Tammy McBride, age 32, was found dead in a mobile home located 4 3/4 miles east of Perry, Oklahoma, off highway US 64, at 7:48 p.m. on March 14, 1997. She was found by Barry Thompson, owner and resident of the mobile home, shot in the chest with a .308 rifle.
In an ongoing investigation, the local authorities have determined the cause of death to be suicide. We feel that there are many unanswered questions regarding this case, and we ask for your help as we pursue it as a possible homicide.
Tammy McBride lived most of her life in Perry, OK. She worked as a waitress at Sooners Corner Restaurant before becoming manager of the Cherokee Strip Restaurant. She loved working in the food industry, and her goal was to own her own establishment. She also loved all animals, especially sheltie dogs. Tammy often relaxed by walking in the country and spending time around rivers, lakes, and oceans. She was a kind person who helped those in need and who complimented and encouraged her employees. Tammy had an enthusiastic personality, full of energy and ideas. She was a joy to her friends and family.
Tammy met Doyle Crumm, a pilot for DitchWitch Co., in 1990. They lived together after Doyle’s divorce from his second wife. Tammy and Doyle married in 1992. After four stormy years, during which time Tammy may have suffered verbal and mental abuse, they were divorced in 1996. At that time Tammy filed a restraining order against Doyle and confided to friends and family members that she was afraid of him. According to her mother, Tammy and her family were continually harrassed by Doyle, both during and after the divorce, with unsolicited calls and visits.
Tammy dated Barry Thompson while awaiting the finalization of her divorce, which took approximately 18 months. She and Barry broke up after only a brief time but allegedly remained friends. Barry began dating another woman, and Tammy was not believed to be romantically involved with anyone at the time of her death. An interesting note: Just a few weeks prior to Tammy’s death, Doyle and Barry had a disparaging conversation about her. Doyle allegedly taped this conversation and gave it to Tammy.
EVENTS SURROUNDING THE DEATH
Tammy had appointments with both a Chiropractor and a hairdresser for the day following her death. On the day she died, Tammy dropped off her laundry at a local laundromat. She went to work that day. Her list of “things to do” on the following Monday included making a bank deposit, pricing items for an upcoming party, checking on a St. Patrick’s Day cake, and having some repairs made at her place of employment.
On that same day, Tammy left work at approximately 3:00 p.m. and visited a local club with several female friends. She reportedly had 3 beers during a 3-hour time span. Tammy returned to her residence, behind her restaurant, at around 6:00 p.m. She mentioned to her friends that she was then going to Barry Thompson’s mobile home to feed her dog and would return to the restaurant shortly. She never returned.
Tammy’s vehicle was observed to be gone from the restaurant parking lot at 6:30 p.m. When last seen by her friend one-half hour earlier, Tammy was in an upbeat mood.
THE CRIME SCENE
Because the investigation is still open, we have been unable to secure official documents and photos from the local authorities; however, the following information has been provided by the victim’s family:
Tammy’s vehicle, a 1997 red Izuzu Rodeo, was found parked outside the mobile home, facing the road, with its motor running. Her driver’s license and insurance card were found lying on the dashboard. About $20 in bills was found scattered on the floor and the console of the vehicle. Tammy’s purse and wallet were not found.
Although Tammy had a key to the mobile home, someone had kicked in the door of the home on the evening of the incident. Tammy was found inside the mobile lhome with the .308 rifle lying beside her. Her fingerprints were found on the barrel of the gun. There were no signs of a struggle at the residence. No suicide note from Tammy has been found.
THE AUTOPSY REPORT
Pathological Diagnosis: Contact gunshot wound to the chest with rib fracture, right hemothorax, perforation of right lung and exit. Trajectory was backward, upward and to the left. Interpulmonary aspiration of blood.
Evidence of gunpowder residue on the victim’s skin and clothing.
Lab analysis revealed blood alcohol content of 0.20%. (Note: Tammy was 5’2″ and weighed 60 kg.
The victim had recovered from a traumatic marriage and divorce. She enjoyed her work, friends, and family. She displayed no symptoms of suicide and appeared to be in good physical and mental health at the time of her death. She was making a decent salary and was not in debt.
The .308 rifle used in Tammy’s death was allegedly owned by Barry Thompson and kept at his mobile home. Tammy’s mother indicated that Tammy was terrified of all guns. To her knowledge, Tammy had never fired the weapon and did not know how to operate it.