Robin Bodden Murder – In this legendary “Dateline” episode, an aviation mechanic goes missing. According to his wife, he disappeared after boarding a plane with a stranger. But, after learning more about the mechanic’s daily routine, the police begin to question the strength of his marriage.
The brutal murder of Robin Bodden in Minden, Nevada, in August 2006 is described in graphic detail on NBC’s true crime podcast series “Dateline” episode “A Journey to Nowhere.” If you want to learn more about Robin Bodden and his killer, read the full article below.
“In this Dateline classic, an airplane mechanic goes missing. His wife says he left on a flight with a mysterious passenger. But when details emerge about the mechanic’s life on the ground, police begin to question his marriage. Keith Morrison reports. “
Who was Robin Bodden?
Robbie “Rob” R. Bodden was born on July 7, 1956, in Coral Gables, Florida, to Bertram and Lucille Ellen Ellington. After graduating from Reseda High School in California in 1974, he joined the 101st Airborne Division and served from 1974 to 1978. Rob returned to study at Northrup University in California after serving his country and later moved to Carson City, Nevada, with his family. After moving to Minden, he worked in general avionics and operated an aircraft maintenance business out of Minden-Tahoe Airport.
According to Rob’s relatives, he became a regional authority on aircraft maintenance. Rob’s brother, Tim Bodden, portrayed him as a cautious and kind individual who checked in with his clients via their plane radios to ensure everything was okay. Tim grinned as he considered the hypocrisy of Rob’s phobia of flying, particularly in small aircraft. Rob’s business success enabled him to buy the house of his dreams on Johnson Lane, replete with a white picket fence and a stunning view of the distant mountains.
Rob met Karen Bodden at the airport just as his family had given up hope that he would ever marry or start a family. Karen obtained employment at the airport refuelling planes and frequently interacted there.
Rob’s sister, Barbara Bodden, commented, “I believe he valued her for being a single mother and caring for her children to the best of her ability. He loved the nurturing qualities of mothers and women. After over a year of dating, the couple decided to marry in the summer of 2000.
Karen and her four children from a previous marriage moved into Rob’s Minden house and rapidly formed a tight-knit family unit. One of Karen’s kids, Katie Rasor, remarked, “He was the most incredible person my mother had ever met. One might argue that he treated us as if we were his own children. What a lovely scene they created together. Rob disappeared on August 16, 2006, and his body was not discovered in the Nevada desert until September 10.
The examination revealed that a bullet to the brain stems at the rear of the skull’s base and another to the right side of the head just above the ear were sufficient to kill him instantly. Rob was shot with a firearm of .22 calibre, and his body was in the advanced stages of decomposition. Blue tape and duct tape were used to enclose the body in a blue blanket and transparent plastic wrap. In addition to the body, authorities uncovered a knife, which might be a crucial piece of evidence in the case.
Who Killed Robin Bodden?
When Rob was reported missing on August 16th, Karen did not call the authorities. Barbara, Rob’s sister, was unable to reach him until August 26 and therefore reported him missing. Karen was questioned by authorities after they learned that her husband had been a passenger on a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle aircraft owned by a man named Ramos. She convinced the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office detectives that she had nothing to worry about because Rob was repairing planes for drug runners. She refrained from calling the police because she wished to avoid involving authoritative figures.
The cops, however, deemed the entire situation to be too outlandish to be taken seriously. Rob’s domineering style and explosive temper generated friction in his marriage to Karen. The detectives questioned further airport personnel and discovered that no one had seen a white 421 Golden Eagle with red pinstriping land at the airport within the previous month. They discovered that no Cessna 421 Golden Eagle flights had been scheduled for August at Minden Tahoe Airport.
Karen presented the police with a note that Rob had posted to his hangar door before taking off after he had vanished. She claimed that Rob had left a message on the door, which was a typed note. She had, however, added some answers to help allay the suspicions of anyone who might have been concerned about his location. Kelly Rosser, a friend of Rob’s, said to the police that he had entered Rob’s store and found the equipment disorganised, which was highly out of character for Rob, who always put the items in their appropriate positions, even when he went out to lunch.
The more questions the investigators asked Karen, the more her story began to fell apart. Rob ceased using his debit and credit cards after he vanished, maybe after taking a flight. When the police investigated Karen’s home on August 29, a steak knife with a black handle was missing from the butcher block. Rob’s knife was recovered alongside his body in the desert, where he was discovered dead. The police discovered two copies of Rob’s typed and signed letters following a further inquiry.
According to the letters submitted to the police, Rob had discovered “a better life” and wanted his wife to inherit everything. The detectives deemed the letters to be an excellent cover tale, so they claimed they were not present when they initially searched. After being found guilty of embezzling $44,000 from her former employer, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Karen was placed on probation. Kelly, another one of Rob’s acquaintances, admitted that she had used his credit card without his knowledge to make a transaction between $10,000 and $12,000 in value.
Where is Killer Wife ‘Karen Bodden’ Now?
Karen was arrested the day after Rob’s body was discovered and charged with first-degree murder with an enhancement for the use of a dangerous weapon. A $1 million cash bond secured her confinement in the Douglas County Jail. During her trial in 2008, the prosecution stated that Rob reported his wife to the police for stealing from him on August 16, 2006. Karen shot her with the gun that hung in Rob’s business before it vanished because she feared going to prison.
After loading it into Rob’s truck, Karen disposed of the body in the desert using the cherry picker. She maintained her innocence, but a jury convicted her guilty on both charges despite her protests. She was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after twenty years, as well as a 10-year enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon, with at least four years to be served consecutively. The 60-year-old is detained at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in North Las Vegas, Nevada.