The Mystifying Murder Of Missy Bevers, The Fitness Instructor Killed In A Texas Church

Published March 1, 2023

On April 18, 2016, surveillance videos captured an unidentifiable suspect walking around the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian — and police believe that person killed Missy Bevers.

Missy Bevers Smiling

FacebookMissy Bevers, the fitness instructor who was murdered in a Texas church.

Just after 4 a.m. on April 18, 2016, 45-year-old Terri “Missy” Bevers pulled up to the parking lot of the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, Texas. It was another routine class for the fitness instructor, who had a loyal following for her “gladiator boot camps.”

But Bevers would not instruct that morning’s class, or any other class ever again. A few minutes after she arrived, she would be murdered by an assailant already roaming the church, dressed head to toe in police tactical gear.

By the time Bever’s body was discovered less than an hour later, her murderer had already disappeared into the early morning darkness, never to be seen again.

The Leadup To Missy Bevers’ Murder

Creekside Church Of Christ Midlothian Texas

Google MapsThe scene of the crime, Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, Texas.

Terri “Missy” Bevers was born on Aug. 9, 1970, in Graham, Texas, the Dallas Observer reports. A teacher, Bevers married Brandon Bevers in 1998, and the couple had three daughters, aged 8, 13, and 15, at the time of Bevers’ death, PEOPLE reports.

According to PEOPLE, Bevers realized her goal of becoming a certified personal trainer around 2014 when she joined the company Camp Gladiator. As a certified instructor, Bevers held her fitness boot camps at Midlothian’s Creekside Church of Christ, only a twenty-minute drive from her residence.

Although usually held in the church parking lot, that fateful Monday the 5 a.m. boot camp would be held inside the church due to a heavy thunderstorm in Midlothian. A less dedicated instructor would have canceled the session due to the inclement weather, but Bevers was determined to hold class come rain or shine.

The evening before, Bevers posted “NO EXCUSES… You are Gladiators!” on Facebook.

But unbeknownst to Bevers, her enthusiastic rallying cry on Facebook appeared to have served a more sinister purpose. It gave her killer the exact location and timescale required to commit her murder.

The Murder Of Missy Bevers

Footage Of Missy Bevers Killer Walking In The Church

YouTube/Midlothian Police DepartmentFootage of Missy Bevers’ killer walking the hallways of the church.

On that rainy morning, Bevers arrived at the church around 4:18 a.m., according to CBS News — another testament to her dedication. Bevers parked her car near the church’s front door so she could easily unload equipment for her class.

But someone was already there.

The church’s motion-activated security cameras had captured a person, fully clothed in police tactical gear, entering the church at 3:50 a.m. The individual walked the hallways of the church, unidentifiable in their heavy gear, their head covered by a helmet. The suspect wore gloves, and also had an unusual gait, with their feet — and particularly the right foot — turning outward as they walked, according to True Crime Edition.

Church security footage also captured Bevers’ arrival. But it did not record her violent and untimely murder.

Students arriving for the workout 45 minutes later came upon the shocking sight of their instructor, dead, with puncture wounds to her head and chest.

Was Bevers’ Killer Someone She Knew?

Camp Gladiator Trainer Missy Bevers

FacebookMissy Bevers Facebook profile as a Camp Gladiator fitness professional.

Local police weren’t used to dealing with murder in their community. As investigators delved into the disturbing case, they struggled to find a motive for the murder of the wife and mother.

Searching the crime scene, they found evidence of forced entry into the building and a couple of rooms indicating a possible burglary, but nothing was taken. WFAA reports that police believe the killer likely staged the scene to look like a robbery to conceal their actual intentions.

A height analysis of the suspect seen in the video gave an indication of 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, based on an estimate of the vertical distance from the floor to the top of the suspect’s headwear. The suspect’s unusual gait provided another possibility – that the killer was not necessarily a man. Investigators appealed to the public for information.

Meanwhile, they began to investigate their most likely suspects – those closest to Bevers. This included her husband, Brandon Bevers, whose alibi, a fishing trip in Mississippi, was soon confirmed. Brandon would report that he couldn’t think of anyone who would want to hurt Bevers, let alone kill her.

