Real Name: Roger Marlin Dean
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Date: November 21, 1985
Details: On the morning November 21, 1985, a masked intruder broke into the Littleton, Colorado home of fifty-one-year-old Roger Dean and his wife Doris Jean "DJ". At around 7 am, Roger called DJ out of the bathroom and she came face-to-face with the gun-wielding intruder. He forced Roger to tie up and blindfold his wife. He then took Roger to another room where they talked to each other. Unfortunately, DJ could not hear what they were saying.
A few minutes later, the intruder returned, demanding to know how much money DJ had in her savings account. He then looked through several drawers and left the room after hearing a noise. Roger told him that he had $30,000 at the bank. The two left to go to the bank. As they were leaving, however, the intruder fired once at Roger, striking a banister. As he went to flee from the intruder, Roger was shot multiple times at point blank range. He still tried to run from the assailant; however, he collapsed on the driveway and died. The killer fled the scene in his car, leaving the mask behind.
From the start, investigators were struck by several oddities surrounding the case. Roger had twine fiber embedded in only one wrist, meaning that he had never been tied up by the gunman. Also, he had been wearing contact lenses when he was shot. In an upstairs bedroom, police found his glasses with duct tape attached, giving the appearance that he was blindfolded.
Investigators believe that Roger hired an individual to come over to his home, abduct him, take him to his bank, withdraw $30,000 from his account, and leave him somewhere with the $30,000 to himself. Investigators learned that in the year prior to his death, Roger had taken nearly $30,000 from his business and deposited the money in a private account, without DJ's knowledge.
They also learned from neighbors that Roger was seen in his garage at 7 am on the morning of the murder. This was odd because, on weekdays, he normally left the house around 6:15 am. This led investigators to believe that he was waiting for the gunman to arrive, and that the opening of the garage door was a signal for him.
Roger's family, however, could not believe that he was involved in his own death. They tried to move on with their lives. Then, five years later, on July 21, 1990, DJ received a threatening letter from someone claiming to be the murderer. The author demanded $100,000 from her. He claimed that if he did not receive the money, he would kill her daughter Tammy.
DJ and Tammy notified the police and the FBI. They believed that the letter writer was the murderer, so they put the two under protection and surveillance. On July 27, 1990, the extortionist called as planned, demanding money that Roger owed him. The FBI traced the call to a phone booth in nearby Denver. However, the extortionist was gone by the time police arrived.
After nearly a dozen phone calls, the extortionist told DJ to go to a supermarket twenty miles north of her home and wait for further instructions. With an FBI agent hidden in her car, and surveillance vans nearby, DJ attempted to lure the extortionist into a trap. After a few minutes, a phone call came in at the pay phone. The extortionist gave her instructions on where to drop the money. He told her to leave $100,000 in an alley behind an apartment complex in downtown Denver.
At 10 pm on August 19, 1990, she left the money at the spot. He later called Tammy at their home, claiming that they did not follow his instructions. He also said that he would hurt her because of it. The bundle of money was never picked up and the extortionist never contacted the Deans again.
The Dean family still hopes that the murderer can be found.
Suspects: The killer is described as a white male, approximately 6'0". He was between twenty and forty years of age in 1985. His car was believed to be a '68 Pontiac or a '78 Oldsmobile. He is believed to have an extensive vocabulary.
Investigators have noted that they have both DNA and a partial fingerprint belonging to the killer. However, they have yet to receive any matches.
Investigators are not certain if the gunman and the extortionist are the same person. They believe that the letters were written by a man and a woman working together. However, Tammy Dean has stated that she believes the letter writer was connected to the murderer because the letters contained details that only the killer knew.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the November 6, 1991 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
In an unusual move, this segment was inexplicably categorized by the show as "The Unexplained" instead of the more logical "Unexplained Death."
Results: Unsolved. Fortunately, the extortionist never carried out his threats against DJ and Tammy. However, he was never identified, nor was the gunman that killed Roger. Investigators no longer believe that the extortionist and the killer were the same person, as he got several of the facts wrong when contacting the Deans.
Investigators have noted that they have several suspects, including the son of Roger's secretary, whom he allegedly had an affair with prior to his murder. The man matched the description of the killer and was angry with Roger over the affair. Police stated that they have not ruled him or his mother out as suspects.
Another theory police have investigated is the possibility that the killer knew about Roger's embezzlement from his company and planned to blackmail him.
Investigators also noted that there are at least six suspects in the case that they have yet to collect DNA samples from. These suspects have refused to have their DNA collected.
- Roger Dean on Unsolved.com
- Cold case files: Who killed Roger Dean?
- Family of murdered businessman extorted years later
- Roger Dean at Find a Grave