Case Files: Amber Hilberling

Updated: Apr 29

  • Joshua Blaine Hilberling was a thick, muscular, athletic 6' 4" 225lbs. He played football in high school and was somewhat of a jock his entire life. He was 23 at the time of the incident.

  • Amber Michelle Fields was 5' 5" 125 lbs (before pregnancy) and somewhat petit. She was 19 at the time. DOB 10/01/91

  • Amber was described as soft spoken and polite, calm and collected person. She was a straight A student in High school and had planned to go to college soon.

  • Amber's parents divorced when she was 12. It wasn't pretty, abuse was to blame and protective orders were filed. Her relationship with her parents were strained. At one point, when she was 17, she ran away and lived with a friend in Texas for a while. Not long after returning and moving back in with her mother, she met Josh.

  • Amber came from a broken home where she watched her mother be abused by her father. Amber came from a medical step family. Bryan Whitlock, her step father whom married her mother when she was 13, grew up in Tulsa, in a medical family. His father, Boyd Whitlock, MD was a physician, while his mother was a Registered Nurse. Amber's mother was a Nurse as well.

  • Josh's mother admits he also came from a broken home where he learned abuse from his father.

  • They met at a party in downtown Tulsa and started dating April 2010. Josh was 21 and Amber 18 at the time.

  • They were inseparable at first. Neither of them showed any flaws. Things were new and fresh.

  • Josh left for basic training in San Antonio, Texas at Lackland Air Force Base not long after on May 10th, 2010. She wrote to him everyday. She came down for his graduation ceremony, but then left for Wichita Falls, Texas for a month to attend the Air Force's Civil engineering school for a month.

  • On his weekends off, he would head back to Tulsa to be with Amber, but he would be stationed in Alaska soon, and they had to make some choices. She couldn't be with him in Alaska unless they were married. He'd have only an 8 week leave before heading to Alaska.

  • It was during this leave that Josh began to exhibit ungentlemanly behavior. He would get texts at all hours and leave for several, not telling Amber where he would be off to. He finally confessed that he was selling Roxies (Roxicodone) to make some quick cash for Alaska, but was only temporary and promised it would stop soon. This is were the arguing started. He was also using OxyContin and Amber would tell him he would need to be clean when duty started. He promised he would.

  • He had confessed to Amber that he started taking Oxy when he was 19.

  • Amber wasn't concerned, and thought that he would stick to his word and kick the habit when he got to Alaska.

  • Josh and Amber decided to live together. Josh moved in with her and her mother, but that only lasted 2 weeks. They then both moved in with his stepbrother Scott. This is when things got worse with Josh's drug use. Amber says he was using every day by that time and they would fight about it.

  • He began denying taking them, even when he was "clearly high." She said, "I could taste it in my mouth when we kissed. His personality would totally change. He'd turn into a complete jerk. He couldn't ejaculate."

  • It was during this time that Josh started getting physical with Amber for the first time. She convinced herself that it was just the drugs and that when he was clean, it would stop. (examples pg 51)

  • They married

  • Mid Oct 2010, they moved to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, just southeast of Fairbanks. Their housing wasn't yet fully finished and they were put up in a hotel for a month. She had no phone, no car, no money, and wanted to get a job just to get out of the hotel and socialize while Josh was at work, but Josh didn't want her working.

  • Amber says they during the first week of their stay, Josh was deathly ill, all signs of withdrawal.

  • Josh began getting more physical more often and controlling as well. They started marriage counseling. Things improved a couple months into the new house.

  • Things went downhill when Josh refused to give Amber any money for household items of groceries and would "keep his paychecks hidden" from her. She wasn't even allowed to buy heavier clothes for Alaska.

  • Amber finds a package in the mail from Tulsa. When she opened it, she found 75 Oxy pills inside. She confronted Josh and he admitted a friend had sent them to him and he was using his paycheck to buy drugs. He admitted to spending $200 on a K2 kit so he could start manufacturing and selling there in Alaska. She said that he took all of the Oxy within one week.

  • In December 2010, Amber told Josh they were pregnant. She hoped it would light a fire and keep him from using. It did not.

  • Josh told him stepmom and dad of the baby. (her response on pg 56 & 134) Amber heard her say that the baby was probably not even his over speakerphone.

  • Josh began using more drugs: Oxys, Roxies, weed, K2, alcohol...and became more violent. (all instances on pg 59-62) There were neighbor witnesses and the police reports started stacking up.

  • On New Year's Eve, a neighbor saw Josh smoking K2 and reported him to the Air Force Police. Amber and Josh fought and soon the police arrived. They found the kit, the recipe for the kit, and drugs.

