Tracy Kauffman Allegedly Flew All The Way To Las Vegas Just To Murder His Ex-Boyfriend

After they broke up, 50-year-old Tracy Kauffman felt that his 26-year-old ex-boyfriend Phil Wells had taken advantage of him. So Wells moved from Knoxville, Tennessee to Las Vegas, Nevada to put some distance between them. In Nevada Wells took a bartending job at The Garage, a place where patrons came to love his smile, his friendly hugs and his willigness to help anybody.

Then this last Monday, Kaufmann allegedly stormed into the bar at 5:30am and shot at Wells. When Wells ran into a back storeroom to hide, Kaufmann allegedly ran after him and shot Wells 15 times in the back and head—he even reportedly re-loaded his gun and kept firing until he used all his bullets. When police discovered Well’s bullet-ridden body, Kaufmann was already driving back to his motel.

According to police, once at the motel Kauffman showered, threw away his gun and clothes and watched a garbage truck collect the trash before heading back to McCarran International Airport. But Kauffman didn’t realize that The Garage security cameras had captured some of the murder. Police him arrested at the airport and charged him with murder with a deadly weapon and burglary with a deadly weapon.

Now while Kauffman awaits trial, Wells’ friends have set-up a makeshift memorial outside the bar, with posters, candles and flowers offered to the slain bartender who wanted to avoid this very sort of encounter.

Image via The Advocate

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  • Sebizzar

    Really sad & scary :'( I get paranoid enough of the strange guys that like me >_<

    R.I.P. Phil.

  • Hyhybt

    Often as this sort of thing happens, I still cannot comprehend the mindset behind it.

    At least he’s knocked most defenses off the list of possibilities.

  • scott ny'er

    terrible. Just goes to show you, douche bags come in all shapes, sizes, colors and orientations. I can’t see how a jury wouldn’t consider this pre-meditated.

  • Tim Kaiser

    Wow, Scott Ny’er. This story challenges your thoughts on the “shapes, sizes, colors, and orientations” of murders? That’s interesting because for others this story confirms proven statistics that white men are pyschopathic murders, regardless of their shape, size, or sexual orientation.

  • Cam

    @Tim Kaiser:

    So he makes a comment about how this was premeditated and you turn it into a racist rant against white men? How sad for you. You are no different than the people that look at Detroits murder statistics and try to use them to say that blacks are criminals. Pathetic.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    Cute, young 26 year old hooks up with old, ugly 50 year old, and old ugly 50 year old is surprised that cute young 26 year old took advantage of him?

  • Sam

    For a minute, I thought the guy on the left was the 50 year old, and I was like: WTF?

  • Lance

    In Nevada Wells took a bartending job at The Garage, a place where patrons came to love his smile, his friendly hugs and his willigness to help anybody.

    I have to admit, Wells does seem more likely to crack a smile than Kauffman.

  • Smart guy

    How does this sort of thing happen, anyway? In a society that WASN’T so badly narcotized by Christianity, maybe couples would TALK about their problems once in a while. Christianity turns people inside out, and they forget how to think, let alone monitor their own feelings. They don’t know themselves, so they don’t know anyone else either.

  • stoopid louie

    @Tim Kaiser: By your logic, wouldn’t this story also cofirm that proven statistics show white men are victims of psychopathic murderers? Ya know, since the victim also was, um, white? And if you’ve got something against white guys, you’re on the wrong site, because virtually every ad that scrolls across the top contains a white guy.

  • Pocket Otter

    Young guy + old guy = bad combo. The old guy just wants to feel young, the young guy just wants to feel rich. I know there are some successful May-December relationships out there, but I think it’s obvious to all of us when we see people like this in public: We think “whore” and “sugar daddy.” They were both in it for their own reasons, and now one’s dead and one’s in jail. All the more proof that when it comes to relationships, we should stick to our own generation.

  • Cal

    Probably Kauffman was dealing with his sick Jewish guilt over being gay and finally snapped. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family that told him it was an “abomination” to be gay like I was.

