Unsolved: The Murder of Terri 'Missy' Bevers (TX, USA)
On April 18th, 2016, Terri 'Missy' Bevers, a 45 year old fitness instructor and mother of three, was murdered inside Creekside Church of Christ of Midlothian, Texas, while preparing for a fitness class, known as Camp Gladiator, that she was scheduled to teach.
With class due to begin at 5AM that morning, participants of the class would instead encounter Missy's body, at which point authorities were alerted and a murder investigation soon followed. During the period of this investigation, surveillance footage from inside the Church during the time period shortly before Missy's murder showed a suspect dressed in Tactical Police uniform, including a helmet obscuring their face, exploring the inside of the Church whilst wielding a hammer.
A Police search warrant would later describe the suspect as wearing, “a black helmet, black balaclava, dark pants, dark long sleeve shirt, black gloves, and a black vest with Police in white lettering on the front and back".
Missy's cause of death was later determined as due to multiple puncture wounds found on her head and chest, wounds Police would later suggest were consistent with the hammer the suspect was seen wielding in the surveillance footage. With the surveillance footage, Police were able to construct a timeline which places Missy's attack as having occurred at approximately 4:20AM or very shortly afterward, and certainly before the 5AM fitness class that Missy was scheduled to teach.
It has also been suggested that the suspect seen in the surveillance footage has a particularly distinctive walking gait as they are exploring the inside of the Church. With the disguise, the suspect has not only managed to obscure their identity, but also their gender, and any real distinguishing physical attribute besides their mannerisms while they are exploring, though Police estimate the suspect is between 5'2" and 5'7" tall.
In later studies of Missy's personal life leading up to her murder, Missy appeared to be dealing with some financial difficulties, and there appeared to be evidence of strain on her marriage with husband Brandon Bevers, with allegations of Missy being unfaithful. Brandon Bevers later stated he believed the suspect was a woman, and was known to his wife, saying to People Magazine, "I think it was a woman. I still think whoever this person was knew my wife and had a motive."
Mr Bevers also suggested that the suspect had attempted to stage a robbery through their vandalism of the Church interior, but dismissed robbery as the primary motive, suggesting, "If that person was really there to commit a robbery, why did they kill my wife and leave her wedding ring on her finger?"
Missy's father-in-law, Randy Bevers, emerged shortly after the murder as a potential suspect, after it was revealed he had brought a blood-stained women's white long-sleeve shirt, size XXL, to a Midlothian Dry Cleaners. It was also speculated that Randy Bevers' walking gait was similar to that of the suspect from surveillance footage.
Randy Bevers claimed that the blood on the shirt was animal blood, and this was later confirmed. Indeed, Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson of the Midlothian Police Department was later quoted as saying, "At this point, none of her family, friends or coworkers are suspects."
Almost two years later, the latest significant development to Missy's case has been the appointment of a new lead detective, with veteran Detective Andy Vaughn taking the helm.
To date, the case of Terri 'Missy' Bevers remains unsolved.
SPECULATION AND THEORY:
Public thought seems divided on whether the suspect knew, and specifically targeted, Missy Bevers, with some individuals still insistent on Randy Bevers being a viable suspect despite him having been, seemingly, cleared by law enforcement.
However, my personal belief is that the suspect did not, in fact, specifically target Missy Bevers. Further, I wonder if the murder was an opportunistic and/or panicked act, and that the suspect's original intention was mere vandalism. Indeed, I watch the surveillance footage and am immediately struck by how similar their mannerisms and actions seem to individuals exploring abandoned buildings, or any environment in which they suspect they should not be, but which they are curious to explore.
The suspect does not appear rushed, or even concerned with the amount of noise they are making. With that being said, if the suspect's only intention of being in the Church was to murder Missy Bevers, why would they risk creating enough noise to spook her?
Another theory I have on this case is the possibility of the suspect being a teenager. This could account for their height, and potentially also for their walking gait. With the heaviness and bagginess of their disguise, the distinctive walk could simply be because the disguise was so big on the person wearing it. Similarly, their actions are juvenile and reckless in a manner that might fit a juvenile offender, and the murder of Missy Bevers may have been an act of panic. Given that Bevers was a fitness instructor, and appeared strong and capable of defending herself, it may have been a case of the suspect being spooked and acting out of fear.
I would wonder if Police have attempted to determine if anyone had expressed any disdain for Creekside Church, specifically, on Social Media or in conversation, and have looked at individuals with prior arrests for vandalism or trespassing. If not, should they?
If you have any tips or information, you are encouraged to contact the Midlothian, Texas Police Department directly.