St. Martin's True Crime
A Socialite Scorned
The victim was Gary Triano, a Tucson real estate developer with influential friends—and enemies. After finishing a round of golf at a country club, he went to the parking lot and found a gift in his car: a crudely made pipe-bomb that blew him to pieces.
The bomb-maker was Ron Young, a Colorado “bad guy” wanted on weapons and fraud charges. The prosecution claimed that the woman he was dating at the time promised to pay him $400,000 to murder her ex-husband.
Her name was Pamela Phillips, an Aspen socialite, divorcée, and mother of Triano’s two children. She received two million dollars upon his death but evaded suspicion for more than a decade. Finally, halfway across the globe in Austria, authorities caught up with the blonde bombshell—igniting one of the most explosive cases in Arizona history.
“From the first pages, Droban lays out a story that is captivating and difficult to put down. Pleasantly surprising was that Droban doesn’t get weighted down in legalese which, as we all know, happens too often with writers who are also lawyers. Beginning to end, A Socialite Scorned is a fantastic read about a woman who was willing to steal another woman’s husband, tolerate his (alleged) abuse until the house of cards is tumbling, attempt to live off what’s remaining in the name of alimony and child support, and then murder him so she doesn’t have to work like a commoner. Definitely, most definitely, worth reading.”—True Crime Book Reviews
“In this true crime drama, set in Tucson, AZ criminal defense attorney Droban skillfully weaves us a tight little story of murder for hire.
By researching thousands of e-mails and recordings and putting all the pieces together, Droban writes like a novelist, building the story for us from ground zero, taking us through the ins and outs of the lives of Tucson socialites Gary Triano and his wife Pamela Phillips until the cold divorce and its fateful trappings.
Pam a successful real estate agent herself, although no match for her multi-millionaire husband and his real estate holdings and deals, was only turned on by money and once her husband’s finances fell apart so did their relationship. Gone were the dinners with the Trumps, the house in the foothills and gone was Pamela’s love, no more high rolling. She left with the children to their exclusive holiday home in Aspen.
Ron Young, an entrepreneur and extortionist worked his way into Pam’s life, listened to the socialite’s tales of woe and eventually made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, a way to get rid of that miserable ex-husband.
When Triano was killed in a bomb blast in his car after playing golf at a top resort in Tucson’s northwest side, many theories where put forth, girlfriend’s, ex-lovers, the Mob, and biker gangs. But when all the facts where finally put together by the Tucson Police Department, one question stood out more than any other: who gained to win with his death, win the $2,000,000.00 life insurance policy pay-off?
When trials were sought, over a decade had passed. Pamela fled to Europe and many of the charges against Young where nothing more than hearsay and supposition. It is at this point in the book that you realize that this is an actual true-life story, a crime that happened and reality is always stranger than fiction. The result is another headline.”—Suspense Magazine
Praise for Prodigal Father, Pagan Son:
“A one-of-a-kind true tale of being born into madness…and of rising above it.” —Robert K. Tanenbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Betrayed and Capture