When Thom Bierdz learned of his mother’s unexpected death, he was at the pinnacle of his acting career. He had no idea, however, that the perpetrator was his brother, Troy. Thom gives an intimate depiction of his upbringing growing up with his mother, Phyllis, and brothers on Investigation Discovery’s ‘Evil Lives Here: The Soap Star’s Secret.’
The lovely mother was brutally killed in her Kenosha, Wisconsin home in 1989. So, if you’re interested in learning more about what happened and how Thom handled it, we’ve got you covered.
What Caused Phyllis Bierdz’s Death?
Phyllis Diletti was born into a large Catholic Italian family. Tom, who had an ambition of becoming an actor but settled down as a psychotherapist, married the dark-haired woman. Thom was the second son, and Troy was the youngest of the couple’s three boys and a daughter.
Troy’s father moved out when he was four years old, and his parents eventually divorced. Phyllis became the family’s main earner, working part-time as a waitress and a records clerk to supplement her income.
Phyllis’ father and nephew arrived to the house in Kenosha on July 15, 1989, to assist with some electrical repairs. Despite the fact that they could hear music coming from inside, no one answered the door.
After they gained access, they discovered Phyllis’ dead on the kitchen floor. Blood was spattered all over the kitchen walls and ceiling after the 49-year-old was severely attacked with a baseball bat.
Who Killed Phyllis Bierdz and Why?
Troy, the family’s youngest child, had a difficult upbringing. He was regularly suspended from school, misused narcotics, and threatened to kill himself during his early youth, in addition to mistreating the household dog.
Troy stole Phyllis’ car when he was 16, drove it down to Florida, and smashed it. He did it again two years later, this time leading the cops on a high-speed chase and then chopping his arms when apprehended.
The troublesome adolescent was then sent to a psychiatric facility, where he threatened to kill a nurse unless she helped him escape. Troy also mentioned assassinating his brother, Thom, and wanting to feel what it would be like to kill someone.
Phyllis took him to a number of doctors, but they all thought he was exaggerating his psychotic symptoms. He was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but by that time it was too late.
Phyllis informed the authorities that Troy had threatened her months before the murder, saying, “Dozens of times he said to me, ‘Don’t get me furious, Mom, you know what I can do.'” He’s also started kicking me in the head with karate kicks that are only inches away from my face.
He just kicks and doesn’t say anything.” Phyllis claimed that at one point, her youngest son placed a sock around her neck and tightened it.
After Troy’s release from a group home in July 1989, Phyllis invited him home when he was around 19 years old. They debated about him driving Phyllis’ car that day, but she eventually yielded and consented to accompany him.
Troy’s pal afterwards confessed to the police that he had sought to get a shotgun in order to murder his mother. The friend didn’t believe Troy was serious at the moment, but he couldn’t give him the gun because he didn’t have it. The next day, Phyllis was found slain.
Troy escaped in her car with her handbag after killing Phyllis, passing through numerous states on the way. He picked up a hitchhiker, blacked out the automobile, and took the licence plates from another vehicle. To pay for gas, the adolescent pawned his mother’s belongings located in the trunk.
He even pretended to be his brother and dialled 911, stating, “I’m Thom Bierdz.” I’d like to confess to murdering my mother, Phyllis Bierdz, and rapping my younger brother Troy.” He was apprehended by officials in Laredo, Texas. Troy attempted to burn off his fingerprints while in detention in order to avoid being identified.
What happened to Troy Bierdz and Where is He Now?
“She was there at my bed in my room, and it was like she was giving me my bat,” Troy subsequently confessed to killing Phyllis. I thanked her by standing up, grabbing the bat, and hitting her four times in the head. I’m not sure why… I don’t recall being enraged. I have no recollection of saying anything.
She was behaving herself.” Troy was sentenced to life in prison in November 1989 after being convicted guilty of murder. He is still detained at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, according to prison records. In 2039, Troy will be eligible for parole.
What Happened to Thom Bierdz and What He is Doing These Days?
Thom Bierdz left Wisconsin to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. He auditioned for a job in ‘The Young and the Restless,’ one of the most popular soap operas of all time, after a few commercials and minor roles in films.
He was cast in the role of Phillip Chancellor III in 1986. Thom was invited to return in the 2000s after his character was killed off in 1989. Thom, who is openly gay, stated that he would only return provided the role remained the same. Soon after, he made history as the first openly homosexual actor to play a significant openly gay role in a daytime drama.
Following Troy’s incarceration, Thom recalls being enraged and cutting off all contact with him. In 1994, however, he paid a visit to his brother in prison and was surprised to see him in such a bad state. Thom then requested that Troy’s mental health issues be treated by the jail doctor. “I believed Troy was ruthless,” he explained.
He does, however, have a heart and cares about people. He’s still dealing with particular challenges, but he’s aware of what he’s done. He’s in the mental unit and doing incredibly well. Troy has seen a significant transformation. I’m aware that he is my younger brother – and there was a time when I forgot.”
While Thom continues to perform on the fringes, he has recently changed his focus to painting in order to support himself as an artist. He also wrote and released Forgiving Troy, a book that he worked on for more than two decades.
Apart from discussing the aftermath of the murder, Thom also discusses his work as a gay man in Hollywood and how mental health was seen back then. Thom now lives in Lake Arrowhead, California, where he continues to paint. He is also the president of the American Art Awards and the author of several more works.
Conclusion of Phyllis Bierdz Murder Case
Wow, this is a terrifying case. Thom’s sorrow is palpable, especially when he talks about his mother and how he chose to forgive Troy. I’m sure it was difficult for him, especially given his family’s refusal to forgive him. I didn’t see any remorse in the interview at the end of the Troy and Thom episode.
Thom was virtually dictating to him what he should say about how he tried to frame Thom and apologise. Troy is mentally ill, and I believe he deserves to be locked up for the rest of his life so he can’t harm anybody else.