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Robinson Buried After Brief Ceremony

February 17, 1985

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ Funeral services were held Saturday for Ash Robinson, the father of a slain Houston socialite whose 1969 mysterious death was chronicled in the best- selling book ″Blood and Money,″ and a movie.

Robinson, 87, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at Sacred Heart Hospital here, said hospital spokesman Jerry Maygarden.

About 150 people attended a 20-minute service for the former Texas oilman, said an official at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel. Burial was at Bayview Memorial Park.

Robinson is survived by his wife, Rhea, and a grandson, Robert Hill, 24.

The Robinsons’ daughter, Joan Robinson Hill, died in 1969. Her husband, plastic surgeon Dr. John Hill, was indicted on a charge of murder.

Mrs. Hill was embalmed before an autopsy could be performed, complicating efforts to find the cause of death. Repeated examinations, including exhumation of her body five months after her death, left her fatal illness unexplained beyond a finding of ″massive infection″ from an undiscovered source.

Hill soon married Ann Kurth, but divorced her nine months later, shortly before he was indicted on a charge of murder by omission in his first wife’s death by ″willfully, intentionally and culpably″ failing to give her medical treatment.

Hill’s trial ended in a mistrial and he was killed by a masked gunman at his home on Sept. 24, 1972, before he could be retried.

Robinson was accused in a civil suit of arranging the killing of his son- in-law. He denied the allegations, a jury found in his favor and no criminal charges were filed.

The case was the subject of Tommy Thompson’s ″Blood and Money″ and a television movie called ″Murder in Texas.″

Hill, 41, married for a third time and four weeks before his second murder trial was to begin, he was fatally shot by a masked gunman at his plush River Oaks mansion in September 1972.

The gunman forced his way into Hill’s home, tied up Hill’s son Robert, then 8, and Hill’s elderly mother, Myra, and announced a robbery. But the man waited until Hill returned. The gunman then shot Hill three times, took his wallet and fled.

Hill’s third wife, Connie, and his son sued Robinson for $7.6 million in a wrongful death action, claiming Robinson masterminded Hill’s killing.

Robinson professed his innocence while insisting his son-in-law was responsible for Joan Hill’s death.

″I didn’t want him dead,″ Robinson said of Hill. ″The killing didn’t solve his problems or mine.″

Robinson passed a polygraph test and a civil court jury decided Robinson did not mastermind the killing.

In 1975, a Houston woman with a past in prostitution and gambling, Lilla Paulus, was convicted by a jury of paying $5,000 to have Hill killed. She currently is serving a 35-year prison term and is being considered for parole for a third time.

The alleged triggerman, Bobby Wayne Vandiver, was shot to death in May 1974 by an east Texas police officer before he could be brought to trial.

Marcia McKittrick, Vandiver’s girlfriend, also was convicted in the contract killing and was sentenced to 10 years, court records show. She has been paroled.

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