Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

A Friend's Betrayal: The Murder of Tammy Epperson

Putting the Pieces Together

Next to Tammy's body was a large heavy lamp that was shattered on one end and covered with blood. The broken pieces were also bloody, as if they were used as weapons as well.

"Whoever did this beat her and then beat her again," Raquel concluded. "And then after the pieces were too small to wield as a weapon, then he took another item, and then beat her with this item again till it broke into smaller pieces, then took the time to pick up another small item..."

Harry Klann DNA Technician Leader
Harry Klann DNA Technician Leader

The amount of blood on each item was significant because it told Raquel which was used first; the heaviest amount of blood would be the final weapon. First she was struck with a candlestick holder in the bathroom, then the ottoman, the vase and the lamp. Blood was also collected for a DNA test. An area of particular interest was the bathroom sink, where a bloody washcloth was left. A water bottle with a bloody fingerprint was also in the bathroom, as were bloody paper towels in the trashcan.

It appeared that Tammy was raped because her pants and underwear were rolled down and discarded on the floor. Blood was discovered on her thighs, on the inside of her pants and on the inside of her bra, meaning that she had already been beaten when the rape occurred. Her vaginal area would be swabbed for semen. 

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