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Suspected murder of Joy Hibbs by Robert Atkins examined on People Magazine Investigates

Mugshot of Robert Atkins
Robert Atkins is awaiting trial for the murder of Joy Hibbs. Pic credit: Bucks County District Attorney

People Magazine Investigates is examing the murder of Joy Hibbs, who was killed in her own home in Croydon, Pennsylvania, in 1991. Her case remained cold and unsolved for decades until this year when Robert Atkins was arrested on suspicion of killing Hibbs.

 On April 19, 1991, Hibbs’s 12-year-old son, David Hibbs, returned home early from school to discover his suburban home engulfed in flames. Fearing his mom was in the house, he ran to a neighbor’s home and raised the alarm.

After the firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, they made a grisly discovery, the remains of 35-year-old Joy Hibbs were found lying in her son’s bedroom.

At first, the investigators suspected that Hibbs had perished in a tragic accidental fire; however, an autopsy changed everything. A medical examiner found that she had been stabbed repeatedly, her ribs were fractured, and she had likely died from asphyxiation. Crucially, there was no smoke in her lungs, meaning she had died before the fire.

At the time, the police had a number of suspects, which included Robert Atkins. He had supplied Hibbs and her husband with marijuana and had recently had an argument with the couple over the quality of his drugs.

A car described as matching Atkins’s own vehicle was spotted outside the house shortly before the fire. He also refused to take a polygraph test. But, he did supply a vague alibi through a coworker of his wife, April Atkins.

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