Barr had terminal illness
Robert Barr knew he was going to die.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s investigators have received information that Barr saw a doctor in September who diagnosed him with terminal lung cancer. The doctor is based in Washington, not far from Barr’s hometown of Portland, Ore.
Did the 57-year-old come to South Shore with a plan to kill his wife, Rebecca, then himself, because of his reported illness? It still isn’t clear why the couple came from Portland to Tahoe.
Investigators have not ruled Robert Barr’s death a suicide or determined if a gun found near his body is the weapon used to murder his wife. A final autopsy report and a gun analysis are due in a couple weeks. Those reports may allow investigators to make a ruling in both deaths.
Robert’s body was found floating in a Tahoe Keys lagoon April 23. It’s state of decomposition told investigators it had been in the water for several weeks. A bullet that entered behind his left ear killed him.
Rebecca’s body turned up near Fallen Leaf Lake March 26. She was led into the woods and shot execution style.
Investigators found both corpses dressed in nice clothes; Rebecca in a pantsuit and a high-heel shoe, Robert in a black blazer, white shirt and cowboy boots.
Apparently the couple drove to Tahoe in a rented four-door Chevrolet Malibu. On April 6 investigators located that car parked in a driveway at 1579 Venice Drive, a home across the street from where Robert was found bloated and blue.
The only clue why the Barrs were at South Shore comes from Rebecca’s family. The family reportedly told investigators that Tahoe is a place the couple wanted to live. It is also known that the couple’s home was in foreclosure and their car had been repossessed.
Robert and Rebecca were only married for several years before their deaths. Rebecca, 45, had three sons, age 19, 20 and 23, from another marriage.
Robert, an unemployed carpenter, was convicted in 1996 of robbery and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.