There’s one person police wanted to interview about the killing of Fremont Town Marshal Bobby Moore and he still isn’t talking. Ever since Moore was gunned down the night of July 26, 1988, police have wanted to talk to Samuel Louis Sisler, now 65, the son of the late Barbara Sisler Moore and former stepson of the late Bobby Moore.
Bobby Moore was gunned down outside his Spring Street home in Fremont the night of July 26, 1988, nearly five months to the minute after Moore killed his wife, Barbara, in self defense at their Lake Minifenokee home, on Feb. 26, 1988.
Sisler, who graduated from the police academy in December 1997 and served a short time as an Indiana State Police trooper, was never listed as a suspect in the killing of Moore, but he was sought for questioning.
Shortly after Moore was gunned down outside of his Spring Street residence, police sought out Sisler. For two days he could not be located until he called police two days after the killing, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, The Washington Post reported at the time. Sisler returned to Steuben County on Aug. 1, 1988, and told Indiana State Police he would not submit to an interview after initially agreeing to talk, based on news accounts from the time.
The only evidence found were the two shell casings located at the grassy vacant lot across from Moore’s Spring Street home, and two bullets, one that ended up in the roof of the home’s garage and the one that killed Moore.
On a few recent occasions, by chance, Indiana State Police Detective Commander Kevin Smith has run into Sisler in person in Angola and has asked if he would talk. Sisler has refused. Smith and Sisler were classmates at the police academy and graduated together. They roomed next to each other.
The Herald Republican has tried to make contact with Sisler at his home on the north side of Fremont but was unsuccessful. In an attempt Friday, there were two cars in the driveway — including one with an Indiana veteran’s plate; Sisler served in the U.S. Marines. Two dogs barked at the door after the bell was rung but no one answered.
In the years since the killing of Moore, Sisler has returned to Fremont — he lived elsewhere in the state at the time of the murder of Moore and the killing of his mother.
Last year, Sisler’s home earned third place in the town’s annual holiday decorating contest.
Court records show he has not had any brushes with the law. There are only two court cases on file in the Steuben County courts, both civil. One was a small claims suit filed against his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Tom Shuford, in 1997. That case, decided in 1998, went in favor of the defendants. The other case was a dissolution of marriage, filed in late 2010 and decided in early 2011.
In addition to reaching out to Sisler, KPC Media Group reached out to Barb Shuford, daughter of Barbara Sisler, who at first said she would help with this series, then stopped responding to social media messages requesting an interview.
Police and friends of Moore called the killing vigilante justice, but who decided to deliver that “justice” is still unknown.
The system worked when Moore was released from the LaGrange County Jail after being held in connection with the killing of Barbara Moore, said Allen Stout, Bobby Moore’s attorney.
“Once the evidence was gathered to demonstrate that the original theory of prosecution was inaccurate — fatally inaccurate, with no pun intended — to this very day I am comforted by the integrity of Judge (Roger) Cosby and of Steve Spindler, who later replaced Judge Cosby when Judge Cosby became magistrate, the federal magistrate, then Steve Spindler became the Superior Court judge in Noble County,” Stout said.
Cosby was special judge in the case and Spindler was special prosecutor. Both were brought in at the request of Prosecutor Donald Shively and Circuit Court Judge Dane Tubergen because both had worked with Moore in his role as town marshal.
In an interview with the Herald-Republican shortly after the murder, Stout said the individual who skirted the law to kill Moore would eventually have his or her day in court. For 30 years, that has not rung true.
“But I was really heartened by their stark integrity, despite that it was a murder case, they viewed the evidence and concluded, the prosecution did, that it was wrongfully charged,” Stout said.
The night of Bobby Moore’s murder, Sisler reportedly had been seen in Fremont some 25 minutes prior to the 10:30 p.m. shooting, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported at the time.
The murder of Bobby Moore is listed on a national website listing police officer deaths, Officer Down Memorial Page. Up until about a decade ago, a person who was responsible for the murder was listed; the name has been taken down, reflecting that the case remains unsolved.
On that page there are “reflections” from a variety of people, including one retired Indiana State Police trooper, 1st Sgt. Brenda Kaczmarek.
“You showed me much kindness when I was a young, rookie Trooper. As a neighbor you were kinder yet,” Kaczmarek wrote in February 2015. “The events surrounding your tragic death have haunted me for the last 27 years. I am dedicated to keeping your story ‘alive’.”