Pamela Phillips, ex-Aspen socialite, convicted in car-bomb death of her ex-husband
Aspen socialites and crime aren't usually synonymous -- but two recent high-profile cases are exceptions.
More photos, videos below.
We recently reported about the shocking murder of Nancy Pfister, whose parents founded the Buttermilk ski area. And now, Pamela Phillips, a high roller who called Aspen home as recently as 2008, has been convicted in Arizona of hiring a man to kill her ex-husband, Gary Triano, using a car bomb.
Continue for photos, videos and the lurid details.
A good outline of the saga is offered in a 2010 piece by True Crime Report, a Westwordsister blog -- and it begins with a literal bang.
Back in 1996, after finishing a round of golf at a Tucson country club, Triano, described as a wealthy businessman, hopped in his Lincoln, presumably not knowing that friends were waiting to throw him a surprise birthday party. But he never made it to the festivities. A remote control pipe bomb had been placed in his ride, and it exploded with deadly force.
Afterward, TCR notes that there was no shortage of suspects, since Triano "had engaged in a number of shady deals" and "lawsuits had begun to accumulate." And then there was Phillips, who was the beneficiary of a $2 million life insurance policy Triano had taken out for his kids even though the couple had separated three years before.
Gary Triano's car after the explosion.
A decade passed without an arrest. But then Ronald Young was busted in Florida on a weapons charge that soon mushroomed into much more serious allegations.
Young had reportedly had a relationship with Phillips in Aspen some time earlier -- and tapes featuring conversations between the two of them implicated both in the Triano killing.
The gist: Phillips had allegedly pledged to give Young $400,000 if he eliminated Triano. After he did so, however, she seems to have welshed on the payout -- although she insisted on the tapes that she was merely afraid the cops would become suspicious if she withdrew so much cash from her bank account all at once.
Chats between Phillips and Young touched on FedEx drops and ATM withdrawals, and some dough appears to have been funneled to Young via real estate and Internet companies affiliated with Phillips. But he still insisted that she had shorted him more than $200,000, and he wasn't happy about it.
An affidavit quoted him as saying, "You're gonna be in a women's prison for murder."
On the surface, this information would seem to have been more than enough to justify an indictment. Yet Young wasn't arrested until 2008, when he was in California.
As for Phillips, she got out while the getting was good. Police are said to have been poised to fit her with cuffs, too -- but by the time they made her move, she'd split from Aspen in favor of Italy.
Continue for more about the conviction of former Aspen socialite Pamela Phillips, including more photos and two videos.