The brutal murder of Diane Girts in 1992 left the community of Parma, Ohio, in shock as law enforcement launched an extensive investigation. Although initially investigated as a death from natural causes, evidence soon classified it as a chilling homicide. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Perfect Murder: Silent Killer’ showcases the crime and charts out how the perpetrator was brought to justice. Let’s delve deep into the case and find out where the murderer is today, shall we?
How Did Diane Girts Die?
Diane Girts and her husband Robert Girts resided in the city of Parma in Ohio. Their marriage seemed to be quite normal, and Diane was loved and respected in her community. She was a working woman, and close ones attested to her being the epitome of happiness. On September 2, 1992, Diane stayed at home while her husband was away in Chicago. She was supposed to go to work at noon but never turned up.
While her workplace was busy trying to locate Diane, a worker from the funeral house adjoining her home noticed that her car was still parked outside. He knocked on the door and called out for Diane several times, but she never responded. Alarmed, he stepped inside the house to find her deceased body inside the bathtub. The police were immediately informed, and they arrived to find Diane already dead. They found a curling iron on a dressing table and a razor floating in the bathtub water, all of which pointed towards a sudden death. There was also a stark absence of any leads or evidence which might suggest differently. Thus, they concluded that Diane had died of natural causes but still went ahead with the autopsy.
Once medically examined, the autopsy determined that the victim had been extensively exposed to carbon monoxide, although testing for the same showed no alarming levels. Thus, the cause of death remained undecided. However, the police did not stop their investigation and checked the victim for poisons or toxicity levels. The test report showed twice the minimum lethal dose of potassium cyanide in the victim’s body. The discovery turned the case on its head, and the death was then determined to be a homicide.
Who Killed Diane Girts?
A few days after Diane’s death, Robert Girts called authorities and told them that he had found a note which hinted at the death being a suicide. He also claimed that Diane had gone through a lot in life, including weight problems and miscarriages. However, around this time, officers also got reports which revealed the lethal level of potassium cyanide. Thus, suspicion naturally fell on the husband.
Initially, the police did not find any trace of potassium cyanide in Robert’s house. Yet, shortly after, his Army reserves commanding officer came forward and told police that she had supplied him with a few grams of cyanide. When confronted with the evidence, Robert said he had used the compound to take care of groundhogs on the funeral home’s property.
However, the police could find no proof or witnesses who attested to there being a groundhog problem. On the other hand, Diane’s friends and family exclaimed that they did not find any reason to believe she was suicidal. Moreover, the police also learned that Robert did not want the coroner to perform a medical examination and instead wanted his wife’s body to be taken to the hospital.
According to the show, officers further discovered that Robert was having an affair with a woman who refused to be with him as long as he was married. The woman in question told officers that on the morning of the murder, Robert had contacted her and behaved strangely. Authorities even believed that Robert wanted his hands on Diane’s significant life insurance policy. Thus, finding a motive behind the crime, the police arrested Robert and charged him with murder.
Where Is Robert Girts Now?
In 1993, Robert Girts was found guilty of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, the following year, he got his conviction overturned and earned himself another trial. In his retrial in 1995, he was found guilty again. Yet, in September 2007, his conviction was again overturned, and Robert was set free. In 2008, Robert Girts found himself rearrested, and the court decided that he should be tried again for Diane’s murder. In the same year, Robert also married his fourth wife, Ruth Girts.
According to sources, he was released pending trial in 2008 but in 2013 was accused of stalking his 4th wife and sent back to prison. In 2014, Robert pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Yet, he appealed that sentence and, in 2015, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and insurance fraud. Based on his plea, he was then handed a 12-year sentence with credit for time served. He was released from prison in the same year. At present, Robert prefers to stay out of the public sphere and is quite private when it comes to his personal life. There are no recent reports on him, and he has no presence on social media, which makes his present whereabouts quite unclear.