Real Name: Robert Arcieri
Aliases: Bob Arcieri
Wanted For: Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Robbery
Missing Since: January 1987
Date of Birth: December 26, 1938
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Marital Status: Married
Details: Robert Arcieri was a businessman in Phoenix, Arizona well-liked and helpful to the members of his community. He became friends with Bill Reddick after Bill went to him to buy a camper shell. Bill and his wife Janet were close to Arcieri and his wife; the Reddicks often had the Arcieris at their home. Robert Arcieri became fascinated with the Reddick's collection of rare Native American dolls, worth $75,000. Bill also had a collection of rare, antique guns, which he had hidden in a safe in his bedroom.
On April 3, 1984, Bill went out of town on business, leaving Janet alone at home. At around 8PM, Janet returned home from work when she discovered that the house had been ransacked; the valuable dolls had been laid out on the sofa and table. When Janet tried to leave her home, she was confronted by one man in a ski mask. Another man came from behind and struck her in the head. She remained in a coma for several days before awakening in the hospital. The thieves stole the dolls, Bill's guns, and Janet's jewelry; all of which had a total value of $200,000. Jane had been struck five times in the head with a ball peen hammer; she had to undergo extensive surgeries to survive.
While Janet was recuperating, Arcieri came to visit the Reddicks; at the time, they assumed that he was a concerned friend. Two years later, however, an admitted contract killer went to the police; he claimed that Arcieri had masterminded a series of robberies. The targets of these robberies were Arcieri's own friends and business associates. Phoenix police sought to confirm the informant's stories; he agreed to tape record his conversations with Arcieri. In the exchange, Arcieri cancelled a hit that he had originally hired the informant to carry out.
The informant gave authorities several items that he claimed were stolen by Arcieri's henchmen. Janet identified some of the items as the ones stolen from her home. Ariceri was arrested and charged with seven felony counts, including: Heading an Organized Crime Syndicate, Racketeering, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder. However, in November 1986, those charges were dropped while police continued their investigation. Authorities hoped to build a stronger case against Arcieri.
In January 1987, Arcieri set off on a fishing trip with his nephew and two friends. They went to a spot on the Colorado River called Lee's Ferry. Arcieri told his friend Ray Brown that he had been exonerated and that he wanted to go fishing to celebrate. According to Brown, on the first day of the trip, Arcieri complained of chest problems. At the dock, Arcieri needed his nephew's help to exit the boat. The other friend claimed that he went to the bathroom; when he exited the bathroom, he heard a loud splash. The friend went to the dock and Arcieri's nephew claimed that Arcieri had fallen in. Brown drove his truck up to the river to shine his headlights into the water, but they could not see Arcieri.
In the area of the river where Arcieri vanished, the river almost broadens out into a lake; rescuers believed that Arcieri may have floated downstream to a series of rapids. However, an intense, four-day search turned up no sign of Arcieri. Arcieri's family and friends are convinced that he had a heart attack and drowned in the Colorado River. His family has even received $1 million in insurance payouts. However, the authorities are not convinced; they believe that he faked his death to avoid the charges against him.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on Unsolved Mysteries on May 19, 1995.
Results: Captured. Acting on a tip, authorities discovered Robert Arcieri alive and well in Palm Springs California; he was arrested on June 2, 2011. Arcieri had changed his name to Frank Reynolds and originally moved to Spokane, Washington. He had been in contact with his wife and children during his time on the run; it is believed that they used the insurance payouts to help him stay hidden.
In February 2012, Arcieri pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery, and one count of fraud. In March 2012, he was sentenced to ten years in prison and five years probation.
- Robert Arcieri, Longtime Phoenix Fugitive Who Faked His Own Drowning, Arrested In California
- Arizona Man Who Allegedly Faked Death in 1987 Arrested in California
- Arizona man gets 10 years for faking death
- Robert Arcieri Double Life & Daughter Turns In Criminal Dad