Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who Murdered Terri Bevers?
By Robert A. Waters

It's been six months since an intruder broke into the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, Texas and murdered 45-year-old Terri “Missy” Bevers. No arrests have been made, and no clear motive has been established.

At 4:18 A.M. on April 18, 2016, Bevers arrived at the church to prepare for the boot camp-style workout class she had scheduled for five o'clock that morning. Little did the pretty blonde-haired wife and mother know that she wasn't the only person inside the church. Camera footage captured a frightening sequence just before Bevers was found dead.

For nearly a half-hour, an individual dressed in a fake police SWAT Team uniform wandered through the church, smashing windows with a hammer-like object. Video seemed to indicate the intruder may also have carried a screwdriver or ice-pick. Midlothian police announced that the unknown vandal stood between five-feet-two and five-feet-seven inches tall and seemed to have a burly build. Surveillance video showed that the trespasser walked with an unusual “duck-like” gait.

Asked whether the intruder was male or female, Midlothian Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said, “Man, I'd love to be able to answer that question.” In this age of Internet, social media, cell phones, and instantaneous news, many have speculated that the killer may have been a woman. Once police confirmed that Bevers had sent “flirtatious and familiar” messages on her cell phone to someone other than her husband, the blogs and crime websites exploded. Online bloggers focused almost exclusively on this alleged affair as a possible motive for the killing. But Chief Johnson recently told reporters that “the love-triangle thing is really not panning out so far.”

Johnson also indicated that all family members have been eliminated as suspects. Her husband, Brandon Bevers, was in Mississippi during the time the murder took place, but that didn't stop the armchair detectives from blaming him. One respondent to a news article on the case wrote: “Obviously she was killed by her father-in-law, with planning from her husband. This is clear as day; a domestic, family murder, in cold blood. 'Husband off on a fishing trip,' the oldest cover-up story in the book!”

The reason this correspondent included Missy's father-in-law, Randy Bevers, in on the murder plot seemed to be because he had taken a blood-stained shirt to the dry-cleaners. Randy informed reporters and police that his chihuahua dog had been killed in a fight with another dog, and that he got blood on his shirt taking his dog to the veternarian. Police later confirmed the story, but not before the online detectives had tried and convicted him of Missy's murder.

Other armchair crime devotees blamed social media. Bevers had posted her agenda on Facebook, with the admonition that even if it rained, the fitness session would be held inside the church, rather than outside, as scheduled. “Echoing other comments,” wrote another respondent, “Facebook is the best gift that thieves and others that are up to no-good have ever been given.” There is a lot of truth to that statement, but there is no proof that Missy's killer even knew about her Facebook page.

Investigators now seem to be concentrating their investigation on a stranger. They released video of the intruder in hopes that someone would recognize the attire he wore, as well as his (or her) walk. So far, no one has come forward to identify the intruder.

If you have information about this case, please call Midlothian Police at 972-775-3333 or Ellis County Crime Stoppers at 972-937-7297. There is a $10,000 reward.