Details of Disappearance
Patricia was last seen in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 25, 1968. She disappeared a few weeks after her divorce from her husband, Robert Weeks, had been finalized. She had been granted custody of their four young children. After her disappearance, her car was found abandoned in a parking lot. Robert told people that Patricia "either had a nervous breakdown or is probably dead." Besides Patricia, Robert was connected to three other missing persons.
, a business associate of Robert's, had disappeared from Las Vegas on May 5, 1971. His bloodstained car was later found abandoned. Acquaintances said he had argued with Robert the day he disappeared. Cynthia Jabour
, a real estate agent and Robert's girlfriend of six years, disappeared from Las Vegas on October 5, 1980. Jabour disappeared on a night she had a dinner date scheduled with Robert; she planned to break up with him. After her disappearance, her car was found abandoned in the parking lot Caesar's Palace Hotel.
When questioned by police, Robert claimed Jabour had canceled their dinner date that night and he didn't know where she was. He was supposed to take a lie detector test, but on the day of the test he canceled the appointment, saying he had to go out of town on business. He went to Tijuana, Mexico, and then on to Chile. He didn't return to the U.S. until three years later, coming in through Houston, Texas on a Libyan passport.
Robert later settled in San Diego, California and began dating a nurse, Carol Riley
. She knew him as Robert Howard Smith. Riley disappeared from San Diego, California on April 5, 1986, the day she had a date scheduled with Robert and planned to end their relationship. She was seeing another man as well, a doctor from Colorado, and planned to marry this man.
When the police spoke to Robert about Riley's disappearance, they he told them she had canceled their dinner date and he had no idea what happened to her. On April 7, just two days after her disappearance, Smith left town, telling his roommate he was going on a business trip, and dropped out of sight.
Authorities subsequently learned "Robert Smith"'s true identity and the fact that three other people he had been involved with had disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Police launched a manhunt for him, and he and the four disappearances were profiled on the television show Unsolved Mysteries
. Thanks to tips from people who saw the show, in April 1987 he was located in Tucson, Arizona, where he'd been living under the name Charles F. Stolzenberg. He was arrested on an outstanding embezzlement charge out of Nevada, and questioned about the four disappearances. In July 1987, he was indicted for Patricia and Jabour's murders.
A photo of Robert is posted with this case summary. At his trial, numerous witnesses testified that he was a controlling and abusive man, prone to jealous rages. Two of his and Patricia's children took the stand to talk about how their father had beaten their mother on numerous occasions; others corroborated this, and Patricia had twice gotten restraining orders against her husband. Witnesses also testified that when Robert saw Patricia sitting next to a male neighbor on a piano bench, he beat the man so severely he was unrecognizable, and didn't regain consciousness for three days.
Passages from Robert's diary were presented for the jury; he wrote bitterly about Jabour, saying, "You have humiliated me beyond belief. I will even the score." The jury was permitted to hear about Riley's suspicious disappearance as well.
In April 1988, he was convicted of Patricia's murder and Jabour's murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. It was the first time in Nevada history that someone was convicted of murder without the victim's body. He died in prison in 1996; he was never charged in Riley and Shaw's disappearances.
None of the bodies of the missing people connected to him have ever been found. He was interested in mining, and may have dumped them in mine shafts in the Nevada desert.