Then, a search warrant covering Bevers’ cellphone records from March 1 to April 24 revealed that, shortly before her murder, Bevers had been having what investigators termed “an ongoing financial and marital struggle as well as intimate/personal relationships external to the marriage.” Messages between Bevers and her husband had referred to extramarital affairs.

Police also came across evidence that Bevers had been receiving intimate and flirtatious messages over LinkedIn, some of which had been deleted and were apparently unrecoverable.

Investigators believed the killer communicated with Bevers through LinkedIn three days before her murder, as Bevers had shown her friend a private LinkedIn message from an unknown man that had made her uncomfortable. Bevers and her friend had agreed the message was “creepy and strange.”

Still, Missy Bevers had apparently not suspected the proximity of a threat the morning of her death, as she left her licensed firearm inside her car.

A Series Of Dead Ends

Randy Bevers Addresses The Media

YouTubeRandy Bevers addresses the media.

Soon the police and public’s attention turned to Bevers’ father-in-law, Randy Bevers. On April 22, just four days after Bevers’ murder, Randy had gone to a local dry cleaner carrying a woman’s blood-soaked shirt. He told an employee there that the blood had come from a dog, explaining that he had broken up a dog fight and then carried one injured, bleeding dog to the vet.

The employee was suspicious and called the police, who had the shirt forensically analyzed, and Randy Bevers emerged as a possible suspect. He had a similar physique to Bevers’ killer and walked with a limp.

But his alibi that he had been in California with his wife at the time of the murder checked out, and his daughter corroborated his story about the dog fight. Eventually, an analysis of the shirt confirmed that the blood had come from a dog.

Over the next few weeks, a fresh lead emerged. A few hours before Bevers’ murder, a suspicious car was captured on security cameras driving slowly around the parking lot of a sporting goods store near the church. The car spent six minutes in the parking lot, much of the time with its lights off.

Police released the suspicious footage to the public, describing the car as a 2010-2012 Nissan Altima or similar vehicle and asking for information about its owner. But the owner was never located.

The FBI also consulted a forensic podiatrist to examine the security footage to see if an analysis of the suspect’s gait might help identify their gender. But the podiatrist explained that the unusual gait was due to the weight of their gear, CBS News reported, so investigators were back to square one.

The Status Of The Bevers Investigation

Midlothian North Texas

PexelsMidlothian, North Texas.

In late 2019, detectives followed up on a tip that had been phoned in multiple times during the investigation involving former tactical police officer Bobby Wayne Henry.

Henry had admitted that he still owned his riot gear, but claimed it didn’t fit him anymore. He also attended mass at Creekside Church of Christ, walked with a limp, and owned a car that resembled a different vehicle investigators were looking into, a dark SUV believed to have been seen leaving the church the morning of Bevers’ murder.

Henry seemed a good fit. The only problem was he was 6 foot 1 — too large to be the person in the security footage. His alibi, too, was eventually corroborated, and Henry was ruled out as a person of interest.

In 2021, five years after the murder of Missy Bevers, the Midlothian Police Department announced that a retired federal law enforcement agent had joined their team of investigators, Fox News reported, and that the case is not yet cold.

“It’s very difficult to say we are any closer than we were since the day this happened,” said Midlothian PD Chief Carl Smith. “Sometimes it seems like we are being silent, and that silence cannot be mistaken for a lack of activity.”

After learning about Missy Bevers, read about Henryk Siwiak, The Only Unsolved Murder On 9/11 In New York City . Then, learn about The Unsolved Murder Of 16-Year-Old Lifeguard Molly Bish.

Neil Patmore
A true crime specialist, Neil Patmore served as a police officer in the UK for nine years, and a private investigator for three years before becoming a writer.
Maggie Donahue
Maggie Donahue is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and film studies from Johns Hopkins University. Before landing at ATI, she covered arts and culture at The A.V. Club and Colorado Public Radio and also wrote for Longreads. She is interested in stories about scientific discoveries, pop culture, the weird corners of history, unexplained phenomena, nature, and the outdoors.