The Peggy Hettrick murder case is around Peggy Hettrick’s unexplained death in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1987. When Timothy Lee “Tim” Masters was a sophomore at Fort Collins High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy after a high school career marred by police accusations of murder. He was honourably discharged from the Navy after eight years of service. Masters worked as an aviation technician for Learjet until 1997, when he was arrested for Peggy Hettrick’s murder. In 1999, he was accused with and convicted of the Hettrick murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In January 2008, his conviction was overturned after DNA evidence from the initial crime scene revealed that he was not the perpetrator. On June 28, 2011, three years after his release from jail, the Colorado Attorney General exonerated Masters. No one else has been charged with Hettrick’s murder as of yet.
Crime Scene Confidential: A Promise to Peggy
Episode: Season 1 Episode 5
Authorities launched a high-profile inquiry after the shocking discovery of a mangled body one morning in February 1987. Because of the nature of the crime and what followed subsequently, Peggy Hettrick’s murder in Fort Collins, Colorado, made headlines. ‘Crime Scene Confidential: A Promise to Peggy,’ a show on Investigation Discovery, focuses on the evidence found and the suspects probed in the case. So, how about we find out more about what happened?
What Caused Peggy Hettrick’s Death?
At the time of her death, Peggy Hettrick was a Wyoming native residing in Fort Collins. She was described as a creative and fun-loving young woman who aspired to be a writer. Back then, the 37-year-old worked at a department shop and was close to her family. On February 10, 1987, Peggy left work at 9 p.m. She went bar hopping after realising she was locked out of her apartment, then returned to change clothes.
Peggy’s friend, who was staying with her at the time, awoke in the middle of the night and allowed her in. Peggy then went to a nearby tavern, where she was last seen leaving at 1:15 a.m. on February 11, 1987. Six hours later, a cyclist near the pub found a body in the middle of a field and alerted the authorities.
Peggy was discovered on her back, and her garments dragged down. Peggy’s body had been “sexually disfigured,” with one of her nipples removed and flesh from her groyne taken out. Peggy died as a result of a single knife wound in the back that caused her to bleed out.
Who Killed Peggy Hettrick and Why?
Peggy had run into her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Matthew Zoellner, at the pub that night, and he was the last person to see her alive, according to the authorities. According to Matthew, they had broken up the week before, and he offered to drive her home that night, but she declined. When Matthew’s date for the night told the cops that she had been with him until around 3 a.m., he appeared to be ruled out.
During canvassing, officers met with Clyde Masters, who lived in a trailer with his 15-year-old son, Tim, near where the body was discovered. Early on, Clyde told the cops that his son had spotted something in the field. When Tim was questioned, he said he didn’t notify the cops because he thought the body was a mannequin.
However, a search of the trailer turned up a few odd objects. Tim had a large knife collection, and the police discovered various violent and misogynistic words and drawings on his person.
However, there was no tangible evidence linking Tim to the case at the time. Tim had already acknowledged to walking up to the body, despite the fact that there was a shoeprint that matched the pair he wore on the day the body was discovered.
The investigation quickly became cold, but Tim was still regarded as a potential suspect by the authorities. A psychologist claimed in 1997 that Tim was the murderer, citing his artwork and writings as evidence. Tim, he claimed, had planned and rehearsed the murder. In August 1998, he was arrested as a result of this.
Tim’s drawings and knives, as well as the psychologist’s testimony, were used by the prosecution, and he was found guilty in March 1999. However, additional DNA testing in 2008 revealed that none of the evidence contained Tim’s DNA. Instead, Matthew’s DNA was found on Peggy’s blouse cuffs and pant waistline.
This was not altogether unexpected, given that they had been in a relationship. However, these findings indicated that Tim had nothing to do with the case. His conviction was reversed in early 2008, and he was released from prison, becoming a free man. Tim was found not guilty in 2011.
Authorities met with Richard Hammond, a surgeon who lived near the crime scene, throughout the inquiry. Richard had been arrested for voyeurism in 1995. Using cameras hidden in a bathroom, he discreetly filmed many ladies, including family members’ genitalia. Richard possessed a large amount of pornographic stuff as well. Richard murdered himself in a motel room by injecting himself with cyanide after spending time in a psychiatric facility.
Richard Hammond was never probed by the authorities, according to Tim Masters’ defence. Some of the shoeprints recovered at the site appeared to match a pair found in the surgeon’s closet, according to the episode. Richard’s cassettes were destroyed a few months after his death, and the case has remained unsolved since then.