|This case has remained unsolved for 7 years, 7 months, and 19 days.|
April 18, 2016 was like any other day for fitness instructor Missy Bevers. She was getting ready to teach her 5 AM Camp Gladiator class as she so often did. Despite the rainy weather, she alerted her class via Facebook that it would be moved inside the Creekside Church of Christ from the parking lot so that the group could still get their morning workout in.
When students arrived for class, they found Bevers beaten and bludgeoned. They immediately called police, but it was too late to save her. Despite the church’s surveillance footage capturing images of the suspected perpetrator, the case remains unsolved over half a decade later.
Questions still remain about her husband and their troubled marriage, but he has an alibi for the morning of the murder. Was this a random act of violence or was this targeted, as many have speculated? Who murdered Missy Bevers?
Table of Contents
About Missy Beavers
Terri “Missy” Bevers was born Terri Leann Strickland on August 9, 1970 in Graham, TX. She married Brandon Bevers in 1998 and ended up quitting her job as a teaching assistant so she could spend more time with their three daughters.
In 2016, Bevers was 45 years old and living in Red Oak, TX with her family. Friends and family described her as a ray of light and always willing to help anyone in need. One friend said that she was “an amazing woman” who was “always so nice.”
Brandon Bevers said of his late wife, “She was very passionate about changing people’s lives with fitness, and changing their mental attitude towards their body and themselves and their abilities in life.”
The fact that Bevers is described as such a kind and loving woman makes her eventual murder even more confusing. Who would want to hurt this wonderful mother of three? Why did they target her and what will it take to solve this murder?
The Day of the Murder
It was still early in the morning on April 18, 2016 when Bevers was getting ready to teach a Camp Gladiator course at the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, TX. This is an exercise group that focuses on full-body workouts and nutrition coaching, and many groups practice out of churches.
Bevers often taught this course outside in the church’s parking lot, but on that day, April showers rained out the class so she was going to host inside the church instead. The class was due to start at 5 AM. The night before her murder, she posted on Facebook, “If it’s raining, we’re still training.”
A Horrible Discovery
When students arrived to attend the fitness class, they found Bevers on the ground with puncture wounds to her head and chest. They immediately contacted police and emergency services, but it was too late to save Bevers. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Search for the Murderer Begins
The murder of Missy Bevers was Midlothian’s first murder in over seven years, so authorities figured that this wasn’t just some random act of violence. The Creekside Church of Christ luckily had surveillance footage from inside the building, so authorities were quick to recover the videos and scour them for clues.
Chilling Surveillance Footage
Video revealed that someone had broken into the church around 3:50 AM, wearing SWAT-like gear (perhaps in an effort to look like a police officer). The person was carrying a hammer and wearing a helmet. Bevers arrived at the church around 30 minutes later at 4:18 AM but no confrontation or scuffle was caught on video.
From the surveillance footage, authorities estimate that the intruder was between 5’2 to 5’7, but they weren’t able to determine their gender. Experts say the suspect had some sort of a limp in their right leg and have described the way the suspect walked as feminine.
Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson stated of the suspect in the video:
“We are backing off our statement that the suspect on video was a man. There’s a lot of speculation based on the gait and appearance that this person may be a woman. It’s a legitimate question right now. We no longer will say the suspect is a man. That does not mean I’m saying this suspect is a woman. It’s just that at this point we can’t rule it out. We don’t know yet.”Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson (Source: NBC DFW)
A Burglary Gone Wrong?
At first, police thought that perhaps Bevers interrupted a burglary in progress and ended up dead as a result. It’s thought that Bevers encountered the suspect while she was moving exercise equipment from her truck to the inside of the church.
However, there is no evidence that any items were taken from the church, making the idea of a burglary-gone-wrong seem less plausible. In fact, they started to believe this was a targeted attack. But who would want to harm Missy Bevers?
Troubles in the Bevers’s Marriage
Even though authorities had footage of the suspect, they continued their due diligence and looked into other possible motives and suspects. When authorities began investigating Bevers’ husband, it was uncovered that there was a lot of conflict and contention in the marriage. Investigators uncovered financial troubles as well as some affairs — both of which could’ve been a motive for murder.
A Weird LinkedIn Message
Bevers had reportedly received an odd message from a man she didn’t know on the social media network LinkedIn just a few days before she was murdered. She showed the message to a friend who agreed that the message was “creepy and strange.”
In a warrant, police stated that they’d contacted a person of interest who had been communicating with Bevers via LinkedIn, starting in January of 2016 up until the time of her death. The messages “ultimately turned flirtatious and familiar,” according to the documents. Even though the messages had been deleted, authorities were able to recover most of the data.
