48 Hours Mystery: Thou Shalt Not Kill

When a Mother is Murdered, a Mysterious Woman Holds All the Answers

Produced by Patti Aronofsky and Jenna Jackson

(This story was originally broadcast on Feb. 6, 2010)

In November 1994, the body of 33-year-old Farah Fratta was discovered in the garage of her Humble, Texas home.

"I remember the last day quite well, the day that it happened. Memories of her voice are definitely in my head," Farah's eldest child, Bradley, told "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Richard Schlesinger. "When my mother was murdered I was about 7 1/2 years old."

"Farah Fratta, a very pretty lady. Her story was pretty tragic once she married Bob," Prosecutor Kelly Siegler explained. "The marriage was in a lot of trouble, a divorce was pending…

"It was November the 9th, 1994. That was the evening when Farah stopped to get her hair cut… with no idea about what was going to happen.

"At the time Farah was getting her hair cut, the shooter and the get-away driver were in a car together on the way to Farah's house, and the shooter was going to hide in the backyard… On that same evening, Bob had picked up all three of the kids; it was his night for visitation."

Bradley said his father took him, his brother and sister to church that night.

"While we were at the church, they would have us doing a bunch of little fun activities which also involved praying," he said.

"So Farah got her hair done, pulled into her garage… It just so happens that when Farah came home that night and backed into her garage, the neighbors that lived directly across from the garage saw her come home," said Siegler.

"We heard something outside like a pop, and I got up to look out the window and as I was doing that we heard a scream and I saw Farah fall…and then we heard another shot," said neighbor Laura Hoelscher.

"And I saw her laying down there by her car," said Darin Hoelscher.

"It was at that time, when we realized she wasn't getting up, we dialed 911," said Laura. "I just started giving them a play by play of what we were seeing."

Listen to the Hoelscher's 911 call

"After leaving the Catechism class we went back to the house. The first thing I remember was just all the yellow tape everywhere," Bradley explained. "I just remember arriving there and my dad acting very surprised as to what was going on."

"Bob Fratta was nowhere near the murder scene when Farah was shot," Siegler said. "He had definite proof to say, 'Bob wasn't there. Bob was at Catechism with us.' How many people use church as their alibi and use their own children as their alibi? Who does that?

More From 48 Hours

Comments