Philip Taylor Kramer

Last updated

Philip Taylor Kramer
Born(1952-07-12)July 12, 1952
Youngstown, Ohio
Associated actsIron Butterfly
Disappearedc. February 12, 1995 (aged 42)
Los Angeles County/Ventura County, California
Cause of deathProbable suicide
Body discoveredMay 29, 1999
Decker Canyon near Malibu, California

Philip Taylor Kramer (July 12, 1952 ca. February 12, 1995) was an American bass guitar player for the rock group Iron Butterfly and associated groups between 1974 and 1980. He later became a computer engineering executive and inventor. He disappeared in February 1995 and was found dead in May 1999, his death ruled a probable suicide.


Early life and music career

Philip Taylor Kramer was born in 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1974, he joined Iron Butterfly as its bass player, playing on two of the group's albums, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel , both released in 1975. [1] After the breakup of Iron Butterfly, Kramer continued to play with founding member Ron Bushy in the groups Magic and Gold between 1977 and 1980.

Engineering career

Kramer later obtained a degree in aerospace engineering, he worked on the MX missile guidance system for a contractor of the US Department of Defense and later in the computer industry on fractal compression, facial recognition systems, and advanced communications.

Kramer, the son of a professor of electrical engineering, had a lifelong interest in science and mathematical theorems. In 1964, at the age of 12, he won the science fair at Liberty School in Youngstown, Ohio, by building a laser with a beam strong enough to pop a balloon. [2] In 1990, at the age of 38, Kramer co-founded Total Multimedia Inc. with Randy Jackson (brother of Michael Jackson) to develop data compression techniques for CD-ROMs. [3] [4] The firm claims it developed the first video compression capable of producing full motion video from a single speed CD-ROM in 1992. In 1994 the company was reorganized under bankruptcy and hired new leadership. Kramer continued working there until his disappearance, though he was profoundly affected by the bankruptcy and reorganization. [2] [4] Kramer co-developed SoftVideo based on fractal compression and he also claimed to work on a transmission project that would result in faster-than-light speed communications. The latter related to his father Ray's long-running family effort to discredit Albert Einstein's theories. [4]

Death and investigation

On February 12, 1995, Kramer drove to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up a business associate and his wife. The business associate had been a principal investor in Total Multimedia and also a principal instigator of its bankruptcy reorganization. On his way to the airport, Kramer telephoned his wife to advise that plans had changed, and that the business associate and his wife should go directly from the airport to a hotel, where Kramer and his wife would meet them later. Kramer nonetheless appears to have spent forty-five minutes at the airport, for unexplained reasons. [2] During his travel to and from the airport, Kramer made a flurry of cell phone calls, including calls to his wife, Ron Bushy and finally to the police. In the latter call, Kramer said, "I'm going to kill myself. And I want everyone to know O.J. Simpson is innocent. They did it." This is supposedly in reference to video evidence in which Taylor was hired just before his disappearance to analyze the authenticity of a video tape that the FBI and the DEA had on the O.J. Simpson murder trial. [2] [4]

Kramer was never heard from again. His disappearance led to a massive search, many news reports, and talk show segments including an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show , America's Most Wanted , The Unexplained ("Strange Disappearances," first aired June 7, 2000) and Unsolved Mysteries . [3] An article in Skeptic Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996 , by Fredric L. Rice reported numerous conspiracy theories about his death. [5]


On May 29, 1999, Kramer's Ford Aerostar minivan and skeletal remains were found [6] by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. [4] Based on forensic evidence and Kramer's emergency call to the police, authorities ruled his death as a probable suicide committed on the day he was last heard from. However, his father never believed he killed himself and is quoted as saying "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" [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Fractal Self similar mathematical structures

In mathematics, a fractal is a self-similar subset of Euclidean space whose fractal dimension strictly exceeds its topological dimension. Fractals appear the same at different levels, as illustrated in successive magnifications of the Mandelbrot set. Fractals exhibit similar patterns at increasingly small scales called self similarity, also known as expanding symmetry or unfolding symmetry; if this replication is exactly the same at every scale, as in the Menger sponge, it is called affine self-similar. Fractal geometry lies within the mathematical branch of measure theory.

