32-year-old Robin Spielbauer was a mother of two, a divorcée — and, largely unbeknownst to her, involved in a love triangle that would eventually culminate with her murder along a quiet stretch of road in Amarillo, Texas. The investigation into the “Helium Road murder” — or “The Pink Gun Mystery,” as the Dateline episode devoted to the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder case calls it — quickly focused on that love triangle, but spent two years looking at the wrong participant.
A quiet crime…and a sudden crime scene
The basic facts of the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder are these. Robin Bledsoe and Jeremy Spielbauer married in 2005. They had two children, both daughters: Jaiden and Harley. But the marriage ended in divorce in 2012.
Following their separation, as Robin’s mother Jackie Bledsoe would later testify, Robin was “either mad, depressed, or aggravated” whenever Jeremy’s name came up. Jackie also said she “could not recall a happy time for Robin” after the divorce.
In the evening of April 7, 2014, Robin spent approximately one hour texting with someone. She tucked her two little girls into bed, then told her mother — with whom Robin and her daughters were living — that she had to go out.
Robin hadn’t returned by the next morning, and her parents grew worried. By 11 o’ clock on the morning of April 8th, the Amarillo Police Department was preparing a missing persons report.
But later the same day, Robin’s body was found in a ditch next to a black SUV on Helium Road. An autopsy showed that Robin was killed by blunt force trauma — along with a gunshot wound.
Robin Spielbauer with her daughters Harley (center) and Jaiden (right). Photo via Facebook.
And according to testimony And according to the later testimony of Dr. Thomas Parsons, a forensics pathology specialist called as an expert witness in the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder trial, Robin’s body exhibited “no injuries of [a] defensive nature.”
A pink gun and incriminating Facebook photos lead to a quick arrest
The Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder investigation immediately honed in on one suspect: Katie Phipps, the second ex-wife of Robin’s ex-husband Jeremy Spielbauer. Katie and Robin had a “tense” relationship, one that looked even worse in light of the circumstantial evidence that the prosecution gathered against Katie.
For one thing, both Jeremy and his mother Anna Marie Spielbauer told authorities that Katie had “strong feelings of hate” toward Robin. For another, the Amarillo Globe-News reported that there was a “physical confrontation between” Katie and Robin in November 2013.
But the most damning piece of evidence initially connecting Katie Phipps to the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder was a .22 caliber shell casing found ten feet from Robin’s body. Katie owned a .22 caliber pink Sig Sauer hangun — one with a “broken, chipped-off metal piece” that fit the chip also found at the crime scene. The shell casing matched the manufacturer of the shells police found with Katie’s gun.
And Katie’s Facebook page shows photos of her firing the gun. Three days after Robin’s body was found, on April 11, 2014, Katie Phipps was arrested for Robin’s murder.
Shocking new evidence exonerates Katie Phipps, and authorities turn to Jeremy Spielbauer
Katie spent 466 days in prison. By July of 2015, though, new evidence in the form of cell phone records made her appearance at the crime scene during the time of Robin Spielbauer’s murder all but impossible. Authorities determined that Katie was actually with her son on the night of April 7th, 2014, and couldn’t have been near the scene of the crime in time to have killed Robin.
Jeremy Spielbauer, the ex-husband later found guilty in the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder trial. Photo via Randall County Sheriff’s Office.
Katie’s clearance left one suspect: Jeremy Spielbauer, Robin’s ex-husband. And what the new investigation found was far more disturbing than Katie’s relationship with Robin. To begin with, Jeremy had already confessed to police during their 2014 investigation — in his fourth interview with them — that he “did go to meet” his ex-wife on Helium Road the night of the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder.
It was only when Katie Phipps arrived, Jeremy said, that he left and went home.
And according to one of Jeremy’s ex-girlfriends, he said that things would be better if Robin “just had a bullet in her head” — and he said it just several days before Robin was found exactly that way.
The girlfriend, Jessica Huffman, would also later testify that Spielbauer had become fed up with child support payment issues and visitation rights for he and Robin’s two daughters. “It’s just too much work,” he told her. “I’ll take care of it myself.”
Jeremy Spielbauer was arrested on the charge of capital murder on April 20, 2016. His trial began in January of 2018. Among the witnesses to testify against him was Katie Phipps. Per the Globe-News, Katie testified that two days after Robin’s body was found Jeremy “grabbed her and held her up against a wall at their…home and told her ‘he had handled the f— problem.'”
Jeremy Spielbauer’s trial lasted two weeks. On January 25, 2018, following three hours of jury deliberations, he was found guilty of the Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder. Jeremy was sentenced to life in prison, along with a $10,000 fine; his attorneys say they’re planning an appeal.
For now, Jeremy is serving his sentence at Allred State Prison in Iowa Park TX. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2046, by which point Jeremy will be 63 years old.
Robin’s parents, Jackie and Steve Bledsoe, are in the process of adopting their granddaughters.
(Photo credits: Robin Spielbauer Amarillo murder via Randall County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook)