Real Name: William Peter Fischer
Aliases: William Alan Fischer
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: February 10, 1987
Details: Twenty-one-year-old bank clerk Nancy Ann Hyer and nineteen-year-old Billy D. Fischer met by chance on Thanksgiving Day in 1986. He first saw her on a train heading into New York City. She had become lost and was on the verge of tears. He stepped forward and volunteered to escort her back home to Hicksville, Long Island. The two began a close friendship. She told her sister, Debra McCabe, that she thought he was a really nice guy. However, she also said that she believed that he wanted her to be his girlfriend. She told Debra that she did not like him “that way.” However, she also did not want to hurt his feelings because he was so nice to her.
On a stormy night three weeks later, December 11, Nancy received a call from Billy. She told Debra that he had asked for a ride home from his father’s house at 102 Little Neck Road in Southampton. Despite the weather, Nancy decided to repay Billy’s earlier act of kindness. Debra tried to persuade her not to go, noting that the weather was bad and that she did not like driving at night. However, Nancy said that she was going to do it because he had been so nice to her. Their mother, Joan, was also concerned about her daughter driving during a storm. As she watched Nancy drive away, she had a feeling of fear. She described it as a “mother’s worry.”
Nancy set off into the downpour for the hour-and-a-half drive to Southampton. Her friendship with Billy would soon lead to tragedy. An unsuspecting Nancy was heading straight into another family’s conflict, one that was about to turn violent. Billy had cystic fibrosis, a degenerative respiratory disease, and was overwhelmed with medical bills. He was seeking money from his estranged father who had abandoned the family fifteen years earlier. What followed next was a chain reaction of ill-fated events, ultimately putting Nancy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At the time Billy met Nancy, he was swamped in debt and increasingly ill. In early November 1986, he spent two weeks in the clinic at Good Samaritan hospital. He had been living with his mother, Patricia, but recently rented a room in Central Islip. He was unemployed and had fallen more than a month behind in his rent. He decided to ask his forty-two-year-old father, William, for help, even though the two had not spoken in over a year. It was known that William had a "stormy" relationship with Billy and his other son, Jason. When he remarried, his second wife convinced him to let his sons live with them. However, he repeatedly told them that he did not want them there.
According to Senior Investigator Stephen Oates, William was employed as a car salesman and customer relations manager by a well-to-do car dealership in Manhattan. He was making a very high salary, around $100,000 a year. The police investigation determined that he had been using cocaine extensively, to the point that it affected his performance at his job. By 1986, he and his second wife had separated.
William invited Billy to visit for the weekend and discuss the money situation. Nobody knows how Billy got to Southampton. But on December 11, a day after arriving, he called Nancy to take him home. That night, Joan waited anxiously for Nancy to return. She paced the living room, constantly looking out the front door's window. As the hours passed, she figured that Nancy might have had to stay over at the Fischer home because of the weather or the time of night. However, she was still worried because Nancy would always call her if she was not able to come home.
The next morning, there was still no call from Nancy. Joan began to panic. The police could not help; Nancy had not been gone long enough to be declared missing. Running out of options, Joan and Debra rummaged through Nancy’s bedroom. They located a phone number for William. Joan called him and asked if Nancy had been there. He said that he, Nancy, and Billy had dinner and drinks together. After that, Nancy and Billy left. He figured that they were either still together somewhere or went their separate ways.
The Hyers felt that William was forthcoming and also concerned about Billy. At that point, they wondered if Billy had taken Nancy somewhere and done something to her. Another day passed with no sign of her. Joan filed a missing person’s report. But with no proof of foul play, there was little the police could do. So, Joan turned back to William, the last person who saw Nancy. She repeatedly called him and asked him about that night. He became increasingly confrontational.
According to Joan, William would “fly off the handle” and tell her to let the police handle the situation. He claimed that he had no idea where Billy and Nancy went. According to her, he was getting very hostile over the phone. As a result, she started getting more suspicious of him. On December 13, a Christmas party was held at the Good Samaritan hospital. Police had hoped that Billy and Nancy would show up (he had told a nurse that he was going to take Nancy to it). However, they never arrived. Soon afterwards, Joan hired a helicopter to search for Nancy and her car. However, nothing was found.
Then, on December 21, 1986, ten days after Nancy and Billy’s disappearance, police responded to a report of an abandoned car in the Southampton Elks Lodge parking lot on North Hills Road, two miles from William’s house. It had been there for several days. They learned that the car, a 1981 Pontiac Phoenix, belonged to Nancy. When they popped open the trunk, they discovered Billy’s body covered in a blanket. Underneath it, they found Nancy’s nude body, also wrapped in a blanket. The car had been wiped clean of fingerprints.
