A Woman Realized Her Husband Was a Serial Rapist Who Escalated to Murder
A neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona, was rattled when a woman reported that she’d been raped, but the worst horror was yet to come.
A rape and murder spree in the late spring of 1991 left a sense of unease around Tucson, and the aftermath led Cathy Mills to realize the monster was in her bed.
Cathy was only 15 when 21-year-old Robert Lee “Bob” Walden first noticed her. He was new to Tucson and struck up a conversation when he saw Cathy around the neighborhood. Cathy was smitten immediately; Bob was charming and funny, and the two began to spend lots of time together despite Cathy’s mother insisting that there was something off about Bob.
The whirlwind romance led the pair to marry six months after they met. Walden had told Cathy that if they were married, she wouldn’t have to listen to her mother any longer. Cathy, who had turned 16 by that point, was over the moon on her wedding day.
Walden, who worked as an exterminator for the Arizona Chemical Company, came home from work one day to a bowl of soup that Cathy had prepared. When the temperature didn’t suit him, he threw it across the room and demanded that she clean it up.
He was volatile, and it was impossible to tell what would set him off. When he was displeased with Cathy, he would talk about how beautiful her 14-year-old sister was. He had a recliner that nobody was allowed to sit in, and he would force Cathy to spend hours alone in the bedroom while he spent time by himself around the house.
On another occasion, he hit her hard enough to break her jaw as she cradled their newborn baby.
The Things Unseen
While the abusive situation made it hell for the occupants in the Walden household, he was racking up victims around the neighborhood, according to records.
On May 4, 1991, Walden reportedly forced a woman into the community laundry room of an apartment complex and demanded that she perform oral sex on him. When she refused, he raped her at knifepoint.
Nine days later, Walden was wearing his work uniform when he knocked on another woman’s door and told her he needed to inspect her pipes. Once inside her home, he attacked her, tied her up, and raped her as well.
When Walden targeted his third victim, rape wasn’t enough.
On June 13, 1991, police responded to a home after a man called to say that he had found his wife on the bedroom floor in a pool of blood. She was nude from the waist down and had been stabbed, raped, and strangled with a phone cord. The investigation revealed that fingerprints at the scene were identical to the fingerprints found at the other sexual assaults.
The big break in the case came when Cathy was at the laundromat and saw her husband’s face staring back at her from a composite sketch on a wanted poster. Walden was arrested after she called detectives to tell them that she believed they were looking for her husband.
Walden was arrested and ultimately found guilty of murder and sexual assault in July 1992 and was sentenced to death later that year. He is incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Eyman where he is on death row.
For more on this case, stream Evil Lives Here: “I Want To Watch His Last Breath” on discovery+.