Richard Hightower lived in Minneapolis, MN and had one young son, Justin Hightower. Richard had health problems and, without a bone marrow transplant, was looking at a grim prognosis.
Adam Newman was in trouble with the law and needed to fake his death. Adam's donated bone marrow was a positive match for Richard. Adam met with Richard in a diner after he got back from visiting Kansas. Richard entered the roadside burger joint and approached Adam. Hightower said it was great to finally meet in person and shook Adam’s hand. Richard thanked him and asked Adam why he chose Richard to receive the bone marrow. Adam was going to go to another location with him until Richard's son showed up, hugged Adam and said thank you. Adam suddenly remembers a business meeting he forgot and excuses himself, vowing to reschedule their meeting.
Adam used his gift of life to get Richard to show up at Genoa City's annual policeman's benefit masquerade ball at the Genoa City Athletic Club dressed in the exact same costume as him. Adam was going to then kill Richard in the basement of the club and set it on fire. Richard's remains would be unidentifiable except by his bone marrow which would make it look like Adam died in the fire. Someone did kill Richard with a pen stabbed into his heart and his remains were identified as Adam's. Owen approached and said he was filing new charges against Nicholas Newman for killing Richard.
Trial, Rebirth and CaptureEdit
At Nick's trial, Nick took the stand and Michael Baldwin questioned him. Nick testified that he hadn't wanted Adam dead, and that he hadn't accidentally killed Richard. Nick said that no matter how angry he got, he would never take someone's life. Phyllis Newman stated to District Attorney Owen Pomerantz that Nick used the pen to sign her cast before Richard was murdered. Owen asked Phyllis if her husband had the pen before Hightower's murder and if she ever saw it again. Phyllis stammered and responded that she had not. Phyllis admitted that after Nick went to the basement, she saw Richard, who was similar in height and build to Adam, wearing a black cape and a gold-and-black mask. Owen asked Phyllis if she later learned that Adam had worn the same costume. Phyllis stated that she had. Owen pointed out that Nick had seen Adam in a black cape-and-mask costume, but he hadn't seen Hightower, so Nick had no idea that Adam had a doppelganger at the party.
Paul Williams learned that Adam donated bone marrow. Phyllis found a missing person poster of Richard and recognized him from the ball. Sharon Newman and Phyllis investigated Adam's connection to Richard. Phyllis and Nick realized Hightower's body might be buried in Adam's grave. Paul brought Richard's sister-in-law Sally Hightower to meet with Victor and Nick at the GCAC. Sally, who also brought her nephew Justin, worried why the boy's father was missing. Justin said that Adam saved his dad's life which surprised everyone, including Sally. She knew Richard was hospitalized in February but not why. Paul surmised, "Maybe Adam tried to help with the medical costs or paid for the treatment or whatever it was." Everyone was confused as to why Richard, a nice guy who had never been in trouble before, would kill Adam. "We're missing something," Nick deduced. Phyllis and Sharon found out that Richard had bought a teddy bear (presumably for Richard's son) on the night Adam died. Phyllis wondered why a man who was supposedly about to commit a crime, would buy a toy.
Hightower's son and sister-in-law were enlisted in the investigation into Adam's connection to the missing Richard. Victor Newman, Phyllis, Sharon and Nick learned from Paul that Adam donated bone marrow for Richard, which meant that the man found dead in the basement was Richard with Adam's DNA. Sharon and Adam met for the first time since Adam's faked death. Adam claimed he had nothing to do with the death of Richard or the explosion at the GCAC. Adam alluded to meeting with Richard when he said that he was about to do something terrible. Adam told Sharon that he didn't kill Richard.
Adam was eventually captured in Brazil once it was realized that Richard died in the fire. On the private jet returning from Brazil, Victor told Sharon and Adam that when they landed in Genoa City, a car would drive them directly to the courthouse so that Adam could tell the truth and confess to the murder of Richard. Adam said that he would be committing perjury if he admitted to the murder. Victor stared at him and said that Michael had enough evidence to prove that Adam was guilty of the murder. Adam approached the witness stand and was sworn in. Michael, referring to Adam as "Mr. Wilson," asked him when he had first met with Richard. Adam said that he didn't remember -- and told Michael that he was legally reclaiming his birth name -- Victor Adam Newman, Jr. Michael told the jury that "Mr. Newman" had donated bone marrow to Richard, because Adam knew that his DNA would be found when Hightower's remains were examined.
Adam faked mental illness and was sent to the mental hospital which is also where Patty Williams was living. Michael, Victor and Owen met at Indigo. Victor told Pomerantz that Adam had faked his own death, that Adam had only acted insane at Nick's trial and that Adam had killed Richard. Victor wondered why Pomerantz was still going after Nick. Michael asked Pomerantz if he would reconsider granting Nick bail. Pomerantz refused. Victor asked what it would take to get Nick out of jail. Pomerantz responded, "Proof that someone else killed Richard Hightower." Back in Adam's room, Victor told his son to stop the nonsense," that not even his doctor believed him. Victor accused Adam of killing Richard. Adam finally spoke and told Victor that he didn't do it -- that Victor would find out the truth soon enough. When Adam turned toward Victor, Victor could see that Adam had a laceration on his head from banging it against the wall.
Adam snuck into Patty's room and convinced her that she killed Richard. Adam taunted her to such an extreme that she confessed to Richard's murder. She had vivid memories of the night and remembered specific details on how she stabbed Richard. Nick questioned Patty about her involvement with Richard. Paul rushed over to the Abbott mansion with Victor not far behind. They explained how Patty confessed to Richard’s murder, how they’d like Dr. Emily Peterson to talk to Patty and try to find out if Adam coerced her into confessing to a crime he actually committed.
In court, Paul told the judge that his sister was a) mentally unfit to be confessing to anything, let alone murder and b) she was too short to have driven the pen into Richard’s chest from the angle in which he was stabbed. On July 26, 2010, with the help of her diary, Patty realized she didn't kill Richard, however, Adam snuck into the mental institution to once again mess with Patty's mind. He made her believe she did kill Richard Hightower and switched notes in her diary while Patty was asleep. When Patty awoke, Adam convinced her he was the ghost of Richard and that he looked like Adam because that was who she meant to kill the night of the ball. Adam led her out of the mental institution through the vents, sent her off to Canada to become a nun and convinced her to never return to town.
The Real KillerEdit
Adam was later brought up on charges of murdering Richard. During his araignment, Owen said that the death of Hightower was reason enough for the case to go to trial. Adam's lawyer, Vance Abrams, responded that he agreed with the D.A. Hightower deserved justice, but Vance said that would not happen with Adam on trial. Vance declared that there was no evidence against Adam, only prejudicial testimony. Vance Abrams said that Adam was the victim.
- Justin Hightower (son)