Sponsored by

Triano's ex-wife returned to Tucson, faces murder charges

The ex-wife of businessman Gary Triano, who was killed in a 1996 bombing of his car, was returned to Tucson on Friday.

Pamela Phillips, who was indicted on charges on first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder in 2008, was taken to the Pima County Jail, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Phillips was brought to Tucson by U.S. marshals, Deputy Jason Ogan said in a news release.

In December 2009, Phillips was arrested in Vienna on a warrant related to Triano's slaying.

Triano was killed Nov. 1, 1996, in the parking lot of the La Paloma Country Club when a pipe bomb placed inside a bag on the passenger seat of his Lincoln Town Car was detonated while he was inside the car.

The force of the explosion tore the roof from the car and propelled the windshield over forty-foot tall trees and into a swimming pool over seventy feet away. Debris was scattered in a five hundred foot radius around the vehicle, authorities say.

In 2008, Phillips and a former boyfriend, Ronald Young, were indicted in Triano's murder.

Authorities said a $2 million insurance policy was the motive for Phillips to hire Young to kill her ex-husband. Phillips was a trustee on the policy; her two children with Triano were the beneficiaries.

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality local journalism and help underwrite independent news without the spin.

Young was serving time in a federal prison in Florida when he became a suspect in the killing. Phillips left her Aspen, Colo., home for Europe before she could be taken into custody.

Young was convicted of Triano's murder in April and sentenced to two life terms.

Triano, 52 when he died, was a real estate investor who was involved in managing Indian gaming casinos in the 1980s.

Triano was involved in more than one business deal that failed in spectacular fashion, leaving many to wonder at the identity of his killer.

A development in the Tucson Mountains went bust in the late '80s. Triano got out of that deal, and into the land that eventually became Tucson Electric Park. He lost that too.

The Tohono O'odham tribe pushed him out of the casino business in 1993.

In a 1994 bankruptcy filing, Triano claimed $40 million in debts.

In a 2001 piece for the Tucson Weekly, the late Chris Limberis wrapped up the story of Triano's murder:

In all likelihood, Triano was killed instantly. Only an instant to erase a man who came to symbolize Tucson real estate boom and bust, and speculation roller coasters. A mercurial sort who showed off an association with Donald Trump, who burned through millions of dollars and who pined for his children lost in a nasty divorce.


His gray slacks were torn. Inside a front pocket were a broken plastic divot tool and a dime. In the other pocket were another dime and two pennies.

Gary Lee Triano, the man who put together million-dollar deals and pissed away tens of thousands of dollars on bad golf, was dead with 22 cents.

- 30 -
have your say   


There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Click image to enlarge

Pima County Sheriff's Dep't

Pamela Phillips, on her booking into the Pima County Jail.

On the Web

Tucson Weekly: Requiem for a Heavyweight (2001)