The murderer arrived at Bob and Doris Angleton's house in the wealthy suburb of River Oaks, Houston, Texas, in the early evening of a warm April day in 1997 and set his deadly trap with smooth precision. He'd obviously been thinking about it a long time. He punched in the code which disarmed the burglar-alarm and stepped into the empty house. He checked his weapons — two silenced .22 semi-automatic pistols — and settled down to wait for his victim. Doris McGowan Beck Angleton, 46, Houston socialite, millionairess, wife of entrepreneur Bob Angleton and mother of 12-year-old twins returned to her home half an hour later.
As she came into the house the killer raised his gun and fired six shots at point black range. Then he changed guns and fired six more. There was little doubt that Doris Angleton was dead. The killer slid his guns into a leather bag and left the house, his job done.
Meanwhile, Bob Angleton and his daughters Ali and Niki were watching a softball game at a park on the other side of Houston and waiting for Doris to join them. She didn't arrive, which was unusual but not particularly worrying — Doris had a wide social circle. She had probably met someone and stayed chatting. At 9.30pm Bob and the girls arrived home in his station wagon and found Doris's car parked in its usual place near the front door. But something was wrong. The front door of the house was wide open. Angleton called the police on his mobile phone and within minutes Patrolman Keith Carr pulled into the drive. Using a powerful flashlight, Carr entered the house. Lying in the hallway was a woman.
She was dead. Bob and his daughters, in a state of shock, went to stay with relatives while forensic experts descended on the house and detectives probed the private life of one of Houston's most successful and charismatic wheeler-dealers. They were in for some surprises — the first was that the apparently happy marriage of Doris and Bob Angleton was not what it seemed. After 15 years of marriage, Doris Angleton was petitioning for divorce.
Bob had over $5 million in safe deposit boxes and Doris wanted half of it. She had already persuaded a court to freeze all movement on the money while a deal was being negotiated. But that wasn't the end of Bob Angleton's problems. His brother Roger, a failed stockbroker, had demanded $200,000 in cash, threatening to make public some of Bob's shadier business deals if he didn't hand over the money.
By now Steve McGown, Doris's brother, had flown in from New York and was able to give detectives details of his sister's lifestyle. "The biggest thing about Doris," he said, "was that when she was around everyone knew they would have fun. She knew how to make people feel good." But the same could hardly be said of Bob Angleton. Detective Dave Ferguson would say later: "Everyone liked Doris. But we didn't find a single person who actually liked Bob..."
Bob, it seemed, didn't like many people either — particularly his brother Roger. He told detectives that since he had refused to give his brother $200,000 Roger had constantly threatened him with blackmail, and worse. Bob Angleton knew he was a prime suspect for his wife's murder. He stood to gain around $2 million from her estate now that she had not been able to complete the divorce, but maintained he knew nothing about the killing, and had been with his daughters when it was committed. He had no hesitation in suggesting that Roger had killed her "out of spite because I wouldn't give him the money he wanted," — a claim given added weight by the fact that Roger Angleton had now disappeared.
He later tried to board a plane from Houston to Los Angeles under the name Frank Tratora, but fled after two guns were found in his luggage. Finally arrested in San Francisco, Roger Angleton was extradited to Houston where he was charged with his sister-in-law's murder. But the case never came to trial. On the morning of February 6, 1998, warders at Harris County Gaol fou