Billy's autopsy revealed that he had been shot eighteen times with a small-caliber handgun. The vast majority of the rounds were in the head at close range. His pants had been ripped and pebbles were found on his back, indicating that he had been dragged over a rough area of ground. Nancy’s autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed twice, once in the liver and once in the heart, with a very long, sharp instrument, possibly a kitchen knife.
At that same time, neighbors reported strange activity at the Fischer home. Apparently, William was remodeling his master bedroom at 3am, spackling and painting the walls. Police secured a search warrant for the home. It was searched twice: on December 31, 1986, and January 17, 1987. During the second search, slight indentations were observed on a section of the freshly painted and spackled wall, and it was removed. Three bullet holes were found, and two .22 caliber bullets were recovered. A single strand of hair was fused to one of them. It was identified as Billy’s. Based on the evidence, police theorized that he was killed in the master bedroom. They discovered that William owned a .22-caliber Marlin semi-automatic rifle, similar to the one used to kill Billy. He claimed that he gave it to Billy the night he disappeared.
Dried blood found in a vacuum cleaner in the house matched Nancy's blood type. Paint chips were also found; they matched ones found on the blanket that she was wrapped in. Additional testing with luminol showed that there was a large amount of blood splattered all about the hallway. It was consistent with Nancy being stabbed in that area immediately outside the master bedroom.
The evidence clearly implicated William. But the sheer brutality of the killings obscured his motive. What could have caused William, a man with plenty to lose, to shoot his son eighteen times and then murder a complete stranger? Could an argument have broken out over Billy’s financial problems? Nancy, who was only in the house because of an act of kindness, was now a witness to murder. Joan says she cannot imagine a parent killing their own child and then killing someone else’s child that they do not even know anything about. She still does not understand how this could have happened.
On February 25, 1987, police sought a warrant for two counts of second-degree murder against William. But before it could be issued, he disappeared. He was last seen on February 10 when he visited his stepmother in Farmingdale. On February 27, his car, a blue Mercedes Benz, was found abandoned in the American Airlines parking lot at John F. Kennedy Airport. It had been there since February 11. Police later discovered he had taken a second mortgage out on his house in excess of $100,000. Before he vanished, he also told neighbors that he was borrowing money to "pay his lawyer."
In September 1987, the FBI joined the search for William. He was also added to New York's list of "Twelve Most Wanted Persons". He has evaded arrest on murder charges for decades. He was born on October 4, 1944. He is 5'11" tall, weighs about 185-200 pounds, and has salt-and-pepper brown hair and blue eyes. He also has a tattoo on his right bicep that reads "Mary" and a tracheotomy scar. He wears expensive clothes, drinks heavily, and may have fled the country.
- This case first aired on the August 16, 2002 episode.
- It was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
- It should not be confused with Robert Fisher.
- It should be noted that on this page, the male victim is referred to as "Billy" while the suspected perpetrator (and his father) is referred to as "William".
- Some sources state that Nancy dropped Billy off at William's house on December 10 and picked him up the next day.
- One source stated that Nancy's car was found two blocks from William's house.
Results: Wanted. Sadly, Joan passed away on January 10, 2014, at the age of seventy-two. Due to the passage of time and his drug and alcohol abuse, it is possible that William is also deceased. However, he has not been located.
- William Fischer on Unsolved.com
- William Fischer on the AMW website
- William Fischer on the New York Troopers website
- 2 Bodies Are Found In Locked Car Trunk - December 23, 1986
- Brutal End to Brief Friendship - December 23, 1986
- L.I. killings baffle cops; 2 young persons are dead & the trail is cold - December 24, 1986
- Mourners Police Left With Many Questions - December 26, 1986
- Cops Focus on Kin’s Home in Murder (Page 1) (Page 2) - February 12, 1987
- Dad’s home scene of 2 slayings? - February 13, 1987
- Father Sought in Murders of 19-year-old Son, Friend (Page 1) (Page 2) - February 26, 1987
- Indict dad in L.I. slayings - February 26, 1987
- Father in slaying is termed fugitive - February 27, 1987
- Fugitive in Murders - September 10, 1987
- Murders That Torment Those Left to Mourn - May 21, 1989
- An Offer to a Fugitive - May 11, 1993
- Police renew focus on cold murder case in Hamptons, 30 years later - November 29, 2016
- Cops Seek Tips in Finding Southampton Cold Case Double-Murder Suspect - November 29, 2016
- For 30 Years, Suspect in Southampton Double Murder Case Has Eluded Capture, Justice - December 16, 2016
- Where is William Peter Fischer? - September 23, 2017
- Have You Seen William Fischer? New York State Police Want Help Finding NY Dad Who Allegedly Killed Son, Son's Friend in 1986 - May 14, 2019
- Search Continues In Cold Case After 1986 Double Murder: Cops - May 14, 2019
- AMW Discussion on William Fischer
- Nancy Hyer on Find a Grave