Skip to content

Death at Delta Sig: Heiress Wages a Million-Dollar War on Frats

A grieving mother fights for a new investigation into what happened to her son.

Deborah Tipton at her home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Deborah Tipton at her home in Memphis, Tennessee.Photographer: Houston Cofield/Bloomberg

It’s almost midnight when Deborah Tipton settles down to study the evidence once again. In her grand Memphis home, the scene of elegant dinner parties and fundraisers, police reports and private investigators’ notes cover an antique dining table. As if searching for a clue from beyond the grave, she pores over the most painful pages, the ones containing text messages from her dead son.

“Getting hazed bad now and need Xanax. I didn’t even sleep last night and was shaking.”