Twenty-Year-Old Murder Case Ends With Conviction
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) _ Two murder cases, one of them 20 years old, have been closed with the conviction of a man police considered a suspect from the beginning and whose arrest was sparked by a national television program.
To the women who knew him, Robert Weeks was a Clark Gable lookalike. But authorities say he was a man whose jealous rages led to the deaths of two women and most likely a third.
Weeks was convicted Friday in the 1968 murder of his ex-wife and the 1980 murder of a former girlfriend. The jury recommended that he spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
″I believe Bob Weeks is finally history,″ said deputy district attorney Mel Harmon.
Authorities had considered him the prime suspect in the killing of his ex- wife, Patricia Weeks, right from the beginning. He also was convicted in the killing of Cynthia Jabour, and police believe he also killed a San Diego woman, Carol Ann Riley.
All three women vanished after agreeing to meet Weeks for dinner. All three had told him just before they disappeared that they were ending their relationship with him.
Ironically, it was Weeks’ latest girlfriend, a Tucson, Ariz., free-lance writer, who turned him in last year after seeing the television program ″Unsolved Mysteries″ and recognizing Weeks as the man suspected of killing the women.
None of the bodies was ever found, forcing prosecutors to put together a painstaking case of circumstantial evidence.
″Generally in a murder case you’ve got a body and you put on a medical examiner and he explains the cause of death,″ said Harmon. ″We didn’t have a body so we couldn’t do that.″
Instead, Harmon put on members of the victims’ families, former neighbors, doctors, anyone he could find with a connection to the victims and Weeks. In all, 52 witnesses were called during a 3-week-long trial.
Many of the witnesses remembered Weeks as very much a ladies’ man, with a pencil-thin mustache and dark hair that made him resemble Clark Gable.
″We had to put on a whole lot of people so we could make it crystal clear that these disappearances couldn’t be voluntary,″ said Harmon.
Relatives testified that Mrs. Weeks would never have voluntarily left her four young children.
A friend testified of seeing Mrs. Weeks for the last time when she got a threatening phone call from Weeks 15 days after their divorce. The friend said he confronted Weeks after the woman’s disappearance and that Weeks matter-of- factly replied, ″She either had a nervous breakdown or is probably dead.″
A doctor testified about treating Mrs. Weeks several times for bruises that she suffered at Weeks’ hands.
A friend of Miss Jabour testified that the real estate broker would never have gone off without her valued clothes or a $47,000 securities account.
And the father of Miss Riley recalled his daughter telling him she owed Weeks one last dinner, at which she was going to tell him of her engagement to a Colorado doctor.
″The real challenging part of the case was Patricia Weeks,″ said Harmon. ″We had to go back years with family members who have done their best to block out the memory. And the other people just didn’t care that much about it.″
Harmon has a theory about the fate of the victims.
″This fellow had a lot of interest in mining, he knew where mineshafts were,″ the prosecutor said. ″If we knew where these mineshafts were I think we’d find the remains of Patricia Weeks and Cynthia Jabour.″