In the 1970s, Philip Taylor Kramer was the bassist for the rock band Iron Butterfly. He played with the psychedelic rock band from 1974 through 1980 before leaving the group to pursue a career in computer science. He became an inventor and aerospace engineer and helped the US develop the MX missile guidance system.
Kramer also helped pioneer the fractal compression system that makes CDs function. He played a role in developing early facial recognition software and advanced wireless communications. Suffice it to say, Kramer led an eventful life. However, his story took a bizarre and dark turn in 1995, when he vanished from Los Angeles under mysterious circumstances. What happened to Philip Taylor Kramer?
On February 12, 1995, Kramer planned to drive to the Los Angeles International Airport to pick up his wife and a business acquaintance. On the way, he phoned his wife and told her that he changed his plans and would meet her and their associate at the hotel. He advised her to drive directly to the hotel instead of waiting for him. Despite this, Kramer continued to the airport, where investigators believe he spent 45 minutes.
After visiting the airport, Kramer drove away through Los Angeles and made a frantic series of phone calls. One call was to his former bandmate, Ron Bushy. Another went to his wife. Finally, Kramer called the Los Angeles Police department, leaving them a bizarre message. “I’m going to kill myself. And I want everyone to know O.J. Simpson is innocent. They did it.”
Investigators believe Kramer was referencing his recent involvement with the FBI’s investigation into the Simpson murder trial. The authorities hired Kramer to verify the authenticity of a videotape relating to the case.
Kramer was never seen nor heard from again after placing the call to the LAPD. His disappearance caused a media sensation, as he was both a celebrity and a prominent scientist.
Detectives believe Kramer was paranoid that someone was following him. His father told reporters, “Taylor had told me a long time before there were people bothering him. They wanted what he was doing and some of them threatened him. He once told me that if I ever say I’m gonna kill myself, don’t you believe it one bit. I’ll be needing help.”
On May 29, 1999, photographers in Decker Canyon near Malibu discovered Kramer’s Ford Aerostar. The photographers discovered Kramer’s skeletal remains within, and the police officially ruled the case a suicide. Even with the official report, conspiracy theories regarding the disappearance remain popular online.