  • Hyhybt

    @Smart guy: It’s sad to see someone become so focused on their own pet perceived evil that they then blame every ill that comes along, on it, no matter how distant and unrelated. Whether that perceived evil is homosexuality (as for AFA, etc.,) or Christianity (yourself and too many others, understandable though it is), or anything else.

  • CBRad

    Well…Paul Verlaine shot Arthur Rimbaud too, so trouble from explosive relationships are nothing new.

  • TNHawkman

    David here from Knoxville. I knew Phil when he was in Knoxville and he was a great guy. Sorry to see gay men stereotyping their own kind (and the dead) about the younger/older relationship, Jewish, race, and usual crap we have to deal with every day. Just shows the ignorance in this world.

    RIP Phil… You will be missed!!!

  • scott ny'er

    @Cam: Plus he didn’t back up his theory.

    @Tim Kaiser: Where’s your stats? Oh and you got me… I really was going to say, who knew gays were psychos and would go about killing peeps… but then I expanded that notion to cover everyone. YOU turned it around into something racist, as Cam stated. What does that say about you?

  • Zack

    Such a sad thing. Like to hear Las Vegas on queerty but not terrible news like this. Maybe ill actually go into the bar to pay my respects. As I pass by it on a weekly basis.

  • Shawneeboy

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: First off: Who said the “ugly” 50 year old was “surprised” that the “cute hot” 26 year old took advantage of him? Secondly: He is NOT “old, ugly” at all. He’s quite nice looking for 50, nice looking for any age, and if “old” and “ugly” always go together in your mind, you are going to be old and ugly before you know it! Age happens to us all… even YOU… in fact, it’s happening right NOW!

    Nasty nasty nasty!

  • Shawneeboy

    The 50 year old is not at all “ugly”, and 50 might be old in YOUR book, but you should hope you look as good as he did when you are 50. Hopefully you will have deepened you ideas about age and looks by then too.

    And who said he was “surprised” at being taken advantage of? Only YOU, in your own head.

  • TN

    @Cal: What makes you jump to the Kauffman snapping out of Jewish guilt over being gay? That’s a very odd thing to comment on, especially since you’re equating what happened to you as possibly being something that would rationalize Kauffman’s decision to travel cross-country and murder his ex. If you were in a similar situation, are you then saying that rationale would be your defense? Do most gay individuals from Orthodox Jewish backgrounds usually resort to violence as a means of dealing with such conflict? Your comment is a wreckless one, wherein you’re incriminating an entire group of people based solely on your experience and nothing else.

    As far as I know, and from what this and other articles report, Kauffman’s motivation wasn’t religion or guilt over his sexuality at all; he claims Wells took advantage of him. You might even be surprised to know that Kauffman is an owner of a gay bar in Knoxville called Club XYZ, where he actually employed Wells. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known of someone suffering from guilt over their sexuality opening up an establishment that actually celebrates it. This crime was personally motivated by reasons not yet clarified.

  • James

    Shannon DON’T SPEAK OF THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT! Phil (the younger one was NOT a prostitute nor has his age been reported correctly, it may surprise you to know he is actually older than has been mistakenly reported) Phil was a friend of mine. How dare you or pocket otter state the things you have. You both have played to the normal stereo types all based on you thinking you have some knoweledge about this case. YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE TO WHAT HAS REALLY HAPPENED TO EITHER ONE OF THESE MEN. WHO WERE BOTH FRIENDS OF MINE! Get the facts in the future before you go labeling people. It is a damn disgrace SHANNON that you label a dead man as a prostitute rather than let friends and family mourn his loss. I just can’t seem to understand what makes someone become such a stupid lowlife dumb fuck to think that someone is a prostitute without any proof. SHANNON ROT IN HELL YOU IGNORANT FUCK HEAD!
    @shannon: @shannon:

  • Allen D.

    @James: Props to you for being able to figure out “shannon”‘s post. I couldn’t.

