Orchidian Robert Whiteside Murdered

Hello everybody,

Texas artist (and Orchidian) Robert Whiteside was found shot to
death in his bed and breakfast in Mount Vernon on Wednesday. He was
apparently killed for money and jewelry to buy drugs.

There is an empty sad spot in Texas, today.


Mount Vernon Business Owner Murdered

Two men are in jail in Dallas, accused of killing the owner of
a Franklin County bed and breakfast.

Last night, Franklin County Sheriffs deputies found 56-year
Robert Whiteside at the Veranda Bed and Breakfast, just south
of Mount Vernon. Investigators say Whiteside had been shot
multiple times and his truck was missing.

This afternoon, 2 people were arrested in Dallas, reportedly
driving Whiteside’s truck. Prosecutors are expected to file
capitol murder charges against them.

How horrible. His work was wonderful.


James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


The metalsmithing community certainly has lost one of it’s finest. I
had known Robert for these last few years, and had visited him a
couple times at his studio and home in MT Vernon, Tx., we kept in
contact with each other via email, sharing our latest creations.

My shop assitant and I recently visited Robert again where we had a
wonderful time discussing his latest creations, played with new shop
tools, designed a few more new tools, and were treated to a couple
incredible meals. Robert had many talents and was not only one of
the finest goldsmiths but an accomplished gourmet chef and a very
graceful host. Robert Whiteside will be sorely missed.

G. Phil Poirier

It’s always more than tragic when someone loses their life in a
manner such as this. The world loses a bit of beauty when an artist
of Mr. Whitesides’ amazing talent is lost at the peak of his
abilities. So sad. In reference to an earlier lengthy thread on this
forum, we can only wonder whether it could have been prevented had
the victim been armed as well as his attackers. Had he quick access
to a weapon, perhaps so. Maybe not, but without one there was
certainly no chance.

Jerry in Kodiak

The recent murder of Robert Whiteside (by three 20 year olds looking
for money to buy drugs) should be a warning to those who have minimal
security, and a wake up call for those who have become lax about the
security they do have.

I had just received an email from him, a couple days earlier. It
sure woke me up, when I found out that he had been killed, and I had
a long talk with my family about changes we need to make. Maybe it’s
time to take some n= ew measures, or time to upgrade what YOU’VE got?

When you combine your family residence with your studio you need to
be 300% more careful than those who work in a retail location. It’s
so easy that constant watchfulness when you are “home.”

How do you tell whether those guys ringing your doorbell are just
selling something innocuous, or planning something treacherous - like
what happened to Robert?

Watch what you put on your website and what you say on the forums.
Some things should stay between you and your clients. Other things
are better discussed off the forums in relative privacy.

Anyone can trace the ownership of an email identity or a website
with a little effort. and with the spy programs available nowadays I
can see your place from a satellite quite well, and that’s just a
free download, I imagine that if I bought the program I could
probably count the hairs on your head! In real time!.. Think about
what the bad guys can do with that kind of

What I am saying is if someone wants you they will find a way. You
need to take measures to slow them down. I can find you, your phone
number, address, and other personal - from just your
name, for $15 on the Internet. Map quest will then take me straight
to your door…

Pay attention. Stay vigilant! What happened to Robert Whiteside may
turn out to have been preventable.

Brian Marshall

I met Robert Whiteside years ago when he had his shop in Dallas just
off Lovers Lane (next to Art Restoration). The irony is he left
Dallas because of the crime, traffic, and general decline in the
quality of life.

He was truly an amazing artist. He will most certainly be missed.


Hello Susannah,

What a tragedy. Robert’s work is quite lovely and imaginative. His
death leaves a void. Thanks for sharing this very sad news.

Judy in Kansas

I am shocked to see another fine jewelry talent lost to predatory
violence. I did not know him, just saw some of the work. This is a
reminder for the independent shop to take security very seriously.

Daniel Ballard

It was a terrible shock to read of Robert Whiteside’s murder. My
co-worker Ken took some enameling training with him last December.
Ken is quite upset that this has happened. He told me that Robert was
an exceptional artist and an very good instructor. Robert was always
very engaging to speak with on the phone and via e-mail. One is
always at a loss to say the right things at these times. Our deepest
sympathy goes out to his partner and all of his friends and family.

sincerely Dennis

Hello Phil P., didn’t know you monitored this forum.

I must have somehow missed the first post announcing Robert
Whiteside’s death. I’ve never met the man, but have exchange emails
with him. He was a generous contributor to this forum, and I
understand he was a great teacher. Having only seen his work in
magazines and on the internet, I can still say he was one of the few
in our field that I would say deserved the title of American Master.
It’s tragic to lose someone of that accompishment. I can’t make this
event less bewildering. In balance for those damaged souls who
perpetuated this tragedy, I must believe there are countless others
who found another path as a result of knowing Robert. We will miss

David L. Huffman

Sometimes a post gets a bit garbled. What showed in my post as"It’s
so easy that constant watchfulness when you are “home.”

Should have read - “It’s so easy to LOSE that constant level of
watchfulness when you are in your own home.”

I meant that people tend to get complacent when nothing ever seems
to happen. This should not happen, but it does. A shock like Robert’s
murder forces you to wake up and take a look at your own situation.

We’ll find out in the coming months what really happened. Perhaps we
can learn something that may reduce the odds of it happening again.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA

Such a terrible end to a splendid life.

The recent murder of Robert Whiteside (by three 20 year olds
looking for money to buy drugs) should be a warning to those who
have minimal security, and a wake up call for those who have become
lax about the security they do have. 

When something like this happens I am always curious to know the
details. Not just for morbid interest, but to learn what this can
teach me about my own level of risk and security. I found 2 news
stories about the murder. Strangely, the TV news does not mention
that he was a jeweler.


These stories do not tell how the crime actually happened. Maybe that
is not known yet.

Hello Steven and others

There is more to be found about Robert Whitesides’s
murder at this link


Here they state that he was a jeweller and more specifics about the
act. All men (though this word is used very lightly) have been

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Wow! I didn’t know Robert, but his work is stunning. A truly gigantic
loss for the field.

Jeff Herman