Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Friend's Betrayal: The Murder of Tammy Epperson

A Violent Struggle

Detective Emmett Badar
Detective Emmett Badar

Badar, Barr and several crime scene investigators were standing inside apartment A-125. To say the place had been ransacked was an understatement. Chairs, lamps, statues, and vases had been smashed into bits and the rubble was strewn about the apartment. Tammy's meager belongings were thrown on the bed and around the floor, as if the killer had been looking for something. Tammy's body lay on the ground by her bed, nude from the waist down, her face covered in dried blood. The living area was only about 10-by-12 feet, so there wasn't anywhere she could have run.

Detective Larry Barr
Detective Larry Barr

"What struck me when I entered the room was the amount of blood splatter all over the walls, everywhere you can imagine. On the television, the dresser, on the bed, on the mirrors, on the ceiling," Barr said later. "Clearly when you have that type of blood splatter, that indicates the individual was striking the victim so hard." In fact, Tammy's head was slammed against the wall so hard that you could see the bloody imprint of her hair.

Looking at the scene, Barr thought: "How could no one have reported this earlier? It was obvious that it didn't just happen in minutes. It took awhile for this murder to occur."

In fact, no one did call police. If anyone heard what was going on, they just ignored it. Tammy had probably been dead about a day before her body was discovered. The only reason police were there was that a friend of Tammy's wanted someone to check on her because he heard third-hand that she had been murdered.

Barr gazed at Tammy, whose once pretty face was now a ghastly sight. An eye had been gouged out; her throat had been slit with pieces of glass. She had been stabbed three times in the face, probably with the screwdriver that was found under her shoulder.

"Someone was really angry at this individual and didn't want anyone to see how she looked, didn't want anyone to see her face," Barr thought. "Someone was so angry with her facial beauty and her looks that they wanted to just destroy her."

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