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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cold Case ~ Chandler AZ ~ Debra Sue Murray

Report Number: 1998-049519

On Friday, June 26, 1998, at 4:30 a.m., Debra Sue Murray walked out the front door of her home at 708 W. Shawnee Dr, Chandler, AZ. Debra was on her way to work where she was the manager of a local Jack In The Box fast food restaurant. An unknown person ambushed Debra in her front yard. Debra suffered multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body. She was pronounced dead at the scene by responding Chandler Fire Paramedics.

The investigation at the Murray home showed there was forced entry to the attached garage. Items were removed from the garage and left in the driveway. Evidence at the scene led investigators to believe the burglary to the garage was staged, possibly to cover up the true motive for Debra’s murder. No one has ever been arrested for the murder of Debra Sue Murray.

Debra Sue Murray left behind a loving family including her 12-year-old son Timmy. Debra’s family and the Chandler Police Department wish to resolve this case and arrest the person(s) responsible for this senseless act. A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Debra Sue Murray’s death.


1.  It was assumed that the killer knew her schedule.

          Theories & Questions:  If s/he knew Debra's schedule, it can obviously be assumed that s/he knew Debra.  Theoretically, this could include family members, acquaintances and friends... or a fellow employee.  There are currently eight Jack in the Boxes in Chandler, we would need to find the one she was working at and get a list of employees who worked with Debra.  An alternative theory is that this was a hired hit.

2.  A fresh foot print was found in the front yard and was identified as her husband's.  This evidence was deemed inconclusive.

3.  Her ambush and murder were execution style.

          Theories & Questions:  This was an overkill with some reports stating up to 10 shots fired.  Her upper body was bullet ridden.  This implies a lot of passion and anger.  Was Debra having an affair, and if so did her husband find out?  Did the other wife find out and hire a hit?  Did Debra break off the affair and anger her partner to the point of rage?  Did Debra knowingly, or unwittingly, brush off a fellow employee's flirtations and anger a mentally unbalanced obsessed admirer?  Was Debra a mistaken target, did the killer target the wrong house, or the wrong person?

4.  The nanny, Cathy Peterson, who was inside the house with Debra's 12 year old son, heard the shots and called the police.

          Theories & Questions:  Could the nanny have been the killer's real target?  What time did the nanny arrive at the house?  Was the nanny's arrival time and Debra's departure time close enough to cause confusion for someone hired to do this?

5.  The police determined that this was a deliberate and calculated hit.


Be a silent witness:


Chandler Police,
Criminal Investigations Section



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