The killing of Robert Miller Jr. brought to the surface a federal investigation into alleged labor business racketeering, but the mystery of his death remains unsolved.
Miller, the president of the Interstate Bridge Co. in Monrovia, Md., was known as "Cowboy Bob" for his Western wear and the 30 racehorses he owned and bet on.
On the night of May 9, in 1978, Miller had been chauffeured to a Ramada Inn in Rockville to meet someone about making a bid on a contract. His driver waited for two hours in Miller's silver Continental -- adorned with a ram's head on the hood.
It was during this time that someone shot Miller in the head.
His body was discovered in Room 421 by a bellboy who had gone to see whether Miller had vacated the room.
Police found about $1,900 in cash and his own unused, loaded revolver on his body.
At the time, Miller, 44, had been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore as a witness in its investigation of labor management racketeering in the construction industry. Investigators wouldn't say whether they believed Miller's homicide was related to the racketeering probe, which ultimately led to the conviction of a D.C. Superior Court judge on bribery charges and a D.C. Teamster for violations of federal labor laws.
In Miller's case, Montgomery County police have a description of a man wanted for questioning.
The culprit was described in 1978 as a white male of Italian or Armenian descent, about 45 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 145 pounds. He was in good physical condition, with a wiry build, well-dressed in a blue or black suit, red-and-blue-striped tie and black shoes.
The culprit gave the impression he might hold an office job, was well-spoken, had a ruddy complexion with acne scars around his mouth and a large pockmark on his right cheek. He had coal-black hair combed straight back with strands of white, and wore black plastic-framed glasses.
Anyone with information about this three-decade-old case can contact the Montgomery County Cold Case Squad at 240-773-5070.