  • James

    Thanks Allen D. Perhaps I went a lil overboard with my choice of language. But Shannons comment was uncalled for and totally out of line. Both of these men were friends of mine. I resent that Shannon would assume that his/her assumptions were correct on no information. Refering to Phil as a prostitiute was and is very offensive to myself and his many friends not to mention his family. I will never understand why people label others with no information about the people they are labeling.
    @Allen D.:

  • Albert P

    James…Thanks for setting those people straight. I am actually good friends with Phil while he lived in Vegas. Anyone that knew Phil, knows that there is no way Phil was anything but a decent human being. No one will really know the reasoning behind the murder. We only know what we are told and for the ones that knew them both, you can add what they see to that. I know what Phil told me and unfortunately it turned out to be true. I will be there at the court at every hearing and you can bet your life on it that he will NEVER forget what he did to Phil, plus the family and friends that love him so much.

  • James

    I always knew and felt that there was a extreme possibilty of a fatal attraction at work in this relationship. I just am baffled that Tracy resorted to this. I was praying that he would of moved on with his life and left Phil alone. Please please keep me informed of all and any information you get about court dates, court proceeding etc. I have subscribed to this, so if you post anything here I will get a email telling me. Would give you my contact info but don’t want it up for everyone to see.
    @Albert P:

  • Albert P

    @James: If you look up Remembering Phil Wells on Facebook you will be able to find me there. I am the only Albert on there (as of now).

  • Sandy Kaplan

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:
    For anyone’s information Phil Wells was 36. He tried to get away from Tracey Kauffman for 5 years and he would never take advatnage of ANYONE.He movbed from Knoxville TN to Las Vegas to be rid of him. I am his mother and I know the entire story.

  • Sandy Kaplan

    Thank you so much James and Thomas. Again Phil was not a prostitute. He didn’t love Tracey who was his boss. He tried to be friendly to keep his job. When that was no longer possible he moved to Las Vegas to be rid of him. Tracey offered to buy him a home and Phil said NO!!! Tracey offered him many gifts and Phil said no!!! I was his mother and I know everything. To say that Phil took advantage of Tracey was a statement from Tracey to “justify” the killing. Anyone who knew Phil knew what a kind, loving and generous soul he was. Shame on ANYONE who says one unkind word about my son.

  • james

    Sandy. I am so sorry that in your time of loss you have to read such ignorant statements from so many idiots. Phil was a wonderful person and a wonderful friend. He is greatly missed. Are you on facebook? There is a remembering Phil Wells page, I for some reason can not find it though.

  • Henry

    Sandy, I would decline sharing my Facebook page with anyone on this site. It’s not a good idea to trust strangers, especially not on the internet, where you can’t see them, hear them, or smell them, and I suppose there could even be anti-gay psychopaths (like Charles Rozier) who would like to harass you on your profile.

  • James

    @Henry: Henry no one is asking Sandy to give out her information. Just inquiring about wether she has facebook so that she could check out the remembrance page if she wanted to.

  • o

    @Henry: I’m not sure about that. I can smell Charles Rozier’s psychopathic stink from here.

  • Sandy

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: PHil was 36 and Tracey was his boss. Phil never took advantage of anyone. He refused a house and lots of other stuff. How dare you comment on a persons integrity when you don’t know the facts…I was his mother and I know the truth.

  • walter

    @James: phil was much older than 26, i have known him for about ten years and he was a very humble loving person. he liked to party and have fun meeting new people. i cant say he was a saint , we all fall short of the glory of god. phil didnt deserve what happened to him. he was not a gold digger . he may have been a little on the easy side but he would make that clear up front. he had a strong work ethic and i remember helping him out while he was down from back surgery. ive been in his home many times and it was a very humble home. when he moved to knoxville he was driving a twenty year old car and he worked himself to death at the club XYZ. Phil never made a enemy and had a good heart. i just found out about his death being that i moved to abingdon, va and lost contacts with knoxville friends. im sure he’s in gods arms now and the hardships he had in this life are now over. it’s sad to loose life at such a early age. i can speak from experiance being that i almost died four times in 2011 and by gods saving grace im still here.

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