The true-crime documentary “When Philip Met Missy” tells the story of how suspected killer Philip Snider was befriended by an undercover cop named Joan Bauer, who took on the fictional identity of “Missy” to gain Snider’s confidence.
As covered by CantonRep.com, authorities became suspicious of Snider after his wife Roberta went missing, and he kept changing the story of how she died. Snider initially claimed she died of natural causes while the couple went on a trip to Graceland, and paramedics had taken her body away. Bauer was recruited for an undercover sting operation, and she created the character of Missy.
Eventually, Bauer was able to gain Snider’s confidence and he confessed to her that he bludgeoned his wife’s head with a hammer, as per CantonRep.com. This confession was instrumental in obtaining a murder conviction against Snider. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for people like you,” the judge said while passing down Snider’s sentence.
Bauer had done plainclothes work as an officer in the past, but she was hesitant to do so again. “But when the chief described the case to me, I thought it was time to go undercover one more time,” she said in the Discovery+ doc (via Fox News). The officer started hanging out at the Burger King where Snider got his coffee daily. “I watched him for a good week prior,” she recalled. “He wasn’t really friendly, to begin with.”
Keep reading to see how Bauer got Snider to confess.
Philip Snider fell for Missy
When Joan Bauer took on the role of Missy to befriend Philip Snider, she deliberately dressed down. “I was very careful not to be flirty with him,” Bauer said on the true-crime documentary (via Fox News). “I wore sweatshirts. I did not wear makeup.”
It took time for Snider to trust Missy, and as covered by The Columbus Dispatch, on several occasions he asked if Bauer was a cop. As Missy, the officer created a backstory about an ailing mother she detested and wished would die. Snider offered advice on how Missy could kill her mother. “And I wasn’t prepared when I learned he was willing to help ‘Missy’ commit a crime,” Bauer said in “When Philip Met Missy.” At one point, Snider became smitten with Missy and even proposed a “marriage of convenience” that would not involve anything “frisky” and would help Missy earn Snider’s social security checks after he died (via The Columbus Dispatch).
Over the course of a month, Bauer regularly met with Snider for coffee at a Burger King while she secretly recorded their conversations. “I feel like I have known you for many years,” Snider was heard saying on one of the tapes, as per The Columbus Dispatch. During that same conversation, Snider admitted to killing his wife Roberta (pictured above), but he showed no regret. “I made it clear as ‘Missy’ that things didn’t bother me. But he never showed any remorse,” Bauer said on the documentary.
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