On Jan 2nd 2011, another neighbor called the police for abuse. Josh was arrested. The police were called again on Jan 31st, March 14th, and March 23rd. (what happened on pg 63-66) The last incident actually burst a breast implant and she had to head back to Tulsa to get it repaired. Parents flew her home. She was covered in bruises. Her mom told her "this isn't right" and she said "well, dad did it to you..."

  • Coworkers note on several occasions of how sexist Josh was. (pg67) He was eventually moved to a different department where no women worked.

  • With drug abuse and domestic violence charges piling up, the Air Force couldn't handle it any more. On May 6th, 2011, he was officially discharge for "MISCONDUCT: DRUG ABUSE"

  • The same day they returned to Tulsa, Josh began hanging with friends at all hours of the night, partying and doing drugs with them. He wouldn't tell Amber where he was or what he was doing and barley answered when she would call or text from worry.

  • May 19th, Josh filed a protective order against Amber.

  • During the month of June, 2011, the two had a home being built that wasn't ready and were staying with Amber's parents until such. Rhonda, Amber's mother, caught Josh using and kicked him out. Amber decided to leave with him. That's when her mother told her they could stay at their alternate apartment.

  • The apartment they lived in was actually Amber's parents spare apartment in the University Club Tower in which they used for "patient overflow for out of town guests"

The University Club Tower is a unique 32 story, 377 ft tall, cylindrical tower built in 1966. It was the first major building in the United States designed with the use of computerization of the structural calculations. The concern of the structural engineers was to be sure the building was strong enough to prevent swaying in the wind. The building, including its glass-and-panel curtainwall façade was 46 years old when The Hilberlings moved in. *see window expert webpage for more!*

Leading up to the incident:

Just 3 days before the incident, Saturday Morning, June 4th, 2011

Amber: Who is paying for Tennessee again?

Josh: I am.

Amber: LOL! How are you gonna do that?

Josh: I will just be able to.

Amber: Okay. Buy me a crib and then you can go.

Josh: Ok it will have to be after I get back.

Amber: No. Before.

Josh: Can't say.

Amber: Then you can't go. Sorry.

Josh: I'm going.

Amber: Okay...

Josh: Why are you doing this shit to me? WTF did I do to you?

Amber: I'm not gonna discuss this while you're high. Enjoy yourself.

Later that day, the two had planned to go to Target to fill out their baby registry. Amber was at her grandmother's house all day, and was waiting on Josh to come get her in her mother's car, as he was out with friends. At around 6:30pm, she finally texted him.

Amber: I need to go to the apt. You have they key.

Josh: Gotta take Brandon home.

Amber: Just bring me the car and I'll leave you alone.

Josh: In a little

Amber: I'm gonna call my mom and she won't be easy to deal with.

Josh: HAHA your going to call your mom? Go ahead! I'll bring you the car and be gone.

Amber: Just bring me the car and do what you want.

Josh: Ha! Can't believe you're going to call your mom on me!

Amber: That's only if you refuse to bring me the car.

Josh: Haha! Oh mommy get me your car back!

Amber: You don't have to be mean

Josh: You stop acting like a brat and I'll stop being mean.

Amber: You'll never stop being mean...

He brought the car to her and then left promptly again with friends making no exchanges with her when he did so. Later that night, around 1 am, he starts texting her and has a complete change of personality. (pg 26) In those texts, he's a sweet devoted husband who star gazes and thinks of his beautiful wife. Amber changed the script really quickly knowing her husband's games. She asks him if he's done partying and if that's why he's texting, that he always plays nice after, especially when his friends tell him he can't stay the night and he needs a place to sleep. Amber had told him not to come home previously and to stay with his friends, but here he was asking her to come pick him up and "take him home with her." She tells that her mind won't change about him (she'll still be angry with him) if she comes to get him, especially if he's high and she won't be doing any talking with him that night. She does get out of bed and go get him and they go home to the apt. When they get there, she makes her way to bed and Josh stays up ignoring her playing video games. She actually texted him at 3am from the bedroom: "Will you turn that down, please?" He slept on the couch that night.

The next day, the tension is still thick between them and Amber tells Josh she will be leaving for a few days to stay with her grandmother, Gloria, to "clear her head." Staying with Gloria wasn't new to Amber, as she did it quit often. Mostly when Josh would be out partying with friends and wouldn't come home at a decent hour, she would be afraid to stay in the apt alone at night, and drive over to her grandmother's house. At around 1:30pm, Amber texted Josh: "While I'm gone it would be helpful if you would do some really long, hard thinking about what you want from here on out. Not only with us and Levi, but everything in your life. I'll do the same today, and we'll talk when I get home, okay?" Josh never responded.

