. But they will need to know the truth also, regardless of what it is. I speak as a survivor of suicide. And lying to the kids or not telling them the truth will come back to bite one in the ass.  Sorry for your Loss, you obviously have one.  I mean that.....

Ice
Ice

It is very sad but they both said suicide. We weren't there! I know Lee loved Rob and I believe he would be sad if he knew his family was being accused of this. Think about it before you keep posting as if you know what really happened. It is hard to accept this, but it does happen and times were tough for him. Please respect the other side of his family as we love both of them. Remember none of us were in the home. Everyone's heart is broken but don't ruin this mans life. I saw Lee and Rob together many times and they seemed to be good buddies. His wife is going to be hurt also that you keep posting  things about her and her family. She told everyone what happened,  as hard as it was.

Leslie

Kris
Kris

Well said, thanks  Kris

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