For 17 years, Rob and Brenda Andrew led a seemingly ordinary suburban life.
They raised their two children, Tricity and Parker, in a house at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in Oklahoma City. Then, one night last November, shotgun blasts shattered everything.
"I've been shot," Brenda told the 911 operator. "My husband and I, we've been shot."
Police rushed to the scene to find Rob on the floor, lying on his back with gunshot wounds in his torso and near his neck. Brenda had been shot in the arm. She told authorities the couple had been attacked by intruders wearing black masks.
Nothing was missing from the house, there were no clues about any masked gunmen, and police could determine no motive for the shootings.
Rob, an ad executive whose life revolved around his children, died immediately.
New Life Insurance Policy
From the start, Rob's parents say, they knew something was wrong with their son's storybook romance.
"Right after the honeymoon," said Lou Andrew, Rob's father, "he said she told him she wished they hadn't gotten married. That it wasn't the right thing to do."
Rob's best friend, Ronnie Stump, described the marriage as "unbalanced," saying that Rob was more affectionate toward Brenda than she was toward him. "It was one of those relationships that … they would stay together because of the kids, and work their way through it."
Over the years, the family became very involved in their small Baptist church on the outskirts of the town. That is where Rob and Brenda met Jim Pavatt, a twice-married life insurance agent in his mid-40s.
Rob and Pavatt became friendly, and at the same time, Pavatt and Brenda started teaching Sunday school together.
In March 2001, Pavatt and Brenda suggested to Rob that he change his life insurance policy, and that their new friend, Pavatt, could write it. Rob listened, and his new $800,000 policy named Brenda as the sole beneficiary.
A Bitter Separation
By summer, people were talking: Pavatt and Brenda seemed to be spending a great deal of time together.
"Several couples had spotted Brenda and Jim out eating lunch together," said Stump. Another couple, he said, had seen them "getting way too close after church."
By early fall, friends say, Rob accused Brenda and Pavatt of having an affair. She denied it, and from there, the marriage very quickly began to fall apart.
Within days, according to Rob's father, "she took the keys away from him and told him to leave." Stump said Brenda changed the alarm code and the locks on the Andrews' house doors.
In early October, Brenda filed for divorce. It was a bitter separation full of confrontations, mostly over the children, 7-year-old Parker and Tricity, 11.
"She had taken some rather extreme positions in dealing with the children," said Craig Box, Rob's divorce attorney. "Not letting him see the children, not letting him have the children even overnight or alone."
It was heartbreaking for Rob, according to his father. "He wanted to be with his family. He wanted to be with his children. He wanted to be with his wife. He didn't want to lose any of that," Lou said.
Brake Lines Cut?
On the morning of Oct. 26, Rob got into his black Nissan — only to discover his car had no brakes. He made it to the dealership, where he called 911.
"He said that he believed that his wife and her boyfriend … Jim Pavatt, were responsible for cutting the brake lines," said Sgt. Mike Klika, who was dispatched to the dealership.