TAMPA, Florida – Oba Chandler, a man from Florida, was convicted of three counts of murder in the deaths of Joan Rogers and her two daughters, denying any involvement until the day of his execution.
The killings of Rogers and her teenage daughters, Michelle and Christie, remained unsolved for three years after their bodies were found in Tampa Bay with yellow polypropylene rope tying them to concrete blocks. Despite the lack of evidence, Tampa police identified Chandler as a suspect using his handwriting.
The exhaustive search for Chandler is detailed on this week’s edition of the Fox True Crime podcast, shedding light on the infamous case. Their bodies had been submerged for 50 to 60 hours and were discovered with their mouths taped shut and tied to cinder blocks. The police found a handwritten note in Rogers’ car with directions to a boat ramp.
Chandler was finally connected to the murders three years later when a woman faxed over a contract written by him, matching his handwriting to the directions found in Rogers’ car. His phone records placed him on the water on the night of the murders, leading to his arrest and subsequent murder charges.
In a jailhouse interview, Chandler continued to maintain his innocence, despite admitting to meeting the Rogers family and writing out the directions. He was executed in 2011 at 65 years old, still protesting his innocence in a handwritten note on his execution day.
In February 2014, Chandler was linked to another unsolved murder using DNA evidence, adding a new layer to the already haunting case. While the family of his fourth victim was thankful for some closure, the discovery reopened old wounds 23 years later.
The case of Oba Chandler continues to be a haunting and tragic part of Florida’s history, leaving a legacy of pain and unanswered questions for the families involved.