Every loss of life that’s not natural is simply heartbreaking, but when there are more questions than answers surrounding the same — even after legal/medical probes — things become truly tragic. Unfortunately, as carefully examined on NBC’s ‘Dateline: In the Light of Day,’ that’s precisely the case of Norman “Lee” Radder’s mysterious death inside his own home in late 2010. So now, if you wish to find out more about Lee, his demise, its aftermath, and the possible individuals responsible (along with motives), don’t worry; we’ve got all the essential details for you.
How Did Lee Radder Die?
At the age of 49, Norman “Lee” Radder was a married father of three residing in the small town of Queen Creek, Southeast of Phoenix in Arizona, when everything turned upside down. The motocross enthusiast had relocated to the state about five years prior, after serving as the CEO of a computer company from the 1980s until 2000 and then working for the Moto-X magazine in Orange County, California. However, no one could have ever imagined that the New York native and self-made entrepreneur would soon end up passing away in one of the worst ways conceivable.
After all, at around 5 am on December 30, 2010, following an evening of drinking with family, an emergency call was made from (and to) Lee’s Via De Colina family home to report his shooting demise. Once the authorities arrived at the scene, they immediately knew nothing could be done to help or revive Lee because he’d taken a single bullet directly into his right eye. The weapon, as per reports, was a .38 handgun recovered from Lee’s right hand, and the physical factors from both his remains and the revolver also made it clear that it was fired minutes prior.
Was Lee Radder’s Death Suicide or Murder?
Sadly, even though more than a decade has gone by, it remains officially unclear whether Norman “Lee” Radder killed himself or was murdered by another party entirely. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies initially suspected suicide, partly because the 911 caller — the entrepreneur’s stepfather-in-law, Robert Fischer — had indicated the same, yet that soon changed. The latter (with whom Lee had been drinking) had supported his remarks by claiming that Lee had financial as well as marital problems at the time of the incident, but the pistol used was his.
Moreover, while Robert had stated he’d gone to bed in another room and only found Lee upon hearing the gunshot, experts believe Robert was present when the trigger was pulled based on the blood spatters on his pajamas. Investigators, thus, concluded that Robert slew his step-son-in-law before staging the scene to look like a suicide, which even had them fooled as he’d likely employed his experience as a retired police officer to cover up the crime. With that said, no DNA, fingerprints, or any other concrete evidence has ever linked the California divorce attorney to Lee’s enigmatic passing.
As if that’s not enough, the ‘Dateline’ episode also implies that the father of three got an email about his latest business venture just hours before the shooting, following which he’d drank even more. That in itself backs both Robert and his defense attorney’s statements by insinuating some serious troubles in Lee’s life, but truthfully, nothing has been confirmed. Then there’s also the fact that there have been no allegations or records concerning any bubbling tension between the two men; in fact, the elder one actually liked Lee for the family, according to public reports.
However, Robert was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in May 2012. Although he was found guilty and sentenced in 2013, a judge overturned the verdict within two months. The Arizona Court of Appeals later reinstated the conviction, which was then thrown out by the Supreme Court, leading to the prosecutor’s indicting him again in 2018. However, they dismissed all charges against Robert in 2021, citing an “interest of justice” with no other specifics, implying they no longer believe him responsible, considering the evidence at hand. The authorities seemingly haven’t commented on the suicide theory since.
Read More: Where is Robert Fischer Now?