Longform

Investigations Into Thomas Abbott's Brutal Death Were Botched by Phoenix Police; His Family's Convinced It's Because He Was Gay

Page 8 of 8

New Times sought an interview with Talley, but he canceled several planned meetings.


Just last month, Buchanan abruptly quit his legal fight to get the life-insurance money. He and his attorney folded just before he was scheduled to undergo a two-day deposition in the federal civil case.

The "settlement" means that Tom Abbott's sister, Liz, gets the $162,000 in life insurance.

Any criminal prosecution of Buchanan is unlikely at this point.

On May 18, Phoenix police Sergeant Michael Polombo wrote to Martha Novorr explaining why:

"Without any additional witnesses or evidence to conclusively determine the cause and manner of death, this investigation cannot be forwarded for criminal prosecution and will be reclassified as a death-unknown and closed.

"Ms. Novorr, I am very sorry for your loss of your brother and [for what] your family [has] gone through over the past two years. I know that you were hoping for a different outcome from the police investigation."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin