It is a worn out statement that goes along the lines of ‘this is an active investigation and we continue to follow up leads. Out there someone has the key to crack this case. We will not close this investigation until the offender is behind bars’. There are variations of course, but across the English speaking world I see similar said by police departments in relation to cases that are going nowhere fast. Such seems to be the case of Terri Bevers.
Mrs Bevers,45, was a hardcore fitness instructor. Her classes were of the Boot Camp variety. On the night of the 17th April 2016 the rain was hard over Midlothian, Texas. The weather was so ferocious that many of those who attended her class contacted her to ask if it was still on.
IF IT RAINS, WE STILL TRAIN came the reply. The next session was scheduled for 5 am the next day. If nothing else the time is insane in itself at least to an occasional binge fitness person like me. The venue was the Creekside Church of Christ near the airport. It is a modern building which has a big car park and a swift turn off from the highway.
Mrs Bevers ( known as Missy) arrived about 40 minutes before the class was to start. She is seen on interior CCTV in the building. Also seen is a figure dressed as a cop who approaches her and beats her to death.
The first of her class arrived just before 5 am and they found Mrs Bevers collapsed. They called emergency services and after thinking she might have fallen and injured her head realised this was a case of murder.
So far 3000 leads have been followed up and a retired FBI agent has been employed just to keep the case totally active. CCTV footage shows that half an hour before Mrs Bevers arrived a person dressed as a cop in full tactical gear broke into the church. They are seen walking the halls and forcing open doors. On occasions they break glass panels for no disenable reason. In the full gear the figure is believed to be about 5ft 8 inches tall. They seem slouched, possibly limping and their right foot in particular points out as they walk.
Initially the cops thought it was a male figure for sure but I notice they are now leaving it open to the possibility the attacker is female. Mrs Bevers husband and family have been cleared of involvement.
There were some ideas. There was an ex cop that had a dubious past including allegations of sexual assault but he is said to have been too tall. Mrs Bevers father-in-law had a bloody shirt that he had dropped into the dry cleaners. He said it was from a dog that had been fighting another dog. It turned out that was true.
Mrs Bevers had nothing striking in her personal life. She had three kids she was devoted to and was popular in the community. There is the video, what more could be needed? Well as you can see the video is of a figure in full gear. That stuff is bulky, I used to wear similar. It distorts your build and height and frankly even your gender.
A vehicle was seen cruising with lights out around the area in the small hours of the morning. It is a Nissan Altima or rather a Nissan Altima type of car. Also there was a dark coloured SUV. Neither vehicle has been traced.
The injuries were puncture like and concentrated on Mrs Bevers’ head and chest. Nothing was stolen and the damage to the church seemed to have no purpose. Strikingly the manner of the offender seems casual to me. The police are not even sure if the gear the offender wore is real police issue or a mock up of it.
I have left this unaltered from my original take on the case. I believe I was wrong in what I say below. I’m going to use it as a lesson. In later months it turned out that the cops had eliminated many of those who were close to the victim. However, the way they had eliminated them was hardly fool proof. This is not a criticism of the cops. I think it is a case of they cannot, at this point, prove what they probably know. So by all means read what I originally thought was a likely take on the case. At the end is a more logical explanation.
First I have to say it is all highly unusual isn’t it? Who has access to SWAT type gear but that same SWAT type gear would not raise suspicions if seen in a closet? Cops I guess. Then again when I was in the police we didn’t take that stuff home. If that is the same in the USA then we are back to a none police offender dressing as a cop.
If that is the case I suggest they live alone otherwise that gear would freak most households out would it not? The walk should have had this person identified in a moment. The problem is it is acknowledged that some of the strange gait, the limp, may have been temporary. Also the USA is a big place. Sadly there are a lot of murders. With Dallas and Fort Worth a straight shot up the highway system ( only 20 and 25 miles distant) there is a large population for an offender to hide in.
The SWAT type gear could add an inch or so on the heel and an inch or two to the head. If the estimate is 5ft 8 inches in the gear the offender could be anything from 5ft 4 inch to 5ft 6 inch. The outfit, with the armoured vest, might put a lot of weight on the image. What looks like a male or female who is plump might be a male or female that is slightly over weight. Also when you are in that full outfit you do tend to move differently. Not to that full extent I grant you, but the pads and the helmet do alter how you move.
I suggest the strange gait is a combination of the clothing and an unfamiliarity with the gear and an otherwise minor natural peculiarity in the way they walk. That might explain why without the costume and in familiar clothes no-one who knows the offender would connect them with the video.
The way the figure moves reminds me of a person I had the bad fortune to meet once. They were ungainly and over weight. They were not naturals with tools and prone to buying that sort of gear. They were a stalker, driven by their own demons and destructive like you would not believe. I could see them doing just this including the nonsensical wandering. They were snoops on social media which was a hub of Mrs Bevers fitness activities.
Apparently the venue had been changed to the church but it does not appear to have been a sudden change. The type of person I knew would have been on any new information like a shot. Yeah that could well have been the case. If not a stalker then what about a hit?
There are rumours about some aspects of Mrs Bevers contacts that could have led that way. I’m not repeating them as there is nothing confirmed. Rumours happen especially when they are about a slim and attractive person like the victim. However, who would arrange a hit? The cops have been all over it and there is nothing public. Also if it was a hit, this person, the offender is a dunce.
They wander around in front of cameras. Potentially they drive all over the area in a car with the lights out. Even their movements are hardly predator like. The information I have is that Mrs Bevers was attacked with a hammer. Yet there is mention of puncture wounds so I am wondering if the pry bar we see used was the weapon. They often have two prongs and that would fit. If the person was a hit man? Even for an amateur used to violence that is an unwieldly weapon. The hammer would have been better but better yet something else.
I would go for the offender being an inadequate male or female who had some contact with Mrs Bevers somehow. It is possible they had only had contact on social media to do with her ‘Gladiator Camp’ classes. Someone of the type I knew. A less than worldly wise person who bumbled through this and is free because of dumb luck that they really don’t deserve. Isn’t that the way of things though? What do you think. An intriguing, compelling case and yet I do remember with sadness the loss to her family. Also the outrageous callousness of it all.
Update: I look at these cases every now and again in case there has been progress. I came upon the below on YouTube. The film is very interesting and has made me revaluate much of the above. Have a look at it. What I took as unfamiliarity with the tools when prying a door could have been age and being unfit.
If you know anything contact Midlothian police at 972-775-7634 or Crime Stoppers at 972-937-7297.