Pauline Robbin Burgett

On March 12, 1978, 16-year-old Pauline “Robbin” Burgette was at home alone in her family’s duplex apartment located near 26th Street and McDowell Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Robbin’s mother and brother Chad had been away all weekend on a trip.

Around 5PM, 11-year-old Chad returned home and walked into his sister Robbin’s bedroom and encountered a gruesome scene. Robbin had been murdered. An autopsy later determined she had been sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly.

The authorities discovered very few clues at the scene, and despite a lengthy and thorough investigation, Robbin’s murder case remains unsolved.

The best lead in Robbin’s case is the DNA profiles the police have generated from evidence at the murder scene. We need to applaud the authorities for their careful collection of evidence long before DNA was considered a factor. After examining the DNA evidence, investigators were able to determine at least two people were present when Robbin was murdered.

Det. Schwartzkopf explained although it is good to have DNA evidence it is not much use unless they can match it to a suspect(s). Given the recent advances in DNA technology and the use of familial DNA to finally nab serial killers like the Golden State Killer and the Grim Sleeper, hopefully Robbin’s killer(s) will be identified one day soon.

Keep in mind, the police definitely would have checked the DNA profiles against Robbin’s then-boyfriend, her known ex-boyfriends, and the creepy guy who harassed Robbin while she was babysitting. So if Robbin was indeed murdered by someone known to her, the odds are high that person was more of an acquaintance and has yet to be on the police’s radar.