Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Cathouse Murders

Search warrant

Following the execution of a search warrant at the crime scene, investigators confiscated eight spent casings from two separate firearms, a folding knife, two box knives, a white Bic lighter, a digital scale, sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, and large garbage bags. They also seized plastic bags containing marijuana, varying in weight from .60 grams to 5.77 grams. It appeared to some investigators that the house may have been the site of a possible drug-dealing operation. Small amounts of currency were also found, along with debit cards belonging to Phillips and other identification, several cell phones, and a pill bottle containing antibiotics that had been prescribed to Phillips. There were also a number of live rounds of ammunition found inside a sock.

In the aftermath of the horrific crime, investigators set up a tip line, and placed a sign with the tip line telephone number outside the crime scene. They also devoted a room on the third floor of the OCPD headquarters building for investigators to examine evidence retrieved from the burnt-out house, utilizing computers and dry-erase boards to document and develop the case.

Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel in Mound House, Nev.
Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel in Mound House, Nev.

"There's a tremendous amount of evidence, a tremendous amount of information that they're processing," Sgt. Knight told reporters. "This is something we are taking very seriously, especially when we're talking about a homicide with six victims in one event."

The evening news three days later announced that Phillips had worked as a prostitute at the Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel in Mound House, Nev., not far from Carson City and Reno. The Moonlite BunnyRanch is a legal, licensed brothelprostitution is legal in much of Nevada, with the notable exception of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located.


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