Who Were Phillip Jablonski’s Victims?

Image Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Serial Killer Among Us: Phillip Jablonski’ is a two-hour special documentary that takes us deep into the mind and motives of the convicted murderer. When Phillip was finally apprehended in 1991, after murdering five innocent women, the first one being in 1978, the investigators found that he was not only a depraved sexual deviant but also a man who was determined to harm women. After all, he had a proper kill list, along with an audio diary where he provided complete graphic details of everything that went down with his victims.

Phillip Jablonski’s First Victim

Although Phillip didn’t commit his first murder until 1978, he did let his sexual violence take control of him before that. In the mid and late 60s, he would often rape and suffocate his first wife, Alice McGowan. And, after she left him, he would do the same with every woman that he got involved with. Once, when his partner, Jane Sanders, whom he’d raped on their first date, asked him to stop in the middle of having sex, he pulled out a gun and threatened to kill her. Then, he used the butt of it to hit her head until she was unconscious so that he could use her body.

In 1972, after Jane left him, he even raped an acquaintance of his in front of her toddler. Fortunately, she managed to get away and call the police, and so, Phillip was arrested for the first time on a rape charge, for which he was convicted. A few years later, in early 1977, Phillip met Linda Kimball. By August of that year, they were living together, and in December, she gave birth to their daughter. On July 6, 1978, Linda’s mother, Isobel Pahls, who lived nearby, was woken up by Phillip. He told her that he had come to rape her but couldn’t go through with it because all he saw was Linda.

Thus, a few days after this incident, Linda took their daughter and moved in with her mother, leaving Phillip behind. On July 16, though, she returned to the home they shared to pick up the rest of her belongings. That afternoon, she was found dead inside that apartment, half naked and covered in blood. Her hands were tied and she had been brutally beaten, stabbed, and strangled with a man’s belt. Phillip Jablonski was arrested 11 days later for her slaying. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, assault, and attempted rape, and served 12 years in prison. In 1990, he was paroled for good behavior. Although, we should mention that, in 1985, he did attempt to strangle his mother with a shoelace during a prison visit.

Phillip’s Last Four Victims

While Phillip was in prison, in 1982, he met and married Carol Spadoni, after she answered a newspaper ad that was placed by him. However, by the time he was released, she wanted to leave him, thinking of him as weird and scary. To stop that from happening, on April 23, 1991, Phillip murdered both Carol, who was 46 at the time, and her mother, Eva Petersen, 72, in their home in Burlingame, California. Carol was suffocated with duct tape, shot once, and stabbed multiple times, while Eva was shot twice and then sexually assaulted.

But, before Phillip took the life of his wife and mother-in-law, he took the life of the 38-year old Fathyma Vann, in Indio, California. She was also a student at the local community college that Phillip was attending as per the conditions of his parole. On April 22, 1991, Fathyma, a recently widowed mother of two teenage girls, was shot in the head and sexually assaulted. Her naked body was found in a shallow ditch in the nearby desert with the words “I Love Jesus” carved deep into her back. Along with that, she had also been subjected to mutilation, including the removal of her eyes and ears.

Phillip Jablonski’s final victim was Margie Rogers, 58. Because he was on the run, he ended up in Grand County, Utah, and on April 27, 1991, he robbed and murdered Margie in the store that she owned with her husband on Interstate 70. Like Fathyma, Margie was shot in the head, twice, and then raped. Her body, though, was left in one piece, in the store itself. The day after Phillip murdered her, he was caught, in Kansas. When his case went to court, he pleaded not guilty, citing insanity to be the reason. But, because audiotapes had been recovered from his home, where he had described how he killed his wife and mother-in-law in full detail, his plea was rejected and the jury sentenced him to death. This was in 1994. In 2019, while on death row, Phillip Jablonski passed away in his jail cell.

Read More: How Did Phillip Jablonski Die?