Later that night, Josh convinced Amber to come get him and take him to a BBQ with friends. When she showed up, he wasn't there. He had already had another friend come pick him up and didn't tell Amber. She texted him- "I'm crying like a fucking idiot. I used the very last of the gas to come get you. I'm so so so stupid." She continues-

Amber: I'm more upset now than ever before because I'm trying to make someone love me and care for me the way I do for them and it's just a huge failure and making me stressed and sick and miserable. I can't take you lack of compassion and concern for me anymore. You're not trying the slightest bit! Like at all! You had weed on you too! How could you do that at a time like this?! What is wrong with you to make you think that is appropriate? You're horrible! I want a divorce.

Josh: Well this sucks. (pg 30)

Amber: It looks like my only option left is leaving you...(she goes on to say) I don't want you coming here anymore (their apt). This is not your home, you're just staying here.

Josh: I wanna have a home with you. I'm sorry I been such a shit. I'm done. I always try to spend time with my friends when I should spend it with you. ... I wanna be with you and only you. I love you always when you're with me! I won't lose that!

Amber: Are you drunk or something?

Josh: Nope, that's how I feel! I have thought about it a lot and the way I've been and how you don't deserve that and I know I can be so much of a better man!

Amber: Sorry, but I can't believe you...

Josh stayed out with friends again that night and the night after.

Monday, June 6th. Amber called Gloria crying. She then told her and her uncle that she was going to file for divorce and move back in with her mother. That night, Josh came home after midnight. He and Amber did not hardly acknowledge each other and both went to bed.

The morning of the incident, June 7th, 2011: both of them woke up and had breakfast around 1pm. Josh was preparing to leave the apartment. He had some things packed already into a green duffle bag. He was actually waiting on friends to come pick him up that day as he had no vehicle of his own. The one the two of them were using was Amber's mother's. He had called his father to pick him up, but his father declined saying he couldn't get away from work. While he finished packing, Gloria called Amber concerned about the events of the previous day. Amber told her that she would be over to the house soon because she wanted to stay out of Josh's way while he finished packing. She also told Gloria that she would be bringing laundry to do as they didn't have a washer and dryer in the apt and she often did laundry at her grandmother's house. At this time, Amber was 7 1\2 months pregnant.

The PO Josh Filed against Amber lay in open view in the apt the day of the fall.

Josh's packed bag.

As Josh waiting for his friends to pick him up, Amber decided it was a good time to talk about the split up a final time before they separated for good. She started sorting laundry and brought up the divorce. She told Josh she needed his apt key to give back to her mother and that he needed to find a new pace to stay when he returned from his concert trip. He agreed. They continued to talk and the conversation again turned to Josh's partying and drug use. Josh claimed the trip wasn't a "buddy trip" but to sell pills and come back with money for them and the baby. Amber wanted Josh to get an actual job and stop selling. Josh became more "mean and hostile" at that time, according to Amber.

She got ready to leave for her Gloria's house. She had her sunglasses on top of her head, her purse and keys nearby. She went to pick up her clothes she was taking and started taking Josh's clothes out of the basket. That's when Josh blew up. He asked her what she was doing. She told him that she wasn't doing his laundry anymore and he freaked out. He picked up the basket, dumped her clothes and threw the basket across the room hitting the bedroom patio window that overlooked the balcony, breaking it. He then stormed out of the room.

Amber called the downstairs office and told them they had a broken window and began to vacuum up the glass and then out to the balcony and swept that glass up as well. The office had told her that they already had a glass repairman in the building and that when he was done, they would send him right over to board up theirs and measure it for replacement.

When she came back in, the argument picked up again, this time about the window and how angry her mother would be, and how childish he was acting. Amber secluded herself in the bathroom and began crying so hard that she threw up. Josh came in wanting to talk more. He said he wanted to work things out, but right now he agreed they needed a break. Josh was in the bathroom with her for about 2 minutes. Then the talk escalated to fight again. Josh left the bathroom and texted his friends again to hurry and pick him up.

A few minutes later, the window repair man - Armando Rosales - was at the door. He took a look at the damage. Josh asked him how much the repair would cost and Rosales quoted him $150. Rosales recalls, "he got very angry and asked his wife if her mother would be paying for it." The two made their was into the living room as Rosales finished up outside on the balcony. Rosales says they started fighting in the living room and he could hear them yelling at each other.

When Amber came out of the bathroom, Josh grabbed her the the shoulders. At this point they were in the middle of the living room. She pushed him backwards off of her. He went off balance backwards into the tv stand, catching his foot on it, then tripped on his own feet and couldn'