CD-i Video game console and interactive multimedia CD player

The Compact Disc-Interactive is a digital optical disc data storage format that was mostly developed and marketed by Dutch company Philips. It was created as an extension of CDDA and CD-ROM and specified in the Green Book, co-developed by Philips and Sony, to combine audio, text and graphics. The two companies initially expected to impact the education/training, point of sale, and home entertainment industries, but CD-i eventually became best known for its video games.

Charles Fort American writer

Charles Hoy Fort was an American writer and researcher who specialized in anomalous phenomena. The terms Fortean and Forteana are sometimes used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort's books sold well and are still in print. His work continues to inspire admirers, who refer to themselves as "Forteans," and has influenced some aspects of science fiction.

Iron Butterfly American rock group

Iron Butterfly is an American rock band best known for the 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock and heavy metal music. Formed in San Diego, California, among band members who used to be "arch enemies", their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated with various members with varying levels of success, with no new recordings since 1975. The band's seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was a best-seller. Iron Butterfly was the first group to receive an In-House platinum album award from Atlantic Records.

Unsolved Mysteries American true crime television series

Unsolved Mysteries is an American mystery documentary television show, created by John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer. Documenting cold cases and paranormal phenomena, it began as a series of seven specials, presented by Raymond Burr, Karl Malden, and Robert Stack, beginning on NBC on January 20, 1987, becoming a full-fledged series on October 5, 1988, hosted by Stack. After nine seasons on NBC, the series moved to CBS for its 10th season on November 13, 1997. After adding Virginia Madsen as a co-host during season 11 failed to boost slipping ratings, CBS canceled the series after only a two-season, 12-episode run on June 11, 1999. The series was revived by Lifetime in 2000, with season 12 beginning on July 2, 2001. Unsolved Mysteries aired 103 episodes on Lifetime, before ending on September 20, 2002, an end that coincided with Stack's illness and eventual death.

Randy Jackson (Jacksons singer) American singer and musician

Steven Randall Jackson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and dancer. Randy is best known as a former member of his family band the Jacksons. Randy is the youngest Jackson brother and the second-youngest Jackson sibling after his sister Janet Jackson. He is the ninth child in the Jackson family.

Ron Bushy American drummer

Ron Bushy is the drummer of the rock band Iron Butterfly. He is the only member of the group to appear on all six of their studio albums.

Erik Keith Brann, also known as Erik Braunn, was an American guitarist with the 1960s acid rock band Iron Butterfly. He is featured on the band's greatest hit, the 17-minute In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968), recorded when he was 17.

Phar-Mor was a United States chain of discount drug stores, based in Youngstown, Ohio, and founded by Michael "Mickey" Monus and David Shapira in 1982. Some of its stores used the names Pharmhouse and Rx Place. Low prices were advertised to bring in a large volume of sales with the slogans "Phar-Mor power buying gives you Phar-Mor buying power" and "Phar-Mor For Less." Another common slogan in their TV commercials was "Power buying saves: Save at Phar-Mor."

<i>Sun and Steel</i> (album) Album by Iron Butterfly

Sun and Steel is the seventh and final album released by Iron Butterfly in 1975. It explores a wider variety of styles than any other Iron Butterfly album, yet always remains within the contemporary conventions of hard rock. Tracks from this album are usually left out of Iron Butterfly compilations/greatest hit collections.

Edward John DeBartolo Sr. was an American businessman. In 1971, his Ohio-based corporation was ranked as 47th among the nation's top 400 construction contractors. In 1983, DeBartolo was included on Forbes magazine's first Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.

Arun N. Netravali is an Indian-American computer engineer credited with contributions in digital technology including HDTV. He conducted research in digital compression, signal processing and other fields. Netravali was the ninth President of Bell Laboratories and has served as Lucent's Chief Technology Officer and Chief Network Architect. He received his undergraduate degree from IIT Bombay, India, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston, Texas, all in electrical engineering. Several global universities, including the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, have honored him with honorary doctorates.