A Bloody Shirt
Four days after Bevers’s death, her father-in-law, Randy Bevers, brought an apparently bloody shirt to a local laundromat to have it cleaned. He allegedly told the employee that the blood was dog’s blood.
Testing on the shirt conducted by authorities confirmed that the blood was indeed animal blood, but that didn’t stop rumors from spreading that Randy was the culprit in the murder and Brandon, Bevers’s husband, was also involved.
Randy apparently has a similar body type to the suspect in the surveillance footage, causing more rumors and conjecture that he was the perpetrator. It should be noted that both Randy and Brandon have alibis for the morning of the murder: Randy was traveling in California and Brandon was on a fishing trip to Mississippi.
A Car in the Church Parking Lot
On the day of Bevers’s death, a light-colored 2010–2012 Nissan Altima was seen near the church’s parking lot around 2 AM. Law enforcement didn’t believe that the car was connected to the murders but they wanted to speak with the driver. Authorities asked anyone with information to come forward, but it’s not clear if this lead produced any more clues.
Months Gone By
The Texas Rangers and the FBI were brought in to assist with the case, although answers remained elusive. Bevers’s mother-in-law, Marsha Tucker, grew frustrated that no arrests were made in the case after the first month or so. She told People Magazine, “When they make an arrest, are we going to celebrate, or would we feel bad about celebrating? I don’t know how we’ll feel, but I’m ready to find out.”
Tucker also has stated that her son and Bevers’s husband, Brandon, has been cleared in the murder: “I know he has absolutely been cleared and he’s okay. As for other people who have been brought into question, I feel for them if they’re innocent.” However, authorities have not publicly announced that Brandon is cleared.
Online Sleuths Wreak Havoc
Perhaps because this case has video footage of a suspect, many online amateur sleuths made Facebook and other social media groups in an attempt to solve the case. However, many of them have taken to harassing persons of interest, both online and in-person.
One former person of interest who understandably wishes to remain anonymous stated:
“People were sharing my address… These people have no clue to who I am and [are] jumping on the bandwagon. They could gather everyone on Facebook groups into an auditorium and tell them the truth, but they don’t want the truth. They just want to crucify somebody.”Former Person of Interest (Source: Dallas Observer)
Another woman was targeted with theories that she was trying to get revenge on Bevers because her husband, a coworker from Camp Gladiator, was paying too much attention to her. The woman also had a similar build to the suspect on the surveillance footage.
Ultimately, law enforcement was forced to confront the multitude of online rumors and, after interviewing this woman, they cleared her. A Midlothian police officer sent a strongly-worded email to one of the online sleuths about the woman: “I would suggest you quit targeting [her]. We have talked to her and cleared her.”
Bevers’s surviving family has also grown tired of the online speculation and harassment. In an email made public, Brandon Bevers stated:
“I wish all of the whack job social media stuff would go to hell. Why do these people not realize they have left a door open for my children to peer into one day? How damaging could this be? No factual basis for all of the speculation whatsoever.”Brandon Bevers (Source: DailyMail)
Theories on Who Murdered Bevers
It’s been a little under a decade since Bevers was murdered and in that time, many theories have been put forth to try and explain what happened to her and why.
And as stated before, many online crime sleuths have tried to solve the mystery as well, though it often just resulted in harassment of their chosen targets. It’s fine to have your own thoughts, opinions, and theories on a case, but please don’t go out and harass, dox, or otherwise bother people online or in real life. Now, onto the theories…
Bevers’s Husband or Father-in-Law Killed Her
Many have speculated that either Bevers’s husband, Brandon, or her father-in-law, Randy, had something to do with her murder. Indeed, over half of women who are murdered in the US are killed by an intimate partner, like a husband or boyfriend.
However, in this case, both the husband and the father-in-law have alibis for the morning the murder took place. It’s true that there could have been some discrepancies in the alibis or that one of them snuck back to the church to murder Bevers that morning, but I would hope that authorities would have ruled out those possibilities early on.
Because both men were scrutinized so heavily by law enforcement, and unless there’s more information out there that authorities are holding back or that hasn’t come to light yet, it’s difficult to pin the murder on either man. I think it’s possible that either of them had something to do with the murder, but they probably weren’t the perpetrators themselves if they were involved.
Bevers’s Husband Hired Someone
Most true crime readers know that you’re more likely to be killed by someone you know than a stranger which is why suspicion often falls on those closest to a victim. Even though Brandon Bevers’s alibi has more or less been confirmed (with plane tickets and a car rental receipt showing he was in Mississippi), some suggest that he might’ve hired someone to kill his wife.
