Investigation Discovery’s ‘A Time to Kill,’ in true ID fashion, is a true-crime documentary series that uses archival footage and exclusive one-on-one interviews to follow investigators as they solve cases that are not just baffling but also heinous in nature. We see how they piece together the evidence and the events that transpired during a critical time window to not just identify the perpetrator but also find the motive behind the murder. So, of course, its episode ‘A Bomb in Broad Daylight,’ examining the murder of Gary Triano, is no different. And if you’re here curious to know all the details of his case, we’ve got you covered. ‘
How Did Gary Triano Die?
Gary Triano, born November 6, 1943, was a millionaire real estate developer from Tucson, Arizona. Having graduated from Rincon High School and obtained a degree in accounting and a degree in law from the University of Arizona, he was a longtime resident of the state and a pillar of his community. Gary had made his money investing in Native American-owned casinos in Arizona and California before tribes were allowed to operate their own businesses. So, when he brutally lost his life at the age of 52, it shook everyone, despite the fact that his dealings had recently made him bankrupt.
On the afternoon of November 1, 1996, after Gary finished a round of golf at the La Paloma Country Club in Arizona’s Catalina Foothills, he got into his borrowed Lincoln Town Car to head home. But the two things that he didn’t know was that all of his closest friends were waiting for him at his house, getting ready to surprise him for his impending 53rd birthday and that his car had an active pipe bomb. Apparently, when Gary saw a blue bag on the passenger seat, he opened it to look inside, following which, a nearby remote control detonated the gunpowder filled bomb, killing him instantly.
The explosion, according to his autopsy, was so severe that it blew open his skull and ruptured his eyes. Parts of his right hand and tendon were brought to the examiners in a separate bag, with the stump and his injured left hand already covered with white paper bags so as to not further the damage incurred. Along with that, because of the impact, Gary’s clothes had melted onto his body and his thick abdomen had been split, severely injuring his liver. As for his car, investigators later revealed that parts of it had flown more than 100 yards away, even landing in the club’s pool.
Who Killed Gary Triano?
Within weeks of Gary’s murder, the investigators centered around his ex-wife, Pamela Phillips, as it was discovered that she had taken out a $2 million life insurance policy against him, to benefit the couple’s two children, just shortly before his death. Plus, it was no secret that their 1993 divorce battle was a bitter one. But as Pamela had moved to Aspen, Colorado, after the separation and was still residing there at the time of Gary’s death, no evidence tied her to the case. And so, because of the nature of the homicide, authorities then believed that it was a mob hit, which left the investigation at a standstill for more than a decade.
A break in the case only came in the late 2000s, when a man named Ronald Young was arrested on an unrelated charge, and investigators found records that linked him to Pamela. The two had met in Aspen after Pamela had moved there, and he’d become her business advisor. According to reports, she even paid him large sums of money around the time of Gary’s death, which led investigators to believe that she had hired him as a hitman to eliminate her ex-husband. Their theory still revolved around the $2 million insurance policy, which was paid out to Pamela in 1997. And so, in 2008, both Ron and Pamela were charged with conspiracy and murder.
Ron Young was convicted of the charges against him two years later, in 2010. But Pamela Phillips, who was arrested in 2009, didn’t face her conviction and subsequent sentencing until 2014, almost 18 years after she had hired Ron to murder Gary Triano.