Lisa Michelle Stebic, née Ruttenberg is an American missing person. The mother of two went missing from her home in Plainfield, Illinois on April 30, 2007.

<i>Death of a Salesman</i> (1951 film) 1951 American drama film by László Benedek

Death of a Salesman is a 1951 American drama film adapted from the 1949 play of the same name by Arthur Miller. It was directed by László Benedek and written for the screen by Stanley Roberts. The film received many honors, including four Golden Globe Awards, the Volpi Cup and five Oscar nominations. Alex North, who wrote the music for the Broadway production, was one of the five Academy Award nominees for the film's musical score.

<i>When the Bough Breaks</i> (1993 film) 1993 film by Michael Cohn

When the Bough Breaks is a 1994 American thriller film directed by Michael Cohn and starring Ally Walker, Martin Sheen, Ron Perlman and Tara Subkoff. The screenplay concerns a serial killer.

Nasir Ahmed (engineer) Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer and Engineering at University of New Mexico (UNM)

Nasir Ahmed is an Indian-American electrical engineer and computer scientist. He is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of New Mexico (UNM). He is best known for inventing the discrete cosine transform (DCT) in the early 1970s. The DCT is the most widely used data compression transformation, the basis for most digital media standards and commonly used in digital signal processing. He also described the discrete sine transform (DST), which is related to the DCT.

<i>This Side of the Law</i> 1950 film by Richard L. Bare

This Side of the Law is a 1950 American film noir directed by Richard L. Bare and starring Kent Smith, Viveca Lindfors, Robert Douglas and Janis Paige.

Julius Kahn (inventor) American inventor

Julius Kahn was an engineer, industrialist, and manufacturer. He was the inventor of the Kahn System, a reinforced concrete engineering technique for building construction. The Kahn System that he patented in 1903 was used worldwide for housing, factories, office and industrial buildings. His system was used in 134 US cities by 1939. His engineering system for building construction was also found then in Africa, Europe, Canada, China, Brazil, and Mexico. In Yokohama, Japan, his system was used in an automobile factory. His unique engineering system of construction was used also in airplane plants, warehouses, docks, foundries, creameries, filtration plants, rubber factories, steel plants, silos, distilleries, smelters, and textile mills.

David Paulides is a former police detective who is now an investigator and writer known primarily for his self-published books, one dedicated to proving the reality of Bigfoot, and his Missing 411 series of books, in which he documents the disappearance of people in national parks and elsewhere. Paulides attributes mysterious, unspecified causes to these disappearances, while data analysis suggests that these disappearances are not statistically mysterious or unexpected.

Homero Gómez González Mexican environmental activist

Homero Gómez González was a Mexican environmental activist, agricultural engineer, and politician. He was the manager of El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve, a component of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Gómez served as mayor and commissioner of El Rosario, Michoacán.


  1. 1 2 Swanson, David The mysterious death of Iron Butterfly bassist Philip Taylor Kramer. Ultimate Classic Rock, February 12, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Reed, Leonard Missing: Philip (Taylor) Kramer. Los Angeles Times , March 30, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Leiby, Richard ""Far out Taylor Kramer, rock musician, rocket scientist, entrepreneur, has vanished into thin air."". Archived from the original on August 7, 2004. Retrieved August 26, 2013., Washington Post, October 6, 1996; also archived Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Uncredited (October 1999). "The Vanishing". Maxim. Archived from the original on February 4, 2002. Retrieved March 10, 2018; also archived
  5. Rice, Fredric, "Iron Butterfly Member Disappears After Allegedly Working on Faster-Than-Light Communication - Is He In A Godda Da Vida?", Skeptic (U.S. magazine), 1996.
  6. Rosen, Craig (June 1, 1999). "Iron Butterfly Fans Come To Terms With Apparent Discovery Of Missing Rocker's Remains". Archived from the original on March 7, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2013.