Due to the fact that there were financial and infidelity troubles in the Bevers’s marriage, some speculate that Brandon might’ve been looking for a way out. He also has publicly stated that he is no longer interested in finding his wife’s killer, raising suspicions that he might’ve somehow been involved:
“[The children] see/hear the daily anxiety I have in finding this person, and I think they are tired of the mentality this puts our day to day life in. They want normalcy, and happiness. I want justice, but I too fear the reality of bringing this case/person to trial and the emotional uncertainty that may go with it.”Brandon Bevers (Source: DailyMail)
Personally, I don’t see this as overly suspicious only because of all of the chaos that his family has had to endure in the wake of his wife’s death. Between the online sleuths accusing and accosting people to the rumors that spread like wildfire when his father had a dog blood-covered shirt dry cleaned, I can understand if Brandon wants to just move on with his life and focus on raising his daughters.
Still, it’s hard to justify someone saying they no longer are invested in finding their loved one’s killer. Until this case is solved, I think Brandon will always be under suspicion.
A Jealous Affair Partner Took Revenge
Because infidelity was revealed during law enforcement’s investigations, some have suggested that perhaps the wife of one of Bevers’s affair partners took matters into her own hands. That being said, there is no evidence publicly available about any specific affair partners or their spouses holding a grudge or otherwise threatening violence against Bevers.
Some of Bevers’s family members think that she was targeted. Her husband, Brandon, has since stated that he thinks someone targeted his wife: “I believe she was targeted, that’s my opinion.” Aside from a jealous affair partner though, who would have wanted to target Bevers?
What Do I Think Happened?
The Missy Bevers case is such a troubling one because it’s one of the rare circumstances where we have the likely perpetrator on video and we still can’t solve the case. If we can’t solve a case where we have the suspect on video, what hope do we have for countless other cases that have far less evidence?
Still, I think it’s solvable with the right information, should the right people or person come forward, or if law enforcement is able to recover that one bit of DNA evidence or other clue that could crack the case wide open.
Random Violence Unlikely
I don’t think this was a random act of violence. The suspect didn’t steal anything from the scene, so it’s not like this situation was a robbery-gone-wrong. The perpetrator also broke some random windows before getting in, which authorities suspect was them testing to see if the church had an alarm system that would alert law enforcement.
Familial Involvement Possible
I think it’s possible that Brandon Bevers or someone else in his family had something to do with the murder, but I don’t think that either Brandon or Randy personally carried out the murder.
Again, Brandon had some motives to murder his wife due to infidelity and financial issues, although I think if authorities had any direct evidence supporting this theory, they would have acted on it by now and made arrests.
Targeted Attack More Likely
I believe that Bevers was intentionally targeted due to the fact that the perpetrator knew she’d be alone that morning and that they were wearing full police gear, including a helmet. They knew she was going to defend herself, perhaps even swinging a workout weight at them, which is why I believe the suspect opted for a helmet. They wore police gear to avoid suspicion if they were seen prematurely by someone else in the building, and to conceal their body and face.
The suspect targeted Bevers for one reason or another and knew that she’d be in the church alone at that early hour because Bevers posted her workout schedules online for her students. The question that remains is who would want to hurt Bevers?
The only people who would have had a motive to target her (based on information made public by authorities) are either her husband or perhaps a disgruntled affair partner. Either way, Bevers’s family and loved ones deserve justice. Someone out there knows enough information to solve this case and needs to come forward.
Authorities continue to receive tips in the Missy Bevers case — over 3,000 tips as of 2021. However, the case remains unsolved, despite media attention. Authorities are still treating the case as an active investigation rather than a cold case, according to news sources.
February 2019: Inside Edition
In February 2018, an episode of Inside Edition aired titled “Missy Bevers Murder,” discussing the facts surrounding the case.
June 2019: Lies, Crimes & Video
In June 2019, an episode of Lies, Crimes & Video aired on HLN titled “Murder in the Church.” It covered the circumstances of Bevers’s murder and the fact that the case remains unsolved.
Do You Have Information?
There is a $150,000 reward made by an anonymous donor for information in the Missy Bevers case. If you have information regarding this case, please contact the Midlothian Police Department at (972) 775–3333 or Crime Stoppers of Ellis County at (972) 937-7297.
Cold Case Questions
- Who do you think murdered Missy Bevers? And why?
- Do you think this case will ever be solved?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
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